If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of others
Self-care is one of those things that many people put on the back burner when there are a million other things on their plate because it’s easy to get in the mindset that if it doesn’t directly impact your business or your goals, then it’s less important than other tasks. But, I strongly believe that self-care should always be a priority, because if you don’t care for yourself, then it’s impossible to care for others.
Over the past few years, I’ve really started prioritizing self-care, and I’ve implemented a few things into my routine that I truly think have changed how I approach each day and my overall productivity. And, because I go into each day feeling like I took care of myself first, I’m able to be a more effective leader, communicator, and business owner, which, indirectly, has made me millions.
Self-care will look different for every person because every person has unique needs, goals, and challenges, but, if you’re looking for somewhere to start for building a consistent and effective self-care routine, here are four tips I can share from my own experience and success.
1. Prioritize sleep, and give yourself permission to rest
Many people are surprised to learn that I go to bed at 9:30 pm sharp every night, and this simple habit is one of the biggest factors in my success in starting and building a business. An early bedtime coupled with a much earlier wake-up call in the morning has absolutely changed how I feel and how I show up for myself, my team, and my business every day.
I used to use being a “night owl” as an excuse when it came to my sleep habits. It was a scapegoat for my lack of motivation to get up early in the morning and start my day doing something productive before heading to the office. And, looking back, this mindset was really hindering my productivity and motivation during my waking hours. Sure, I was getting roughly the same amount of sleep, but my working hours felt less productive because I wasn’t making time to prioritize my health in the way I do now going to bed earlier.
It may seem overly simple, but shifting my sleep schedule so drastically has actually changed my identity — and I swear, that’s not an exaggeration! Staying up late and wasting my early morning wasn’t serving me, and it’s forced me to consider other aspects of my lifestyle that aren’t serving me in a productive and positive way, either. I find peace in knowing that I can take a Marie Kondo approach and part ways with anything that doesn’t bring me joy, and an adjusted sleep schedule is at the heart of it.
2. Move your body every. single. day.
Working out has a load of health benefits and is often a staple of people’s self-care routine, but I find that simply showing up is one of the greatest benefits of a consistent workout schedule.
Before COVID, I was definitely not prioritizing my physical health as much as I should have been, partially because I felt like I didn’t have the time for it — enter the 9:30 pm bedtime requirement — and partially because I didn’t want to. But, the pandemic really lit a fire under me that I can’t put my physical health aside any longer, and implementing daily workouts was a win-win choice for me. I win because my body is healthier, and I win again because I’m practicing discipline that can be applied to all aspects of my life.
When I show up for that early morning lifting session, I’m proving to myself that I can do hard things, and I don’t quit because it’s easier or more convenient. Trust me, those last 15 minutes of a hardcore glute workout can feel like torture, but after pushing through to finish the workout, I can confidently go about my day knowing I already did a hard thing, and I didn’t quit on myself then, so quitting on myself when I face a roadblock is not an option later.
3. Pick clothes that help you feel your best… and pick them the night before
Don’t think that clothes can be a form of self-care? You’re wrong! I love clothes because they are the most effective way to help me show up confidently for myself, my team, and my business. When I look my best, I feel my best, and I don’t have to dedicate any mental space to thinking about whether or not I look stylish or put together, so I’m more focused on the work I need to get done. For me, my clothes are a direct reflection of who I am, how I want others to perceive me, and where I ultimately want to go in life. Dress for success, am I right?
Picking out a great outfit for my day is equal parts soothing and energizing for me — it’s like a ritual. But, I find that saving this important activity for the morning when I’m juggling a workout and breakfast and putting on makeup leaves me feeling rushed and self-conscious later in the day. I’m left spending my whole day thinking about the “what ifs:” What if I had picked a different pair of shoes? What if I finished this look in a different way? What if I wore these pants with something else?
By taking the time to craft the perfect outfit the night before, that’s one less thing I need to worry about in the morning, and I can feel confident that I dedicated the time my look deserves to get my outfit juuuuuuuust right.
4. Wash your face daily
My last self-care tip is, again, simple yet effective: washing your face every day. Now, I’m definitely not a skincare guru, and I will never claim to be, but I do find so much self-care value in taking the time to wash my face thoroughly every night — for a few different reasons, actually.
Aside from the obvious benefits of keeping your face clean, I started a strict nightly face-washing routine over a decade ago really as a checkpoint for my day and for myself. After I wash off my makeup from the day, I not only feel refreshed, but I can then look at myself in the mirror and ask, “Are we on the right path?” This is a moment I can reflect on life and make sure I’m doing what I want and need to do to accomplish my goals.
If I can look myself in the eyes and say, “Yep, keep up the great work,” then I know I’m heading in the right direction. And if I look at myself and say, “We need to change some things,” then I know I need to wake up the next day and show up for myself to make those changes. Either way, I’m giving myself the opportunity to reflect and pivot as needed to ensure I’m living the life I want to live.
Whatever self-care looks like for you, be consistent
Odds are, your self-care routine and the things that help you feel your best will differ from mine, and I’m not saying that these four things are the end-all-be-all keys to success. If you take anything away from this blog post, I want it to be this: it doesn’t matter what you do to care for yourself as long as you’re consistent.
Consistency and discipline are key to effective self-care. Show up for yourself, prioritize yourself, and don’t put your self-care on the back burner.
Part of the reason I started Cardone Ventures was because I wanted to help others realize their potential and change the world one business at a time. But we wouldn’t be as successful as we are today if I didn’t put my own care first, and now I strive to help other business owners do the same.
Self-care is just the beginning of your journey to meet and exceed your goals. If you’re ready to find out what else it takes to make millions, subscribe to my podcast or join me at one of our upcoming Cardone Ventures events! You can learn more about what we offer here.