This article is one in the multi-part series entitled The Entrepreneurial Mindset.
Owning and operating your own small business likely means that you spend a lot of time focused on the quality of your products and services. By listening to customer reviews and studying the market, you get a better understanding of what people want, putting you in a better position to give it to them.
While that is certainly important to business success, reaching your career-related goals and achieving higher levels professionally takes more than that. It also requires that you be your personal best. After all, your business is just an extension of you, so the better you are personally, the better it will likely be too.
So, how do you achieve personal growth so that you (and your business) are the best that you can be? There are many different options to consider, all of which have the ability to take you to higher levels.
Modify Your Diet
If you are low in energy because you eat a high-calorie diet, then you may be noticing the effects in your brain’s reduced ability to function. At least, that is what one study published in Nature Reviews Neuroscience has found after looking at the available research that has been done in this area.
Some ways to reduce your caloric intake, thereby improving your cognitive abilities, include limiting the meals you eat out, choosing grilled foods over deep fried, and increasing the amount of vegetables you eat. It also helps to eat foods higher in protein and consume something every 3-4 hours, as these work to keep your blood sugar stable, allowing you to better focus on the tasks at hand.
Get More Active
While lower caloric intake is associated with good cognitive function, the inverse is true when it comes to activity levels. In other words, getting more active can help you think more clearly, with research showing that it also has positive benefits when it comes to your memory—no matter what your age.
The key to making regular activity a part of your life is to find something that you enjoy doing so that you look forward to engaging in it again and again. So, what do you like to do? Hiking? Running? Cycling? Swimming? If you’re not sure, try a variety of things and don’t stop until you locate an activity you want to do regularly.
Make Sleep a Priority
Studies have found that lack of quality sleep affects your memory (short and long-term), as well as your ability to complete simple tasks or reason logically. It also increases your likelihood of making errors, which can be very costly in the business world. According to the National Sleep Foundation’s sleep duration recommendations, most adults require 7-9 hours of sleep nightly to function best. Some ways to help ensure that you get this amount include limiting your caffeine later in the day, turning off your computer a few hours before bedtime, and using meditation to help clear your mind so it can rest.
Keep Track of Your Progress
Whenever you walk the road of change, it can be easy to forget about how far you’ve come because you are so focused on how far you’ve yet to go. This is where keeping track of your progress can help, constantly reminding that you are getting better with each passing day. There are even apps that can help do this for you. For instance, MyFitnessPal can help track your diet and exercise, if you are working on those areas. And if you want others around you to help motivate you, iDoneThis is an app that allows you to record your progress with a team of people, holding you more accountable for the actions you are and are not taking.
Take Advantage of Your Competitive Nature
In order to be your best, you need to constantly be working to achieve new personal heights. One way to make this process easier is to take advantage of your competitive nature, aiming to one-up yourself and improve in areas that you aren’t as strong in as you’d like.
For example, if your goal is to be more patient, then challenge yourself to make it through the day without losing your cool. Once you are able to do that, increase the timeframe to two days, then a week, and then a month. Make a game of it and strive to outdo yourself, using your competitive nature to help you excel.
Being your personal best will help you be your professional best, allowing you to take your business to higher levels.