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New Year – New You!

After Christmas and New Year most of us have eaten and drank in excess and are turning our thoughts to starting new healthier habits and stopping old bad habits. Why not extend this thinking to our role in sales?

 

New Year resolutions are made and most are broken within the first month or two. To increase our chance of success here are some simple tips:

 

  1. Set realistic and achievable goals focusing on one area. (a new goal can be added next new year). Try not to pick a resolution that is bound to fail e.g. If you have never exercised the London marathon in April might be a bit much! Instead aim for something achievable e.g. 20 minutes of gentle exercise 3 times a week and build it up over the year.
  2. Be persistent. If we fail one day, then start again tomorrow. E.g. you have decided to have a dry January but go to a birthday party and have some alcohol, instead of thinking we’ve failed and give up, take up dry January again the next day.
  3. Write down your goal. E.g. if you have decided to walk 10 minutes a day, put post-its around your house /car / office to remind yourself.
  4. Reward yourself. E.g. if you go a week without a cigarette, put the money in a box and at the end of the month spend it on a treat for yourself. If you have a list of treats this will also help.
  5. Find a friend or colleague who is also doing the same resolution. E.g. if you both need to do more relaxation go to a class together or have daily contact about what you are doing each day to de-stress.

 

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In a sales role, there are specific areas we can focus on to ensure you remain healthy and therefore resilient in 2017.

 

Salespeople are often on the road away from head office and therefore can be forgotten / not included in office New Year health resolutions. They are also under continual pressure to meet sales targets, get to meetings on time, fill their diary with appointments, all of which are challenging and stressful. The UK roads have got busier each year so there is the added challenge of trying to eat healthy lunches on the road when there is only the garage to buy from.

Choose one resolution for 2017 – something that is achievable and that will benefit you immensely.

Below are three areas that are can really help in sales:

1. Sleep
How many hours do you spend on the road each day? Getting a good night’s sleep is essential. If you’re feeling overworked and stressed you probably don’t get as much sleep as you need. Try some of the following:

  • Pull over and have a nap – driving when tried is just downright dangerous.
  • Ensure you have time to wind down before bedtime.
  • Turn off any blue light devices e.g. your phone 1 hour prior to bedtime. Late night emails can wait until the morning..
  • Develop a good pre-bed routine so your brain learns it’s time to wind down e.g. warm bath, reading, listening to calm music with dimmed lights or a bedtime milky drink.
  • Avoid stimulants – alcohol, nicotine, caffeine and don’t go to bed hungry or on a very full stomach.
  • Enjoy some daytime exercise earlier in the day. Yes, this is not easy when you are working on the road, but some simple ideas like parking further away from the building, using the stairs rather than lift, or on arriving home go for a 10-minute walk even if its dark.
  • Take up yoga / Thai chi / meditation, either at a class or use You Tube.

If you want to understand more about your sleep patterns, then the jawbone activity tracker might be the answer for you.

sleep-hammock

 

2. Stress management
Stress can seriously affect your health and well-being if it is not addressed. Does you organisation contribute to your stress or does it have a de-stressing strategy? Do you feel yourself getting stressed when you are in a long queue, stuck in a traffic jam? Or when the month is ending and you still have unmet targets? This is the time to turn to something that releases your tension.

In traffic jams try:

  • Singing to your favourite tunes.
  • Listening to a programme that makes you laugh.
  • If it is safe to do so, call a friend or family member who has a positive personality.
  • Think about some fun things you are looking forward to at the weekend or that holiday you have planned.

At other times when you feel stressed you can:

  • Socialise with friends and family.
  • Watch some comedy.
  • Practice Yoga / meditation/ Thai/chi.
  • Pamper yourself – a luxury bath, massage.
  • Think positively about your situation – rather than thinking about what you have not done think about everything you have achieved.
  • Write down what is on your mind.
  • Get some fresh air – a 10-minute walk is great.

Group of young women practicing yoga in health club. Horizontal shot.

 

3. Nutrition

In sales, we need to be mentally alert and energised to perform well in our role. A healthy nutritious diet will help to achieve this by avoiding afternoon slumps, increasing concentration, memory and mental performance, improved sleep and increase your immunity as well as reducing the risk of many life-threatening diseases like cancer, stroke and heart disease.

Do you wish you could lose some weight in 2017? Or do you eat too much sugar, alcohol, junk food? Never reach your 5 a day target for fruit and vegetables?

Pick one thing you really want to change and make a realistic plan, here are some examples:

  • losing weight – don’t try to go from 16 stones to 8! You will probably give up within the first month. Instead focus on cutting out calorie heavy foods; biscuits, crisps, cakes, chips, takeaways. There are many lower calorie alternatives available or try making some of the healthy snacks from our earlier blog. By cutting out even 100 calories a day and gradually increasing your daily exercise as a permanent life change you will see the weight fall off you very slowly but it will also stay off you instead of it yo-yoing every time you start a new fad diet which inevitably fails because it’s too extreme.
  • Eating 5-a day. Start with fruits and vegetables that you really enjoy. Gradually replace a non-healthy food items for a healthy one, e.g. rather than skinny fries try sweet potato wedges, or replace a bacon & egg sandwich for a bacon, lettuce & tomato one.
  • Reducing sugar intake. E.g. swap milk chocolate for a darker version. If you always have a biscuit with a cup of tea, try not buying biscuits so they are not in the house, if you need something sweet try a piece of dried fruit, fresh fruit, piece of dark chocolate or sugar free biscuits.

food-fruit

For more detailed information on resilience for salespeople read our whitepaper ‘Are UK organisations doing enough to help sales people become resilient?’

 

Now it is just a case of deciding on one resolution for 2017!
Good luck! You can do it!