By The Editors of The Sweat Life
We all know (or know of!) these people, the successful ones in our lives. We see them at the head of the companies we know and respect, and we wonder what made them who they are, what special traits allowed them to create something new or different from the rest of us. Maybe they think differently? Maybe they are more brave or more confident? In many cases, these leaders of industry are just like us, we all have it in us, they just did something about it! Here, we ask the heads of the health and wellness industry to share — what are the 3 things they do every day that make them successful?
1) No matter what, I do not eat processed foods of any kind.
2) I do some form of exercise 6 days of the week. Some days lighter than others, but I'm very physical and I need a lot of exercise.
3) To keep my mind relaxed and free from stress, which doesn't always work, I attempt to do something important for Juice Press every day. Whether it's meeting with contractors or sitting with the accounting department, talking to staff about the company, or interacting with customers.
These three things are for me. I have an amazing fiancé and two kiddies and dog and a handful of friends, so of course there's another list latent within those relationships!
1) Make crazy lists. In the middle of the night and all day. I use post-it notes and It gives me great satisfaction to toss the note when it's done. (I can now throw away my note that says - Write 3 things!)
2) Short workout to start the day. Even 10-15 min makes me more focused.
3) Shut down! When I leave work, which is usually about 8 pm, I act as if I don't have a job. I cook, play, and hang out with my kids and talk, talk, talk with my hubby until late. Then shoot out like cannon early next morning!
I have lots of other important things too....
Make a joke, practical or other, everyday
Step away from a problem before digging in. Even sleep on it if you can!
1) Fill your life with work that aligns with your passion, your strengths, and your values. Do what you love and love what you do every day.
2) Surround yourself with talented, inspiring, good people to create a strong team. Work collaboratively to bring a shared vision to life. Challenge each other and learn from each other along the way.
3) Take care of your whole self – mind, body and heart – so you can handle the demands that come your way. For me, that means practicing yoga, hiking, running, and skiing out in nature with my family, friends, colleagues or by myself, to give me time to think, reflect, and be creative.
1) Coffee + Coconut Oil + Blender = YES.
I heat up cold brew and blend with coconut oil to start the day. Basically a modified version of bulletproof coffee, this is an every day must-do. It’s my only coffee of the day but I just love it — it keeps me fueled and energized for hours, whether for working out, for meetings, or anything else the morning brings. And no crash.
2) Blended Green Fuel.
I drink our green blends every day — if I’m on the run I will grab a few of our Lulitonix bottles and drink throughout the day. If I’m home I will often doctor our bottles with some extra super-food spikes, but either way, I basically live on these every day until dinner. When I’m burning the candle at both ends, and dealing with all the craziness of running a company, there is NOTHING so pivotal to my ability to keep it together as what I take into my body.
3) Breathing and Visualizations.
A pretty recent incorporation to my daily habits, I do a few key visualization exercises and breathing exercises throughout the day. I’m pretty impatient by nature (working on it!), and these visualizations — mostly incorporating light and energy with a revolving crop of personal visual additions — are maybe 2 minutes long, and I can do them anywhere, almost at any time. The ritual helps keeps me calm, balanced, focused, diminishes the swirl of endless mind chatter, and helps me to widen the lens — reminding me that there is so much more in this life and world than the particulars or anxieties of one tiny moment.
Imagine a pillar of light coming from all the way up in the sky
Breathe in to the count of four, imagining the light coming into your body through the crown.
Hold breath for the count of four, imagining the light suffusing every part of your body
Breathe out to the count of four, imagining the light coming down the length of your body, down into the ground, and spreading branches of light far and wide, deep in the ground.
Hold breath for the count of four while feeling that light from all the way up, through your body, to the branches of light.
Repeat as desired or needed.
1) Play every day. Our outlook on life changes when we do something that’s genuinely fun. Even a second of true happiness can transform the rest of your day. For me, it might be taking a bari class with some of my favorite tribers, playing guitar, reading a book for fun, or playing with my first born (my dog, Yoshi). No matter how busy the day, I’m committed to building in play time.
2) Work with people I love. Work is work — it doesn’t matter if you’re doing what you love, it’s stressful and taxing. But when you work with people you love, every day is fun and exciting.
3) Be grateful. It’s easy to get lost in daily problems and obstacles. But almost every opportunity has something for us to appreciate and learn from.
1) Take care of emails during my commute via the train (as I am doing right now!)
2) Fuel! 4 shots of espresso (black) & eat well. I make sure I fuel myself up before my day starts (usually 2 eggs or a protein cookie)
3) Make time for myself. Whether it's just alone time or getting in a workout. Block off time in your calendar. It's essential.
A Lioness' Daily Secrets To Success, in three words:
SWEAT. DOG. FAIL.
1) Sweat. Period. This is the most obvious for me – because – well, I own Lyons Den Power Yoga, a heated yoga studio in Tribeca. And, 100% - it really works. SWEATING – getting the heart rate up, bringing forth so much passion and intention that water literally flows out of the body . . . there is no high like it. Sweating like this is an endorphin-rush for real, a sign of health & vitality, a rinse, a release and generally gives me the feeling of being alive. SWEAT. Trust me. It’s addictive in the best way possible, and it is everything. AND BONUS! …the shower that follows is pure bliss.
2) Life Is Short, Play With Your Dog. Every day I stop everything, at least once, to play with my rescue dog, Josie. It’s a game-changer. It’s a touchstone to GETTING PRESENT for real, getting out of my head, being there for her and receiving unconditional love. If you don’t have a pet of your own to connect with – I suggest volunteering at a shelter or with a rescue group - to walk a dog for an hour at least weekly. They (the animals) are far more wise than us humans. They know how to forgive. They know how to be present. And scientific studies show that having animals in your life reduces stress levels and may actually help you live longer! MEOW! WOOF! ROAR!
