Research says that it takes 21 days to form a habit. In writing, it seems like you can tell yourself that you can do anything for only 21 days. Well, if it were that easy, why don’t more people have all these habits that successful people portray?
It’s because forming a habit is not that easy. There’s a certain level of force that you have to use to create a sustainable routine.
For the past 10 years I basically neglected my health. That changed when I realized that in order to give at the level that I wanted to, I needed to be able to operate at my true 100%. How was I supposed to do that if I wasn’t taking care of myself?
To force myself into having the habits that I wanted to have in regards to exercise and health, I decided to compete in a bodybuilding competition.
Flash forward…I ended up taking 2nd place. Beginners luck? Hardly.
Although prepping for that show was difficult, it wasn’t impossible. I didn’t stop running my five companies. I didn’t neglect my employees. I didn’t give any less time to my friends and family, just the time we spent together looked different. Rather than going out to eat, we went on a long walk. Instead of watching a movie, we would go to the gym and listen to Tony Robbins.
I’ve written out some of my best practices for how I managed my time and resources during my competition prep:
- Surround yourself with resources to succeed. I was lucky to have a gym in my office building so I always brought workout clothes to work with me. I kept a pile of dumbbells in my personal office to use if I couldn’t make it to the gym. Resistance bands were also really helpful to have around the office.
- Use your time wisely. My alarm went off every day at 5:45 a.m. to work out. My lunch breaks turned into workouts or outdoor walks. Phone calls consisted of me doing squats, lunges, and resistance band workouts while I talked. If someone wanted to have a meeting with me, we would take it the treadmill and walk and talk.
- Plan your food out. The extent of my cooking used to consist of microwaving egg whites every morning. That’s all I had time for. Knowing myself and my lack of desire to cook, I found a meal prep service that cooked pescatarian food and they delivered meals to my house every week. I would bring these meals to the office and just heat them up.
- Schedule everything. To make sure that I was eating all the right foods at the right times I scheduled my meals into my calendar. Every part of the day I knew what I was eating and when. This made it impossible to create excuses.
- Set goals. Write down your goals and keep them in front of you every day. If you don’t forget why you started then you will never have a reason to quit.
Everyone has the time and ability to take care of themselves. Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. How you optimize that time will determine how successful you can be.