How can we expect to be of service to those we care about if we aren’t taking care of ourselves first? Here’s how to have a bigger impact this year.
There’s something to be said for grit. We celebrate it as men. If we’re tired, we keep grinding. If we get knocked down, we get back up and go again. And for a lot of us, it’s a big part of why we’ve succeeded.
But, grit has a cost. We’ve subscribed to a distorted hierarchy that puts our work, workouts, and family first. While these things are very important, imagine the impact you could have this year on your relationships, health, and profession if you took better care of yourself first.
Wait, isn’t working out a good thing?
Of course, it is. However, we’re going to take a look at how to leverage your time every day to make sure you’re focusing on the type of self-care that is most pressing for you. Some days, that’s not going to be a workout.
In fact, let’s separate working out from overall health because it’s just one of many boxes you’ll need to check to be your best.
There are 3 categories of self-care we’d like you to consider:
These are listed in order of importance. Most of us would list picking up heavy things first, but you’re probably not going to crush your workout on four hours of sleep. And, if you’re trying to lose fat and not putting nutrition before training, then you’re going to fail.
Using these three categories, I want to show you a decision-making framework based on a question we learned from writer Nate Green:
"If I only have an hour for myself today, how can I best use that time?"
The power in this question is that we’re creating the time for you to put yourself first. We’re all busy but most of us can find an hour each day, right? If not, you might need to examine your personal hierarchy even more.
Think of this hour as an investment. Instead of using that hour each day to just say, sleep in, we want to use it to build systems that promote our three areas of self-care. This might look like prepping your meals, building a sleep routine, or knocking out a mobility workout.
Where you place this hour each day isn’t important. Some of the busiest and most successful guys I know create this time by getting up earlier, but you’ll know what time will work consistently best for you.
Each day, you’ll take a look at that hour block on your calendar and work down the categories to determine what feels best for you that day.
Note: These aren’t hard and fast rules, just suggestions. There will be days you need to grind through a workout while you’re tired. But if you’re standing in a hole, sometimes the best strategy is to stop digging.