Having seen how binning the booze has boosted her business, Jane Maudsley reflects on how healthier habits can help you achieve your goals
It was a very dismal Saturday morning and I was reading the news feed on my mobile phone as I do every morning. One article stood out to me from BBC News entitled Alcohol-free: Stealth drinking helping people to give up alcohol. If you haven’t read it I highly recommend it because it led to a real shift for me this month.
The article urged me to ask myself many questions about ensuring I am consistently in peak performance mode. Don't get me wrong: I work incredibly hard for the majority of the time but equally a glass of chilled Sauvignon was more common than not in the week to ‘take the edge off’ or help me to relax after my weekday 5am starts. The article promoted my thoughts around my alcohol crutch. As a result, I signed up to the phenomena sweeping the world called One Year No Beer and am currently on day 12 as I write this month’s article.
This has had a transformative effect. For example, last weekend I was swimming, running and walking when normally I’d be nursing a little hangover and catching up on disturbed sleep from a Friday night relaxing after work and a bottle of Prosecco or two. This has had a knock-on effect on my productivity in the office and meant my mind has been crystal clear every day.
And I doubt I'm the only one who would benefit. Most of the case studies and the information that I have subsequently learnt is so relevant to those in business – especially those individuals like myself that enjoy a tipple more frequently than not and find it relieves stress at the end of a long day.
Running a successful business is like being an athlete: ensuring that you have the right conditions and remain at the top of your game requires both a commitment in terms of time but also the right mindset. None of this is possible if your health is compromised. To remain healthy we need sleep, exercise and to be fuelling our bodies in the right way. It is all about quality and not quantity: while I get up early for work, if I have had a glass of vino the night before my sleep is compromised. You can tell. A lack of good quality sleep leads to a lack of mental clarity and let’s face it we need to be at our best at work. Exercise invariably comes a close second to a glass of wine and of course too much wine at the weekends leads to a lack of will power and snacking on rubbish.
“But I love the taste of wine and I love the fact that it helps me relax at the end of a stressful day,” I hear you shout. I shouted this too but the article, signing up for One Year No Beer and above all focusing on the positives has made these early few days a doddle. Focusing on my quality of sleep has enabled alcohol-free days to roll and as a direct consequence I have done more exercise; the clarity of my thinking and my mind is having an even greater effect at work than ever before. It’s hard, very hard, but I am reaping the rewards at work as every day I am 100% focused, well-rested and able to cope with the rollercoaster that is business with much more ease.
In addition, I have looked at setting myself some physical challenges. I ran the London marathon years ago and have done several assault courses but I went back to my vision board and wanted to see what else I had wished to achieve in my lifetime. I am committed now to doing a triathlon in May 2018, the Three Peaks Challenge and I am researching climbing Kilimanjaro.
As business people, we need to set ourselves goals and achieving physical ones has an impact on our health and therefore our ability to achieve our long-term business goals. There are so many excuses that we can make. Many of us use alcohol as a crutch during our journeys to success but the negatives of its consumption and the lack of peak health and fitness will be costing us time, meaning our goals will take longer to reach. So hopefully I have inspired you to look at how to be at peak performance every day of the week and address areas of your life that may be costing both you and your business.