Recently, I embarked on a new adventure. Not to a faraway land, though.
This time it’s about changing my eating habits.
I joined a group, started by Dr. Ellen Britt (read her story here), that is focused on Intermittent Fasting (IF). It’s not a diet but a way of eating that focuses on when you eat instead of what you eat.
The idea is that one eats during a focused period of time – an eating window – and fasts the rest of the time. In the group, we’re also exploring the intersection of body, mind, spirit, and business and the possibilities for affecting transformation.
I started this adventure with a 16:8 schedule: fasting 16 hours and feasting for 8 hours. At the time I’m writing, I’m following a 19:5 schedule of fasting and feasting. It’s amazing at how quickly it has become easy to NOT eat for at least 19 hours and NOT feel hungry or that I need to graze throughout the day.
When it comes to grazing, IF has made me realize how mindlessly I’ve been eating: when I’m bored, happy, sad, frustrated, thinking, need a break from my desk… my default activity is to rummage in the kitchen looking for something satisfying to eat.
Whether or not I’m hungry.
For me, it’s one of the downsides of working at home.
Now, the routine of intermittent fasting has made me much more mindful of what I’m eating. I’ve learned that I don’t need to eat all day and when I do eat, I make it count by eating healthy, delicious and fresh food.
There are many natural connections between what I’m learning about IF and how it relates to entrepreneurship.
For starters, I’ve been asking myself what I’m currently doing in my business that is mindless?
How can I be more mindful of the projects I work on or how I approach my day?
One of the benefits of practicing IF that many, including me, are reporting is a heightened sense of mental clarity. This comes in real handy when developing a program, writing and launching a book, or myriad other things a business owner does throughout the day.One of the benefits of practicing IF that many people report is a heightened sense of mental clarity.
On the other hand, like any radical change you make or new idea you want to implement, there is the real possibility of slipping backward a few times before hitting your goal.
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Think about it. Do you always reach a goal without hitting some sort of obstacle or temporary set back?
Maybe sometimes, but probably not always.
With the clarity and natural tendency towards mindfulness around eating, I’m now aware of taking a more mindful approach to my business. Though sometimes I find myself slipping into mindless Instagram surfing when I’m feeling mentally fatigued!
Looking at your business, how can you apply mindfulness to your daily routines?
From experience, here’s a path you to help you experiment:
- Identify your top priority for the day.
- Why is that “thing” a priority for you?
- List the steps you need to take to bring your priority to fruition.
- When you get off track, return to your “why” statement and to your list of steps.
- Then take action and do one thing to move forward.
This is not complex. It’s merely a tool to keep you focused on your intentions so you can more easily achieve your business goals.
It’s a way of approaching your business with intention rather than mindlessly trying this and that, hoping it will work out. That’s a waste 0f time and energy, IMHO.
With my practice of intermittent fasting, I’m intentional about when and what I eat, more so than ever before. As a result, I’m eating better, saving money, feeling better and have more energy overall.
In my business, I’m not flitting from one activity to another, as much. I hone in on what it is I most want to accomplish and work through it. When I slip and my mind begins to wander, I bring it back to the intention I have for the project I’m working on at that moment.
The shift is easier now because I am using mindfulness I’m developing through fasting to facilitate the transformation from distraction to focus on my business.
This is an ongoing experiment both personally and professionally. Some days I’m successful and other days I slip. Now, I have an easy system to bring myself back from mindless to mindful.
Got a tip for developing a mindful approach to business? Please share it in the comments!
If you’re an entrepreneur curious about intermittent fasting and how it can enhance your life, you’re welcome to join me in Dr. Ellen Britt’s private Facebook group, Intermittent Fasting for Entrepreneurs. You’ll meet a great group of entrepreneurs who are generous with their support and sharing what’s working and how to get through the inevitable slips and challenges.
For a good read on getting started with Intermittent Fasting, I recommend Dr. Bert Herring’s book, AC: The Power of Appetite Correction. And here are more resources I’m collecting to support my adventure in Intermittent Fasting. 😎
Photo of bowl in sunlight: Olia Gozha