I’m a writer, published author, and relationship marketer. Over the past decade or so I’ve been on a quest to share my skills and strategies with people all over the world who follow me. Becoming an expert with time management and productivity was only the tip of the iceberg; moving on to teach about action habits and health comes from my personal experiences. Healthy productivity and personal growth go hand in hand, and I’ll share what continues to work for me with you here.
First, I’ll define what I mean in these areas. Healthy productivity refers to the holistic (emphasis on whole) approach I take with my life and my business. As an entrepreneur, there is no need to clock out of one area of my life and drive a distance to start another project. Instead, my life flows seamlessly between my writing, marketing, spending time with family, friends, and community projects and back again to something related to the work I love, such as mentoring entrepreneurs and authors.
Starting a meditation practice proved to me that personal growth was possible throughout each day, whether I was engaged in an activity I had labeled as work, relaxation, or play. I meditate two or three times each day, for anywhere from five to twenty minutes. Afterwards I feel energized and refreshed and I’m more productive than ever before. I think of this as being “healthy productivity” and personal growth is a benefit that comes along naturally.
Your Eating Habits Can Result in Healthy Productivity
We’ve all heard the term you are what you eat, but did you know what you eat directly affects your productivity too? It’’s possible to choose a diet and specific foods that will boost your productivity all day long.
Blood Sugar Affects Productivity
Spikes and drops in blood sugar can impact energy and productivity. Keeping blood sugar stable throughout the day has a tremendous impact on whether or not you check off everything on your to do list. Eating the wrong foods at the wrong time of day can affect the glucose in your blood stream and leave you feeling energetic for brief periods of time followed by bouts of feeling incredibly tired and unproductive.
Salt, Fat, and Sugar Rob Productivity
Eating foods high in salt, fat, and sugar aren’t only bad for your health, they are bad for your productivity. It’s common for people to begin their day with caffeine and sugar. This can give you a rush of energy that feels amazing for a short amount of time but wanes. At lunch, people often eat too much and make poor choices that affect them shortly afterward resulting in lethargy and wanting to nap. Foods that keep blood sugar steady can help avoid the highs and lows that people assume are a normal part of the day. Eating smaller meals throughout the day can make a positive impact on how much sustainable energy you have.
Steps Towards More Healthy Productivity…
- Choose foods like oatmeal with berries, nuts, flax, and chia seeds for breakfast. These foods contribute to energy and keep you feeling full longer. This can help you avoid over eating at lunchtime.
- Watch out for nitrates at lunch. Many people love a good deli sandwich at lunchtime, but nitrates found in commonly available lunch meats can contribute to feeling tired and listless. Additionally, large quantities of bread like rolls can be high in sodium and many condiments are high in fat. Opt for lean protein, leafy greens, and energy-boosting sides like vegetable soup with beans for lunch.
- Don’t forget your water intake. Achieving optimal hydration helps keep the body healthy and full of energy. Being dehydrated lowers performance by 25% or more. Knowing the proper hydration for your climate is important. Humid areas require more hydration throughout the day to keep peak productivity.
- Move your body to keep blood flowing to your brain. I began with a simple stretching routine each morning and then added walking in my neighborhood. Now I enjoy hiking in the foothills of Santa Barbara.
- Develop a morning routine to get to know yourself better. Choose one that eases you into your day in a way that works for you and helps you to achieve your goals.
Much of your productivity can be tied to your diet. If you choose fuel that ramps up your engine, you’ve got a much higher chance of being productive. Choose foods wisely that boost productivity and avoid foods that zap it.
Now let’s move on to a discussion around self-reflection. If your goal is to achieve healthy productivity and personal growth, here are some ideas that make sense…
Personal Growth: Self-Reflection Breaks Bad Habits and Starts Good Ones
Knowing that self-reflection is important is one thing, doing something with it is another. Taking the time to slow down and self-reflect is the first step, but you need to take action on the revelations you have about your thoughts, beliefs, and actions otherwise, what’s the point of self-reflection, right? Remember that the Universe is on your side when it comes to making positive changes in your life.
Taking the time to review our past and wonder why we do the things we do uncovers…
- Negative mindset issues
- Untrue thoughts
- Dysfunctional behaviors
- Intrusive influences
Many of these turn into habits that inhibit us in our health, relationships and overall quality of life. When we become aware of them through introspection, we are left with the question now what? What do we do with these bad habits we’ve created? Change or eliminate them!
