This time of year, as New Year's appears on the horizon before Christmas is even here, it's easy to get lost in the flurry. Everyone is so consumed with planning travel logistics for the big day and hunting down Secret Santa presents that living in the actual present can be forgotten.
It's too bad, because the end of year is the perfect time to live in the moment and reflect on the path that led you to it. This is true not just on a personal level but on a professional one as well. As tempting as it may be to charge ahead with plans and strategies for the New Year - especially in the fitness and wellness industries, when those New Year's resolutions begin in earnest in mere weeks - the holidays are an ideal time to sit back and take stock as a business (the newer you are, the more essential this is). Where have you gone in 2012, and where are you now? Where did you want to be 1 year ago?
I recently started a personal fitness challenge with a friend and colleague of mine. To make it at least sound official, we christened it the 100 Day Challenge. The number may be daunting, but the premise is simple: do something at least 1 hour a day for 6 days a week that gets you sweating. Pretty much everything counts as exercise as long as you are keeping your heart rate up.
Some days we do not have the time to go to the gym so we literally put our gear on and do a workout in the office. It's amazing what you can get up to with a bit of imagination. (I have to say the best cardio and toning for legs I have ever done is running up and down the stairs - absolutely fabulous.)
Fitness tips aside, the mentality we adopt to keep ourselves motivated is remarkably similar to the mentality any business owner should adopt during the Twilight Zone that can be the December holiday craze. Someone on a workout regimen often has theirs eyes on a target of some mystery future date but doesn't stop enough to look at where they are in the here and now. Reflection can be immensely beneficial for reaching that ultimate goal.
On that note, here are my personal fitness mantras for the modern entrepreneur:
1. Have fun - Collaboration and perspective are key. Don't isolate yourself or your thought process.
2. Keep things simple - Don't get distracted and second-guess yourself by overcomplicating things. When in doubt remember the reason you began in the first place.
3. Embrace the moment - If it's tough, appreciate that you'll learn some concrete lessons at the end of it. If it's sweet, relish it.
4. Remember it's a marathon, not a race - Don't expect immediate results or burn yourself out too quickly. The most effective and lasting fitness transformations are achieved slowly.
5. Keep the challenge fresh - Don't rest on your laurels when you reach a goal. Push yourself to the next one...and always have a few more set for good measure.
My goals for the 100 Day Challenge are to be fitter, happier and healthier. What are yours this holiday season?
Follow Dessislava Bell on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@dessinka