Make 2019 count – some tips for optimising performance
Go beyond a ‘dry Jan’ and that feel good factor of signing up for a new year gym membership.
Here are a few ideas to plug into a fuller program for tackling the year ahead!
List it out
Write up your business and personal goals for the year.
Share your work objectives with your manager or business partner, be accountable, but realistic and strap in some timelines.
Have a challenge or two, and book these up, whether its entering your first 10k, or tackling an adventure race, climbing a mountain, through to learning a foreign language or studying for an MA.
The key is to commit, and then work back with preparation, learning and training.
Fuel the brain! Eating the right foods can boost brain positive brain function, and increase energy. Get your neural circuits set up for success by eating fish high in omega fatty acids, cut back on the sugar, and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables – organic if possible. Mixed reports on vitamins, but data tends to suggest they don’t hurt . Try B-vitamins, C, E, omegas, and other antioxidants.
Up your game
Try some fun online maths games, crossword puzzles, play a game of chess, this can engage your prefrontal cortex and help you build memory, self-awareness, incentive and reward processing.
Off the couch
Regular exercise (heart rate elevated for at least 20 mins per day) increases blood flow and oxygen and nutrients to the brain. This needn’t be an all guns blazing HIT workout, a fast walk, dance or swim is adequate. An easy cheat on this is walking to work (or part way), using your feet instead of public transport ,or simple setting the alarm early and getting your training in before the inbox starts bulging!
Have some kip
A minimum of 6 hours of total shutdown, ideally 7 per night . If you’re not sleeping enough, you’re compromising your ability to assimilate new information, and lack the energy to exercise.
The day you stop learning is the day you stagnate. Start with things that interest you most, then read up as much as you can. Seek out online or in-person lectures, or resources on television or the internet. And read a good book! Even one you don’t expect to be as interested in. You’ll never know where it might take you!
Flick off the switch
Grab time in the evening and at weekends to totally detach, indulge yourself in your favourite Netflix show, read a trashy magazine or jump onto your favourite website.
Memorise something, your favourite song or a poem, learn a new word a day. Expanding your brain by memorizing something can really help get your brain back in shape. It will also help you to build your vocabulary.
Meditation can reduce stress related conditions such as anxiety and depression. When we meditate, the brain and nervous system undergo radical changes that cause the reduction and prevention of these conditions.
At the end of the day list out your goals and objectives for the following day, try and organise and plan your time and segment your ‘to do list’ – with urgent and non-urgent (but important tasks).
Reduce the booze
The binge sessions are never great, especially the next day, they derail the above and alcohol is a depressant. When you do overindulge, over compensate – sweat it out and don’t let it impact on your goals for the day. Try to cut back, quality of quantity, not only is it good for your general health, improving your appearance and how you feel overall, drinking less will have a positive impact on other aspects of your life including your relationships and work
Treat yourself, have that cheat day, take your holiday, buy that jacket, bag or pair of trainers you’ve worked hard for!
Re-evaluate every quarter or at the half year mark, you can’t legislate shifting sands with personal and unknown business circumstances, but don’t get complacent, its not a bad thing to move the goal posts forward, and push on - if you are crushing your goals too easily!