Cold Showers, No Coffee and Flowing Time

In 2016, December 31, I posted this https://www.facebook.com/AlexVanGinneken/posts/10154888886189025 message on Facebook. And although 2016 was a great year, it turned pale compared to 2017, which was a year filled with special encounters, new insights and big, personal growth.

How it started

In fact, 2017 already started for me in 2016, December 11. I was on my way to Bali with my family to live there for 2 months. Only when we arrived, I truly felt how busy 2016 had been. I had been mainly focussing on business performance. And even though my efforts had shown to be successful, there were still enough things that I was not happy with, things that really needed to be addressed. This to too, comes with growth. 

From the first week in Bali, I decided that 2017 would be a year to address my health and habits. And I can proudly say that I have succeeded with a much better result than I ever expected.

In Bali I changed my diet and I started to eat healthier. I also decided not to drink alcohol anymore. Apart from moments that are planned far in advance or abroad ;) 

I started to run and build strength. Back in the Netherlands I had lost 12 kilos (26 pounds).

To be honest, I was not 100% convinced I would be able to sustain this new lifestyle. But I kept it up, and by the end of May I had lost 15 kilos (33 pounds). My health was better than ever, and building a better physique and more strength felt great. Healthy eating and exercise is now fully anchored in my daily routine. But I wanted more and get rid of all kinds of bad habits. Even if it were only to challenge myself.

Cold became my best friend

Well, almost. My wife gave me a so called ‘Iceman training’ as a birthday present. In July it was time: I took an ice bath after a 1.5 hour workout. Truth is, I did not look forward to it at all, but working out before, made it pretty okay do step in the ice cold water.

All my life I hated the cold, and suddenly it became my best friend. From that point on I started taking cold showers after training. It really is the best start to the day. It gives me a lot of energy, while a hot shower made me slower.

The day after the Ice-man training I participated in a 8 km mud run in Groningen and finished first in the group of 50. I was really at a whole new level in terms of sports. In November I also ran the Seven-hill run in Nijmegen, a new PR; 15KM in 1:08.

Bye, bad habits!

In the past year I have tackled a lot of old habits and tested new more healthy ones. Below they are listed, check it out:

✓ Changed eating habits. (Every day a superfood breakfast, less carbohydrates, more salads, no meat, less sugar and no alcohol)

✓ Cold shower daily

✓ Study Spanish every day, about 20 minutes a day

✓ Vegetarian food

✓ I lived vegan for 2 months. Honestly that was quite hard, but it contributed greatly to the awareness of certain eating habits. However, for me personally it was too much of a good thing, so I stick to a vegetarian diet

✓ Stopped drinking coffee. That seemed terribly difficult, but after 3 days of headache and a drowsy feeling it was actually very simple

✓ Every day a meditation / reflection moment through a number of exercises

✓ Work out 4-5 hours a week

So… what did that bring me?

✓ I no longer have energy dips, and I have an overall  higher energy level

✓ More power and a better condition

✓ More clarity in my head

✓ Rest and overview

✓ I'm sharper in conversations

✓ I regularly receive positive comments. The questions: WHAT did you do? And HOW did you do it? raised many times

✓ Balance

✓ Better self image and confidence

I can definitely recommend you to work on healthy habits, especially when you are an entrepreneur and have a job where high performance is part of your job. Is it easy to tackle old habits? No, certainly not. You’ll experience "relapse" and need a clear goal and perseverance. But in time, step by step, it’ll get easier. I wish I’d started years earlier!

Little things can make a MAJOR difference

From 'time flies' to 'time flows'

Looking back on the past year, so much has happened in my business as well. I have sold my shares in a number of companies that I founded or helped build up; DBK, CoBrowser and MediaCT. They have become beautiful, strong companies.

Helping companies in their initial phase, is something I love to do. From pioneering to structure, that is my strength. Testing a business model, bringing a team together, sharing knowledge, networks and experience and help with key aspects in the process of building. 

My coaching business has grown considerably, it helped me get a clear view on my own strengths and flaws in parts of the process. I alway tell people, be clear about your strengths and hire for your weakness. You don’t have to do it all. This is the part to say: ‘work smarter, not harder’. I love coaching, since you stay involved for a longer period of time and therefor you actually see the results and be part of the process. Customers who generate 4 times more revenue, win awards, run better margins, innovate or develop new technical tools. 

I think it is great to help customers grow faster, to give them a boost, making not only an impact on their business, but also on their lives. That's my drive.

Wish you all the best for 2018. 

Please let me know: what are your plans, goals and ambitions for 2018? And how can I help you?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for.

A smile from the heart,

Alex

 

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