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Nick Powell, author and peak performance coach, passes on his advice for reaching your optimum level every day, and why small changes count for a lot.

As humans, we are comfortable living in a world where a specific action causes a predictable outcome.

When I work with my clients, I often ask them how they prioritise their lives and the answer is almost always: work, family and then themselves.

However, if you truly want to have wonderful relationships at home and put yourself in the best position to take your business and career to new heights, then you need to become selfish and put yourself first.

When you look after your physical, mental and emotional needs, you are setting yourself up for success and you’re in the best place to serve others as a leader, a parent, a spouse and a friend.

This is such a powerful place from which to live your life – amazing things start to happen and the world around you seems to slot into place. Here are three simple things that you can do to put yourself first and increase your performance:

Prime your day for success:

This is done through a morning ritual where you string a series of good habits together and perform them every day until it becomes habitual – such as cleaning your teeth. These are also great things to include: drink 500ml of water; get moving (high intensity interval training, stretching, yoga); take a one-minute cold shower; meditate/mindfulness – popular apps are Headspace and Calm; write a journal; and express gratitude.

Eat what makes you feel good:

Discussing nutrition has become as much a taboo as sex, politics and religion around the dinner party table and, with so many different types of diets, there is so much debate on what works and what doesn’t.

There is no single universal diet. What works for you probably won’t work for me because we will metabolise macro-nutrients differently. We will be sensitive to different foods and our gut microbiomes respond better to some foods than others. Start listening to your body and eat what makes you feel great. If after a meal you don’t feel amazing and highly energised, there was something in it that you shouldn’t have eaten and you may experience bloating, brain fog and fatigue.

Try removing the following from your diet for 30 days and see how you feel afterwards: all refined sugars, grains, dairy and processed foods.

Improve the quality, not quantity, of your sleep:

Start by downloading the Sleep Cycle app, which will monitor your quality and duration of sleep. You will start to notice what things are impacting your sleep. Here are a few ways to improve your sleep quality:

– Sleep in a dark ‘cave’ – block all LED lights in your bedroom.
– Avoid blue light – no screens and dim the lights 90 minutes before bedtime.
– Don’t drink caffeine after 2pm.
– Supplement with magnesium before bed.
– Write a journal before bed to get thoughts out of your head.
– Add a spoonful of honey and apple cider vinegar to decaffeinated tea and drink it 20 minutes before bed.

It only takes a few small steps to increase your overall peak performance, so why not pick one of the above today and see how after a few weeks your mind and body improves.

Nick Powell is an author and peak performance coach, working with high achieving entrepreneurs and senior leaders to enable them to put themselves first and take their personal and business performance to the next level.

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