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The 5 Essential Habits Every Entrepreneur Should Practice

Updated: Feb 13

Being an entrepreneur can be stressful and all-consuming. From long hours at your desk and skipping workouts, to lost sleep and fast food, your health and well-being can succumb to unhealthy habits in the name of your business.

While sometimes subtle, signs that you're leaning toward unhealthy habits include a lack of energy, extra pounds at the waistline, an inability to focus, no personal or time off, a lack of joy, and irritability, among others.

As an entrepreneur, our well-being is intricately connected with the well-being of our business, so you may also see some of these symptoms reflected in your business. Check for a lack of creativity, inspiration, and motivation; increased absenteeism; and stagnating revenue.

The good news is that you can start creating new habits today, beginning with the five essential habits for well-being that every Wellpreneur must incorporate into their daily life.

1. Exercise | Find A Workout You Love

Seems obvious but how many of us *think* more about exercising than actually exercising?

Exercise is not only foundational for your physical health but also for your brain health.

Studies have shown that adults who are physically active are better able to perform everyday tasks, have less anxiety, sleep better, and have a better quality of life. They also help keep your thinking, learning, and judgment skills sharp now and as you age.

In addition, active adults feel better, are healthier, and are less likely to develop many chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and several types of cancer than inactive adults.

If working out more often feels like a chore or an obligation instead of something you are looking forward to, then you just aren’t engaging in the right workout or exercise routine for you.

When I first started looking for ways to add indoor workouts and strength training to my running routine, I tried different types of exercises until I found the right combination of activities.

To facilitate the process, I signed up for Class Pass and tried different Pilates workouts at different studios, Barre workouts, dance and hip-hop workouts, and HIIT classes.

While I enjoyed these workouts, none seemed perfect for me until I tried a HIIT class. I was intimidated at first, not knowing what to expect and assuming I would find myself in a room full of super-buff fitness pros.

Instead, what I found was a room of ordinary people, fantastic coaches (after trying a couple of different studios), and an amazing workout. I was hooked. I had found the right indoor workout and studio for me.

I added two days of HIIT to my weekly routine which also included one day of running four miles, hiking or paddleboarding every other Sunday, and walks in between. I look forward to every single one of the sessions. Even on days that I really don’t want to go, I still want to go, knowing that I will feel amazing afterward.

Here’s what my typical week looks like:

  • Mondays and Wednesdays: HIIT workout

  • Tuesdays and Thursdays: Skip or the occasional easy walk, which ranges from 1 to 3 miles. Or, add a HIIT workout.

  • Fridays: Running (4-6 miles) or paddleboarding (typically about 1 hour)

  • Every other Sunday: Hiking approximately 6+ miles

If you want to try Class Pass, here is a referral link that will give you an extra 20 bonus credits if you sign up. I will earn a referral fee, but this pass is a great way to get started trying out different workouts and studios in your area that fit your schedule and meet your specific needs.

One note about Class Pass, class availability changes and it depends on the individual studio's unsold slots. As a result, class and time availability varies. I overcame this minor inconvenience by finding two HIIT studios that I liked in my neighborhood so when one doesn’t have availability, I simply go to the other one. If you find a studio you like and you don’t want to go to another studio, you can just cancel your Class Pass membership, which is on a month-to-month basis, and get a membership directly with the studio of your choice!

2. Nutrition | Pack In the Nutrition

Good health starts with good nutrition.

Our cells use the nutrition in food to reproduce and maintain our organs working and our bodies functioning. According to Harvard Medical School, the food we eat makes up the building blocks of our body, including our brain, muscles, bones, nerves, skin, blood circulation, and immune system.

Do you want your cells feeding on healthy, vibrant, and nutrition-rich foods, or on nutrient-deficient food lacking the essential vitamins and minerals our body needs? The answer to that question is critical.