Seeking Healthy Productivity and Personal Growth through Reflection and Action Habits
Taking a look at your past is a great way to get a handle on your future. If you’ve had a negative experience, it’s good to understand why and see what you can do differently to get a better outcome. We’ve learned how self-reflection helps us grow and mature, but there are other health benefits to introspection worth considering too.
Healthy Reflection Promotes Better Decisions and Reduces Regret
Everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone learns from them. Self-reflection helps us review and analyze what we’ve been through so we can make better choices and avoid the same mistakes in the future. Without self-reflection, we react to things without thinking about the consequences which can lead to problems and regrets.
Going over situations, conversations, and our related thoughts and behaviors can help us break them down and look at what we could have done differently or better. This helps us develop wisdom from what we’ve experienced and lessen the likelihood we’ll keep repeating the same mistakes.
Healthy Reflection Helps Us Understand the Bigger Picture
It’s normal to think about ourselves. To focus on our small slice of life, but there is often a much bigger picture. Self-reflection can help us see beyond ourselves and better understand the enormity of a situation. Sometimes we are caught up in situations that are bigger than us, but don’t realize the significance in the moment. Going back afterwards and reflecting can help us take more into consideration than we could at the moment.
Sometimes we must do things we don’t want to for the greater good. Sometimes we must sacrifice and change for reasons bigger than ourselves. Self-reflection makes this a bit easier. Sometimes when we are hurt, we can’t see past our personal pain. Reflection allows us to consider other people or other perspectives than we might have without it.
Healthy Reflection Makes Us More Self-Aware
Research shows we have nearly 50,000 thoughts per day. Many of these thoughts are negative and are on repeat in our mind day in and day out. We may not realize the negative influences shaping our thoughts and behaviors because the running dialogue in our minds is natural to us. Without conscious consideration we may adopt a philosophy or behavior that isn’t healthy. From negative self-talk to dysfunctional behaviors, we may not realize how toxic we are.
Self-reflection helps us become more self-aware and better understand the great things about us as well as the things we may want to change. Taking time to wonder why we believe the things we do and act out the way we do can help us modify our thoughts and behaviors to healthier ones.
This is a healthy way to better understand ourselves and avoid making the same mistakes over and over. Being self-aware and understanding why we think and behave the way we do helps us make better decisions, see a bigger picture, and regulate ourselves in better ways.
Self-reflection helps us identify the why behind what we think and do. Once we know what is motivating us, it’s time to start making changes. Changes don’t happen overnight, but thanks to introspection, we can stop doing some things that don’t serve us and start doing others that do. Here are some examples-
Habits worth eliminating…
- Assuming the worst in others
- Being defensive for no reason
- Choosing unhealthy foods
- Leading a sedentary lifestyle
Habits worth pursuing…
- Seeking to understand
- Thinking before speaking
- Eating whole foods
- Adding movement to your everyday life
Ever hear the term you can’t unring a bell? That’s the beauty of introspection, once you know something’s a bad habit, you can’t go back. Once a truth is uncovered you have the opportunity to stop doing bad habits and start finding good ones to replace them.
Steps for Breaking Bad Habits and Starting Good Ones
Change isn’t always easy, even when we know it’s good for us. Try these tips to help drop bad habits and introduce some good ones…
- Choose one bad habit to drop and one good habit to start and focus on them for 21 days. Even if you have a bunch of bad habits to stop, choosing one and perfecting it is easier than trying to do everything at once.
- Keep a journal of your progress. Sometimes it’s hard to see how far you’ve come when you are making changes. Record your progress and review it each day to celebrate your improvement.
- Set a SMART goal. When making changes, using the SMART method helps. Make sure the habit you set is Specific, Measurable, Relevant, and has a Timeline. This will help you focus and determine if the goals/habits you set are on or off track over time.
Self-reflection is a great tool for identifying bad habits and giving you a starting off point for breaking them. Dropping bad habits and replacing them with high quality habits will make a big difference in your health, relationships, and quality of life.
I’m Connie Ragen Green, enjoying the benefits of healthy productivity and personal growth each and every day, and sharing my strategies and results with everyone who’s interested. Come aboard for my complimentary Action Habits Challenge and we may continue our conversation in a way that will serve both you and I in untold ways.