Insider Story: How to Sleep Your Way to the Top

This post was brought to you by New York Times best-selling author and motivational speaker, Erik Qualman.

February can be a cold slap in the face, both physically and mentally. If you are like me, the excitement of ringing in the New Year and the “New You” has worn off. Mother Nature certainly isn’t helping; who wants to get up and hit the gym when it’s cold and dark outside?! No, thank you.

New Year’s resolutions like shedding those 15 pounds or writing that Broadway show you’ve been daydreaming about might have to wait another year… again. You were ambitious about having a “more organized house in 2018,” yet it appears that adding another kid and puppy to the family has made this goal nearly impossible.

So how do we get back on track to achieve our peak performance? Here are three of the most powerful ways.

1) Drop One of Your Goals

What? Drop One?! I thought we were trying to be all we can be? Yes, we are. The problem, however, is we try to do three or four massive life changes all at once. While we should be given a gold star for our optimistic attitude, it’s also critical to stop and “get real.” This is the perfect month to “get real.”

If you have three goals, consider dropping one altogether or move it to the “not yet” list. Doing this will better enable you to achieve the remaining two goals. While achieving three is great, achieving two is better than actually achieving zero. #GetReal

2) Sleep, Sleep, and More Sleep

While I don’t know what your performance goals are, I do know one thing … if you aren’t achieving them, you’re likely not getting enough sleep. Sleep you say? I’m trying to get more done, I don't have time to sleep. Yes, sleep is the key. In order to achieve your goals and peak performance, make sleep your number one priority.

This is coming from a guy that used to say, “I can sleep when I’m dead.” My change in mindset came shortly after flying to Minneapolis and meeting with the sleep and wellness experts at Sleep Number. I realized my approach to peak performance was dead wrong (no pun intended). 43% of business leaders admit to not getting enough sleep, causing an impaired ability to make critical decisions. Sleep Number CEO, Shelly Ibach, believes that within 10 years, our beds will be as central to our lives as our smartphones are today. I agree.=

Following this visit, I nearly doubled my book writing output! All from being better rested. Imagine doubling your performance – going from doing 20 push-ups to 40 push-ups, reading with your kids for 30 minutes instead of 15, raising $100,000 for charity instead of $50,000.

3) Don’t Give Up

If you want to accomplish a goal, get ready for an uphill battle. You’ve all heard stories from world-champion athletes, how they’ve been injured during a race and were forced to take a break from their passion. However, many athletes have made impressionable comebacks. One Olympic ski jumper, Sarah Hendrickson, suffered an almost career-ending knee injury. After being injured, she was out for more than 6 months. However, that didn’t deter her from rehabbing her way back to health. She hit the slopes again and did better than she ever thought possible. Remember, you can only train as hard as you recover.

After getting my teeth knocked out in a MSU basketball game, I kept playing to the end. This was my one chance to impress the coach and I refused to let him down. After the game, the coach said to me, “I don’t know if you’re the toughest kid I know, or the dumbest kid I know.” I don’t recommend to continue playing after you lose three teeth, but I do encourage anyone striving for personal growth to always keep moving forward.

Push through and create your own story. Don’t be afraid to hold off on one goal in order to focus more easily on the other 1 to 2 goals. Remember that sleep allows you to perform better and, most importantly, never give up! My hope is these tips help you breakthrough and achieve your goals and peak performance in the months ahead.

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This post was sponsored by Sleep Number. All thoughts are my own.