The CDC notes that poor nutrition directly contributes to obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, strokes, and other chronic diseases. In addition, it can also lead to a lack of energy, lack of mental clarity and focus, unhealthy weight gain or weight loss, and a myriad of other unwanted scenarios. Any of these scenarios will lead to poor health for yourself and your business will also be impacted if you are not at your best.

The challenge is that as a busy entrepreneur, eating well is one of the easiest habits to let slide, especially if you find yourself getting hungry and within arm’s reach of a vending machine or your phone to order delivery, or if you’re driving, a fast food drive-thru.

Avoid the temptation to reach for unhealthy options by taming the hunger pangs with healthy choices at arm’s reach. Stock up on snack packages of trail mix (skip the chocolate morsels and M&Ms), lite popcorn in snack-size packages, easy-to-snack-on fruit, a plant-based protein shake mix, and protein-packed snacks such as toasted broad beans, hummus and carrots, or edamame.

To make sure I get your fruits and veggies, one of my go-to breakfasts and snacks is a green juice which I prepare in a couple of minutes. Here's the recipe:

  • 1 cup of spinach

  • 1 cup of kale

  • 1 apple or banana

  • 1/2 cucumber, depending on availability

  • Lemon juice to taste

  • Ginger to taste

  • Tumeric to taste

  • Stevia to taste

  • Ice

Toss everything in the blender for a delicious and nutrition-packed smoothie.

For meals, especially lunch, cook enough dinner the night before for quick lunch leftovers, make a healthy wrap kit, or grab bagged salad kits. Be sure to look at the ingredients in the salad kits, though, as they aren’t always as low-cal as you may think.

For the wrap kit, you can easily stock up on protein or low-carb wraps, lettuce and other greens, hummus, boiled eggs, or a lean protein of your choice, and then build your wrap in a couple of minutes every day before lunch.

To make sure you stay on track, plan ahead, and keep your meals simple, clean, balanced, fresh, and whole. There are many ways to hack healthy meal preparation, which we will dig into in a separate post. For the purposes of this article, here are quick some starter ideas and tools.

Make healthy meal-prep easier:

3. Sleep | Get 7 to 8 Hours

High-quality sleep is essential for our well-being.

We all know what it feels like to not get enough sleep. We’re grouchy, we’re groggy, and we are most definitely not at our best for ourselves, our lives, our relationships, or our business.

Beyond that, lack of sleep puts our health at risk and increases our chance of heart disease, stroke, obesity, and dementia, among other unwelcome maladies.

The National Institute of Health recommends getting seven to eight hours of high-quality sleep every night. Without high-quality sleep as a foundational habit, nothing else will be in balance.

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), good sleep improves your brain performance, preparing your brain to learn, remember, and create.

In addition, the Institute notes that good sleep gives your body, including your immune system and brain, time to repair and remove waste from the system. This is an incredibly important function as studies have found that inadequate sleep in midlife may lead to dementia, can negatively impact your memory, and even lead to early death.

Make getting enough high-quality sleep a priority starting today.

According to the NIH, here are some tips for getting better sleep.

  • Exercise every day, but not close to bedtime.

  • Limit the use of electronic devices before bedtime. Try reading a book, journaling, or another relaxing activity instead.

  • Create a good sleeping environment. Make the room dark, keep the temperature cool, silence your phone, and eliminate sound and light distractions.

  • Set a daily sleep schedule and bedtime routine, including on the weekends.

  • Go outside daily and get at least 30 minutes of natural sunlight every day.

  • Don’t take naps after mid-afternoon.

Three practices that have had the most positive impact on my ability to fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly through the night are:

  • Lowering the room temperature to 68 degrees. I was surprised by how much this helped improve my sleep quality. I went to sleep faster and woke up less during the night.

  • Turning on an essential oils lamp with lavender oil.

  • Using a sleep mask. If you haven't used a sleep mask before, select a contoured mask to protect your eyelashes, and look for a nose contour that will fit snugly.

4. Meditation | Start Slow & Easy

As business owners, we’ve all experienced stress to some degree.

