The nature of my job means I have the great pleasure of being in regular contact with a lot of successful people.
Over the past 10 years I have trained accountants, lawyers, business owners, bankers, real estate agents, recruiters, architects, property developers, actors, writers, doctors, dentists and almost every occupation in between.
I would like to think many of these clients learnt something from their time working with me (hopefully!). However, the truth is that I probably learned more from them! Spending time with successful people is one of the best ways to improve your standing in life. After all, as the saying goes "you are the average of the 5 people you spend most time with".
So here is a compilation of some of the most sage advice my clients have found has worked for them: -
Tip 1. Set an alarm 30 mins before your intended bed-time
That's right, alarms aren't just for getting up. Your pre-bed routine is important if you value sleep (which you should by the way). A client recently told me they had dramatically improved their sleep quality and quantity by ensuring they got to bed earlier every night. This was achieved by setting an alarm 30 mins before their intended bed-time so they could begin to get ready and be in bed at the intended time. So, if you have irregular bed times and disrupted sleep, try out this tip and see how you get on.
Tip 2: When travelling, stave off jet-lag by exercising as soon as you possibly can
This piece of advice comes courtesy of Eric, whose amazing progress is outlined here :
"I’ve found one of the best ways to avoid jet lag is to immediately exercise when you get to the hotel. If you can do a full workout, great. If its 10 minutes on an elliptical, great- Just get the heart rate up. I’m sure there’s science behind this somewhere, but regardless, it materially lessens the effect of jet lag for me. You won’t want to do it- Planes really take it out of you- but just get in, and do something. You will thank yourself later."
Tip 3. Remove Barriers and Streamline the Process
The following tips come courtesy of Daniel, who has changed almost beyond recognition.
"Streamlining the process was my next step. I like things that function, I like systems and processes that make day to day life work better. That’s how my brain works so I needed to apply this approach to my new lifestyle. Here’s what I did:
- Bought some shorts that I could cycle to work in, go to the gym in and swim in. (2 pairs, yesterday’s shorts are hanging at work drying so I can wear them tomorrow)
- Keep a small travel towel, shower gel, shampoo, toothbrush etc in my bag at all times.
- Got a water bottle that I have in front of me at work at all times. Every time I notice it I drink some.
- Always have a couple of pre-portioned protein powders in zip-lock bags in my backpack. Much better and cheaper than a service station protein bar (or sausage roll).
None of these are groundbreaking discoveries or techniques, just little things that work for me that I do to make it easier to go to the gym and harder to make excuses not to."
Tip 4: Avoid Paralysis by Analysis & Just Get Started
More great advice from Daniel who has recognised that we could spend hours upon hours researching THE BEST WAY to diet and exercise, whilst in reality most of us need to stick to the basics and be consistent. The most important word in that last sentence being 'start'.
"When I stopped reading and researching about the best way to lose weight and actually just started doing the things I already knew, that’s when I saw the biggest changes. There’s so much information out there but everyone knows the basics to get started on a healthier path and make the right choices."
Tip 5: Company Dinners
Eric travels 1/3 of the year for work. So eating out for dinner is a regular occurrence. It is for many clients in the corporate world. Here is Eric's advice: -
"Company dinners are the worst. Everyone wants to order some sort of tasting menu or a bunch of plates to share, There are social pressures to drink, etc. My personal compulsions mix toxically with company dinners. When it comes to these types of dinners, I have two pieces of advice:
- Drinking is social lubrication, but you don’t need to drink 5 or 6: Drink 2 drinks max , anything more than that is a waste, and likely decreases the positive impact of drinking with others. Side benefit: you don’t wake up with regret...or a hangover.
- Eat less than your share: I have a caveman brain when it comes to shared dining. I eat faster than everyone else (Why does everyone else eat so slow?), and I eat way more than I need (I never know when the next time my business pack will kill the next wooly mammoth.) Inevitably, I eat my share, while others are generally more demure/slow eaters. Then I eat their share. You just have to have faith that you will be full eventually, so take your time and drink lots of water in between bites.
MORE ABOUT EATING -
- I get a budget for personal meals and I love nothing more than spending that budget in its entirety- but there’s really no need. Whatever the benefit is from spending company money (Sticking it to the Man, “Hey, its free food,” etc.) its not as good as the benefit of coming back from a business trip in shape.
- Room Service- Don’t feel limited by the fatty convenience of the room service options. Ask for what you want and they’ll make it for you. I’m at the Sofitel in Melbourne so much that they are actually know my usual (Cooked chicken breast with 3 sides of vegetables.)
Tip 6: Out of Sight, out of Stomach!
A client recently revealed that they would put their box of granola in their car to prevent them from over-eating it. The point? DO NOT BUY FOODS THAT YOU CANNOT STOP EATING! Everyone has those foods that 'once you pop, you cannot stop'. These foods are different for everyone. Some people are choco-holics. Some people like salty snacks like chips. For others it's nuts. The point is, do not keep these foods in places that are easy to reach because at some point you will eat them. Not only that, but you also save yourself all the mental energy of having to constantly tell yourself not to eat those foods when they are sitting there staring at you.
Tip 7: Remind Yourself That You Are Not a Baby!
This tip is one of the most extreme I have encountered, but hey, who am I to judge?!
I have a client who bought a dummy to put in their mouth anytime they felt the urge to eat something sweet. The urges don't come from hunger, but rather boredom or stress at work. The dummy serves two purposes: -
1) That they do not need to eat, especially not 'kids food' such as sweets
2) A physical barrier to eating - you cannot put food in your mouth if you have a dummy there.
This tip definitely isn't for everyone, but even just thinking about this concept could be useful.
So there you have it, 7 real world tips from clients of mine who have been right where you are now. Achieving the body you so strongly desire is not out of the realm of possibility. In fact, it probably isn't half as hard as you're making it out to be. However, you have to engineer your life to suit your new lifestyle. Daniel achieved this transformation by removing barriers and streamlining his whole life.
And most importantly you have to make a start. Just start.