There’s a lot that goes into managing your image, much of it habit-based. They say that it takes about a month of repeated behavior for something to become habitual, and that’s not as easy as it might sound. Still, we think that there are some adjustments you can make that will have a lasting impact on your image, physical and otherwise.
Four Easy Changes That Have Lasting Impact
Below are some simple changes you might consider implementing to help you feel and look like your best self.
Use Hair Product
Your hair has a lot to do with the image you project. The quarantine buzzcut was, by necessity, all the rage during the shutdowns we had in Philadelphia and New York. It made sense for men to look a little, let’s say, overgrown after having gone without a haircut for months.
Now that we’re more or less back into the swing of things, we don’t have such excuses. If you style your hair any longer than a crew cut, you’ll be well-served to use some styling product. There’s a dizzying array of products to choose from – gel, pomade, spray, and so on – so you’ll want to get some recommendations and experiment. You may have to add a blow dryer to your routine, but the five minutes it takes is well worth the result.
Keeping your hair in place throughout the day isn’t just convenient. It also signals to others that you’re willing to put in some extra effort and pay attention to detail. This speaks volumes about your personal brand and your professional work ethic.
Basic Beard Maintenance
If you keep a beard, you should actually keep it. We’ve already written a bit about beards in a previous post, and we invite you to read that for some concrete tips.
The takeaway here is that spending a couple of minutes each day keeping yourself properly trimmed makes all the difference between a “leading man” beard and scraggly mess. From an image perspective, ask yourself, “Who would I want to be near, and who would I want to stay away from?” Chances are, we would be more attracted to the guy whose beard looks more put-together than not.
For men who keep longer beards, the softening effect of beard shampoo cannot be understated or over-recommended.
Give Yourself Five Minutes
Behavior and communication are major components of image. The way we feel internally at any given time has a major effect on how we behave and communicate. In these unusually stressful, 24-hour-new-cycle times, it’s crucial to our mental health (and thus, our image) that we give ourselves time to just be.
This can mean meditation, prayer, going for a walk, or just simple breathing exercises. The point is to carve five minutes out of your day proactively to take care of yourself. Make your schedule work around it, too. Trying to squeeze it in between appointments as an afterthought will ultimately fail.
Make Time To Talk
At the beginning of the quarantine period, we wrote about talking through a crisis. In short, when times are hard, it’s easy for our primitive lizard brains to take over, putting us into fight-or-flight mode. This compromises our ability to make sound decisions, take meaningful action, and be our best selves.
Talking, on the other hand, engages our higher brain functions, specifically in our pre-frontal cortex. This overrides our primitive brain and restores our ability to act more human.
Though we as a society have largely settled into the routine of the “new normal,” the benefits of talk remain the same. Make it a point to reach out to the people in your life, even if just for a few minutes a day. It will keep you at the top of your game, which is always good for your image.