Whether it’s during the early years while working overtime to make ends meet or in an economic downturn when clients may start to peel away and your revenue starts to slide, entrepreneurs are familiar with stress.

Stress, however, is more than just a sensation, it triggers a physiological response. While stress can sometimes be a motivating force, pushing you to act or perform better, it can also be a negative force if it is ongoing and left unmanaged.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), repeated stress triggers can push your body’s “fight or flight” response to get stuck in the on position creating overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones that per the APA, can disrupt almost all of your body’s processes.

As a result, your health can suffer serious consequences including feeling fatigued, irritability, inability to concentrate, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, sleep issues, heart disease, heart attacks, and the list goes on.

The implication of these consequences is far-reaching, affecting everything from your relationships and your business to your lifespan and quality of life.

Create stress management practices into effect today. The most powerful practice to manage and relieve stress, get centered, and create room and clarity in your mind is meditation.

I know you are sick of hearing that you have to meditate, but you have to meditate.

Meditation unlocks new possibilities, potential, intuition, and awareness unlike anything else. It grants access to thoughts, creativity, and mind spaces that without it, are much harder or even impossible to reach.

Harvard Medical School says meditation can reduce stress, pain, depression, and more.

Start a meditation practice today. Here’s how to start now even if you’ve tried meditation before but haven’t been able to stick to it for any number of reasons.

  • Take it slow. Start with micro-sessions, and then gradually increase the length. Begin by setting your alarm for three minutes, about the average length of broadcast TV commercial breaks. Would you rather watch commercials or change your life?

  • Take it easy. At first, thoughts will make their way into your conscious mind. Just notice them and gently picture them dissipating them with your breath. It’s natural to have thoughts floating in and out of your mind at first. Don’t get frustrated, just disperse them with your breath.

  • Take a walk. Try walking meditation. Yes, that’s right, walking meditation. Walking meditation is an ideal way to get started in a meditation practice if you’ve struggled to keep your thoughts at bay or just couldn’t sit still long enough.

Unlike mindfulness and other forms of meditation, in walking meditation you keep your eyes open and your focus isn’t on your breath. Instead, your focus is on your body, the sensations you feel in your feet and your body, the movement and experience walking, as well as your surroundings.

You can start with short meditative walks in a park, by the ocean, or even just getting around during the day. If walking outside, hear the birds chirping, the breeze blowing and gently sweeping by your skin, the scent of the air, the leaves rustling in the trees, the bright blue skies, and the way your foot lands on the dirt, sand, or pavement beneath your feet.

Regardless of which method you choose, start today. Take it slow and easy.

5. Play | Go Have Some Fun Right Now

Play often takes a back seat when you are working to grow your business.

However, play can often be the key to inspiring creativity, prompting a paradigm shift, or generating new ideas as stress is released.

This is why you see so many of the big companies, such as Google and Facebook, among many others, incorporate play into their workday by providing ping-pong and pool tables, generous vacation policies, dog-friendly environments, yoga classes, meditation spaces, slides, laser tag rooms, and more.

If you have a small company or remote workers, some ideas to create a more play-friendly environment are to incorporate a 4-day workweek, encourage participation in community activities such as walkathons or cleanups, have a field day, go play miniature golf or hit the links, have a barbecue at a local park or beach, etc.

On a personal level, remember that you are your company’s most valuable asset.

Make it a practice to prioritize your own fun. And yes, I did use the word fun. Go out and simply play. Go camping or kayaking. Go to a concert, musical, or show. Take an art class. Go skydiving, ziplining, or paddleboarding. Play golf, take a cooking or hip hop dance class, go on a vacation, or take the kids on a week-long RV trip to a bucket list national park.

It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you have fun. In fact, make having fun a priority. You can schedule one day a month that is a guilt-free fun day, or you can take a guilt-free long weekend once a quarter.

Include exercise, better sleep, higher nutrition, meditation, and fun into your schedule and you will be happier, healthier, and more engaged improving your well-being and the health of your business.


Disclosure: The Wellpreneur Life is a proud Amazon Associate. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.


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