When people talk about performance, the image that often comes to mind is the athlete. Athletes who achieve greatness exemplify the qualities that define the successful pursuit of excellence.
But even though we are not all professional athletes, we can use these traits to improve the quality of our lives, work, and relationships. No matter what your goal might be, it is possible to achieve your peak performance by digging deep and focusing your actions for maximum effectiveness.
How can non-athletes use the peak performance mentality to improve their lives?
Streamline personal finance and business processes to eliminate waste
Improve personal relationships by emphasizing those that empower and reducing the influence of toxic individuals
Become more creative and productive by setting and pursuing realistic, meaningful goals
No matter what goal you seek–improved financial stability, more satisfying personal relationships, greater creativity–there are a few basic steps that can help you reach peak performance.
1. Maintain a Healthy Diet And Exercise Routine. The common denominator in all goals, dreams, and ambition is YOU–your body, mind, and will. You are your most valuable asset, and it’s crucial to keep that asset in peak running condition as you pursue your goals. A few ways you can maintain a body and mind that works for you instead of against you are:
- Have regular checkups. It’s easy to put off that eye exam or routine physical when you are not feeling sick. But in the long run, it’s better to maintain a good understanding of your general health so that you can eliminate small concerns before they develop into serious medical problems.
- Eliminate junk food. Most people enjoy pizza and burgers once in a while, but these empty calories can drain your energy. In fact, researchers at Cambridge University found that consuming fast food can actually increase the risk of depression. A healthy diet will give you the physical and psychological strength to do your very best.
- Get out and move. You don’t have to enter an Iron Man competition to enjoy the benefits of exercise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest several easy ways to past the roadblocks we put up against exercise. These include planning social activities around exercise, finding time for “micro-workouts” of 5 or 10 minutes during your busy day, learning new skills like dancing or swimming, even playing with the kids or grandkids.
2. Utilize Creative Time Management. Goals can seem impossible when they have to compete with a full time job, maintaining a household, and fulfilling family obligations. Not everyone has the opportunity to devote themselves full-time to their dreams, but anybody can find an extra hour here or there if they really look.
- Wake up an hour early each day. Even if you are not a morning person, you will quickly realize how much you can accomplish without the distractions and obligations of everyday life. Whether you use that time to meditate, exercise, write in a journal, read the paper, it doesn’t matter. Just the act of establishing a tranquil, purposeful time specifically for yourself will transform your entire day.
- Schedule “un-plugged” time for yourself. It’s amazing how much time we waste on our precious devices. Smart phones, computers, and televisions gobble up time and intellectual energy you could be using to pursue your dreams. Is your time better spent reading up on a new business venture, or watching yet another hour of “Reality TV”? Time is a valuable commodity–don’t waste it.
- Piggyback your time. Humans are amazing multi-taskers, and many tasks lend themselves to collaboration. For instance, if you are learning a new language, there’s no law that says you can’t listen to your foreign language tapes while working out on the treadmill. Social obligations can often provide networking opportunities if played correctly. The trick is to always be alert for opportunities to pursue your dreams, even if that wasn’t the primary purpose of your current activity.
3. Never Stop Learning. The human brain is a muscle, and it can get flabby from lack of use. According to researchers at London’s National Institute of Adult Continuing Education, adult learning offers benefits to both the individual and to society at large.
- Improving personal skills, beliefs, and competencies
- Increased social interactions
- Better qualifications for employment and financial advancement
- Social cohesion and improved economic growth
- Stronger, more functional families
4. Make Time For Yourself. In your effort to achieve every goal, don’t forget to give yourself time for rest, relaxation, and enjoyment. It’s easy to get so caught up in the to-do list that you forget the little things, like rest, fun, and enjoyment. Don’t just give yourself permission to relax every once in a while–plan for it. The break will allow you to come back to your goals refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready for accomplishment.
5. Be Kind To Yourself. When you start feeling stressed or overwhelmed, take a moment and look around. How many people around you are following their dreams, even part-time? How many people do you know who have just given up on anything more than the status quo? The mere act of pursuing a dream is an act of courage. Every day you continue to follow your passion is a victory for you. Don’t judge yourself against other people–give yourself the respect you deserve for continuing on your path. When you stop being your own harshest critic, you will free yourself to do wondrous things.
Each life is unique, each goal one-of-a-kind. You don’t have to be an athlete to strive for your best. Anyone can achieve peak performance, no matter what path they have chosen.
P.S. As always, comments are welcomed and encouraged… CHEERS!
[socialshare style=”hc” title=”Share This Page” facebook=”yes” twitter=”yes” googleplus=”yes” color=”FAFAFA” bcolor=”DDDDDD”]