3) Fail Daily. I know this is weird, but I actually get excited about failure these days, which is a definite shift from years past where anything short of perfection simply rocked my world. WHY? Because if I am failing – I am up to a bigger game in my life – which means I can grow and succeed more. BOOM. DROP MIC. No, really. This is not to say I am happy about failing. Initially, I am definitely not happy. My ego protests and tries to make excuses and justifications or shuts down completely when failure is clearly what has happened – but I am steadfast in my bigger YES, and failure comes with the territory. I failed at least eight specific times today that I can think of. All resulted in growth. The studio and community of Lyons Den Power Yoga would not exist today if I was not totally open to and ready to make decisions not knowing the outcome, or if I was not willing to fail countless times, grow like a maniac, and keep going. Failure is the way to success.
1) Workout. My daily Barry's workout is a significant part of what drives me, what keeps me connected to the community, and ultimately what helps direct the future of the company. I'm not only inspired by our talented instructors and staff, but also by the dedication of the clients.
2) Conversations. As with every great sport, my success and business life has always been about the team effort. The conversations with my colleagues are always a motivating factor, whether discussing strategy in our corporate headquarters, or networking with fellow entrepreneurs. Participating in a dialogue about the industry, gaining new perspectives, and understanding how things are always evolving and changing are imperative keys to survival.
3) Love. Because who would I be without the love and support of my friends and family? No matter how busy or stressed, I make an effort to connect with my core people and remember who I am and what makes me, me.
1) Eat Breakfast. I often start my day before the sun comes up, teaching classes at 6am. It’s important that I fuel my body right away with both protein and good carbs to bring my A-game for my early birds, and then stay energized through the rest of my day. My go to is 1 or 2 hard-boiled eggs, and a banana, almond, ginger & spinach smoothie… and coffee of course.
2) Hydrate. A career in fitness is not only taxing on the body, but the voice. I talk for a living, so if my voice isn’t working, I am not working. I have Essentia Alkaline water with me at all times and drink constantly throughout the day. Staying hydrated not only helps keep me in shape vocally, but also sharp mentally, and feeling my best physically.
3) Sweat. This is a little untrue, because I do give myself a rest day, but 6 days a week I am sweating in one way or another. It helps that taking classes is part of my job as the Director of Pilates at FLEX studios, but exercising for me is crucial to my success. It’s my time to focus on me, and let go of work or anything else that’s going on in my life. Sweating is my therapy.
1) Rise early! I am seriously lost without my morning quiet time. My morning time is my time to myself and my time to set the tone for the day. I knock a few things off my to-do list, take a few quiet moments, and sometimes squeeze in my workout. And, I always have my coffee or tea in quiet...
2) Simplify my to-do list. We all have lists that go on and on and on... Every day I take a look at what is on my list and then write on a sticky note the three or four things that MUST get done that day. Then those things are addressed first before anything else. It is amazing how much more you get through once you do the most important things first - even if they are most difficult!
3) Drink green tea. There are the health benefits of course like all those antioxidants... but it is the mental benefits that have me drinking it daily. I use an afternoon green tea to re-group. It keeps me on track health wise and also it makes me take a moment to slow down (a hard task to do!).
Exercise (I try for daily!), breakfast, time with kids of course... Many things I do daily but I had to choose three!
1) 10 minute meditation. In the last couple months, I have started taking ten minutes in the morning to meditate. (I use Insight Timer.) It helps so much to start my day clear headed before I jump into emails or get on my phone.
2) Do something active. I take a class somewhere, or go to the gym, or walk/hike (when it's nice out of course). Even if I’m tired, I always feel better after - it also helps to keep me aware of my body and what it needs.
3) Make a to do list — handwritten. My husband thinks I’m crazy since there is so much technology out there, but I have a daily to-do list I make every evening before I end my day to ensure I have all my thoughts organized for the morning.
1) Written To-Do List. I keep a written daily planner (old school style) and I list out all of my to-do's. I get great pleasure out of crossing things off the list as I complete them.
2) Walk to Work. The 10 minute walk to work is important to me, as that's when I shift gears from my home life (mom, friend, sister, house manager) to my work life, and get focused on the tasks that have to get done that day.
3) Brainstorming Sessions. Almost every day I have a meeting with someone in which I can brainstorm about new ideas. I love thinking up new business ideas, helping someone think through their business challenges, or coming at my own business challenges from a different angle. This helps me stay fresh, creative, and motivated every day.
1) I always prioritize sleep. It’s tough for us all to drop what we are doing and rest. I cannot stress the importance of a good night’s rest, recharging is key to a successful day.
2) Prioritize and organize! I make a new to-do list every morning with priorities for the day. It’s the best way to make sure I’m on track for the day and keeps me from jumping around between tasks.
3) I take a close look at my calendar and make sure I carve out time to sit down and do thoughtful work. As much as I love an iPhone email, it's important to have time (not on-the-go) to do work and clean out the inbox.
1) Be a nice person. I don't mean in the "I'll be nice to you to see what can you do for me" sense. I believe that being a nice, kind, and decent person is something we should do all the time regardless of the outcome. Even when I am stressed, frustrated, or feeling really impatient, I take the time to take a breath, smile, and engage with the people around me.
2) Go out and have fun. I work really hard and don't generally take long vacations or many days off. However, I do carve out time to go out, have fun, and drink some wine with my girlfriends or boyfriend. I am not a good boss or business owner if I am wound too tightly, and fun is the salve to that!
3) Go for runs alone. Of course, as the owner of a fitness studio and someone who tries to be healthy and balanced, working out is important in my life. But running is completely my time: I spend so much time with other people, responding to them, working with them and doing things for them, that it's really important for me to recharge on my own terms...and at my very own pace.