Leaders who execute with passion understand that while managing time is important, managing energy is mandatory. Listed below are 12 additional tips I gleaned from interviewing dozens of leaders who maintain their vitality and positive attitude when they encounter obstacles.
· Eat well. Forget all the fad diets. If you go on a diet, you’ll go off it. The first three letters of the word “diet” tell you all you need to know. My favorite scientific, yet very practical, resource for health advice is The UC Berkeley Wellness Newsletter. (www.WellnessLetter.com) They offer these general guidelines:
- Eat high-fiber foods, such as fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains
- Consume more fish and nuts
- Decrease your intake of sugary foods, like white bread and junk food
- Cut back on animal fats, meats and fast food
· Exercise regularly. A little daily exercise will do wonders for your attitude and weight. You don’t have to become an Olympian. Top performers stay fit by exercising aerobically every day, even if it’s a quick power walk. One mile burns about 100 - 125 calories, whether you walk it in 20 minutes or run it in ten. There are 3,500 calories in one pound. You do the math. A mile a day melts the pounds away.
· Keep Good Company. Limit the time you spend with those who are “optimistically challenged” or “Negaholics.” Spend more time with people who make you feel good about who you are.
· Be a Life-long Learner. The best leaders are lifelong learners. Zig Ziglar told me that he was not a good student in school, but that he became a great one after he graduated. Take courses, read books, go to association meetings, and so forth. Your customers, products, and environment are constantly changing. Spend at least one half-hour per day soaking up new information to stay current and positive. One leader told me that she and her team have a book of the month club. They spend 10 minutes at their meetings discussing how to apply what they are learning. She says that they don’t have time to moan about what they cannot influence because they’re always working on issues they can influence.
· Enjoy Hobbies. Get away from work on a regular basis. When you’re at home, be at home. The word recreation comes from re-create. You’ll be more motivated and creative if you engage in active leisure during your down time.
· Get Rest. Make sure you get the rest you need. Experts tell us we need 7 – 8 hours of sleep per night. Few of us get it. Take a 20-minute power nap or meditation mid-day. The late, great Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi was right when he said, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”
· Turn off the TV. Go for a 20-minute pep walk and talk with a loved one, instead of watching television the entire evening. Focus on positive events of the day during your walk.
· Tell Stories. Start meetings or dinner at home by reading a humorous and uplifting story.
· Express appreciation. Make a list of things you are thankful. When things are not going well, focus on what you do have. Let others know how much you appreciate who they are and what they do.
· Review goals daily. We move in the direction of the dominant images we place, or let others place, in our minds. A goal is our North Star. Focusing on a goal also decreases the sting of those little pinpricks we all experience every day.
· Write positive affirmations. Write a few of your favorite, positive affirmations or quotations on 3x5 index cards. Keep them with you and repeat them aloud to yourself throughout the day.
· Listen to uplifting audio-programs in the car. Do you spend or invest time in your car? Top-performing leaders invest the time and money to turn their car into a “Rolling University.”
How surprised will you be when you and your team strengthen your belief in achieving your goal because maintained your energy and positive mood using these tools? What's working for you?