Leaders: 10 Tiny Improvements You Can Make for Yourself Right Now

We all want to be better. We all want to be the best versions of ourselves. Problem is that getting to this point can be difficult when you have so little time and energy left in a typical day.

As a leader, you need to be on your A-game all the time; this can be exhausting. You will face challenges daily so it’s important to create new rituals, so they become habits, that will start and get you through the day energetically. Self-care is critical for a leader.

However, these new practices can be met with resistance, failure, or disappointment. These are huge changes that you hope to enact, and very often we don’t have the energy or time to make them happen.

So instead, why not start very small and then let those little changes add up to a better you? The principle of Kaizen will get you started, as you won’t feel resistant to the changes you are going to make. Plus, these new habits will last.

Here are ten tiny improvements you can begin to make starting today:

  1.  Make Your Bed in the Morning

This is a great way to “train” your willpower. According to Navy Seal William McRaven, making the bed opens the day by accomplishing a task, which leads to another and then another; he states that by doing the little things right, it will lead to doing bigger things right; and, even if you have a bad day, you can come home to a made bed which can give you calm and sleep better, knowing that tomorrow will be a better day.

  •  Wake Up Ten Minutes Earlier

What could you do with ten more minutes in your day? Just move your clock ten minutes earlier, you’ll hardly notice the difference. But the benefits you will gain are many, such as less stress and anxiety, better productivity and performance, and eating a good breakfast to start the day.

  •  Take Omega 3 Fatty Acid

This boosts brain function, energy, immunity, promotes good cardiovascular health, fight inflammation, and has been shown to reduce risks of cancer and Alzheimer’s. However, most of us don’t get enough of it. Some foods that are high in Omega 3 include: certain types of fish, nuts (particularly walnuts), flaxseed, eggs, oranges, and berries. Feeling healthy will enable you to lead strong.

  •  Sit Outside

For at least five minutes a day. You’ll sleep better, boost vitamin D, get more fresh air, and even improve your temperature regulation and immune system. You will get more air into your lungs which will help relieve aches and pains and reduce your stress level.  It’s a great way to take a brain-break.

Take your break by going outside – you can read a report or pages of a book while reaping the benefits of the sun.

  •  Meditate for Five Minutes

Meditation has HUGE and profound benefits. It’s also something that can be hard to stick with, especially in the beginning. So, start with just two minutes, then increase to five minutes a day and so on. Focus on your breath and allow your mind to ‘just be.’  This is actually enough to see improvements in mood, focus, and more, and face any challenges in your day.

  •  Drink More Water

The benefits of drinking water: aids in digestion (which is important if you sit during the day), maintain consistent blood pressure, promotes healthy kidney function, aids in weight control so you look slimmer, and feel more energetic. We don’t realize that most of us are permanently dehydrated, which is why you may feel sluggish or have brain fog. You can keep a Yeti or Stanley cup on your desk to help promote more fluid intake and keep performing throughout the day.

  •  Get New Shoes

Or a watch. Or a suit or dress. What we wear affects us both internally as well as how we are perceived by others. This is important for those in a leadership role – you want to be seen as confident and powerful. First impressions are important, both for you and your company.

Dressing well can inspire trust, knowledge, and relatability – all critical factors in a leader. The good news is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to do so, but it may take some skill which can be easily learned. In short – make one small change to improve the way you look (keep track of how you feel in the new changes and any reactions you receive, i.e. compliments, how you’re treated, etc.) to increase your mood and confidence level.

  •  Breathe with Your Mouth Closed

Breathing through your nose has many benefits, such as improved sleep, more oxygen into your system, thus improving circulation, blood pressure, and digestion, and better sleep. It’s the basis of meditation to bring calm to the brain and the body.

 If you aren’t already, make this a commitment. Again, you can do two minutes a day to reap many benefits mentioned, the main one being the calm you will feel during stressful times.

  •  Do 20 Press Ups (Push Ups) Every Day

This will boost energy levels, tone your abs, increase your pushing strength, and can start you on an exercise journey. An easy way to do them is to use the wall or a counter – the more you do, the easier they become. Using kaizen, start with five, then ten until you’re up to twenty or more. It’s a great energizer through the day.

  1.  Write and Visualize

The benefits of writing are numerous so making this a habit in the day will keep your thoughts and ideas on paper, help you make sense of situations and decisions needing to be made, or even doodling (helps with focus and concentration). Visualization is a great energy boost. Both of these can be done with other practices listed and keep you at your prime.

If we look at kaizen practices, start with one of these tips, then add another and so on. Recognize the benefits you get from each so you keep using them and they become an ingrained habit you can’t do without. You want to be your best as a leader so these ten tips can help you get and stay there.

If you want to uplevel your leadership skills and abilities, we can help. Contact us to learn more. Subscribe to get our free eBook on the 10 Skills Great Leaders Need and Organizations Want.

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