Happy at Work? Create a Healthy Life

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One way to be happy at work is to create a healthy lifestyle. So why do most of us have such a hard time implementing the important practices that keep us healthy?

Everyone today has become more conscientious about living a healthy lifestyle. Scientific studies constantly remind us how important good diet, regular exercise and a good night’s sleep are to our overall health and well-being.

If you are like most professionals you are busy with your work. There is always just one more file to read, call to take or meeting to go to. A “healthy” work life is high on your list of priorities but to stay successful you skip meals, stay up late and/or forget to exercise. That’s healthy?  Smiley-face-3300-small[1]

When given the choice of doing more work or taking self-care time many (myself included) choose work. Without you your work will cease to exist however so the time spent caring for yourself is also time spent caring for your work.

While intellectually you understand how important healthy habits are, implementing them is a more difficult task. So how can you maintain a healthy work life and a healthy lifestyle?

There are three simple steps. The first is that if you really want to do this you must make it a priority. Step one is to set your intention. I’d suggest focusing on one habit at a time.

Let’s use exercise as an example. First you must set the intention of exercising a specific number of times each week.

Your thoughts are important here. So if you are thinking “I should do this.”, it won’t work. You must first change the thinking and feeling to “I want to do this.” That makes it a priority.

The next step is to ask yourself why you want to exercise and then write down the benefits you expect to get. These can be used to remind yourself of your intension. It took me a few months of sticking with my routine to notice that I am stronger, my weight is stable and I have more energy. To maintain the benefits I know I must continue.

Finally find a way to exercise that fits you and your life. The easiest way is to play a team sport you enjoy. You’ll have fun and since the team will count on your being there, you will be compelled to show up!

At varying times in my life exercise became more of a priority. In my early years I took up aerobic dancing. It was fun and I really enjoyed it. Later I tried Pilates and found it more rigorous. Getting to class was a challenge. Hard to form a habit if the exercise is not fun..

I’m not much of an athlete so in recent years I hired a trainer to help me to establish a good workout routine. Once a month she increases the repetitions, the size of the weights or changes the exercises for more challenging ones. I keep track of the exercises on a chart and she reviews what I have done and how frequently I get to the gym (usually three times per week). Having a trainer keeps me motivated.  (Similar to having a coach!) Smiley-face-3300-small[1]

Again the only way this will work is if you have truly committed to doing it and really want to form an exercise habit. It has become an appointment I make with myself and I rarely change it.

I’ve struggled over the years with this so I know how hard it is to do. If you’ve had a health scare or seen a friend pass away at an early age the shock is enough to make it a priority. Hopefully neither will happen to you and you will just see the need and go for it!

These steps can be used with any change of habit. As with anything you do the secret is what happens inside you. You must really want it. If it is important to you, you will find a way to make it happen.

Take Action

  1. What step could you take this month that would move you toward a healthy lifestyle?
  2. What could you do to set your intention strongly? (You’ve got to want it.)
  3. Try making the change for a week. How did it go? Let me know!

Need some help? Coaches work with people who want to make changes in their lives. Call me at 781-598-0388 or email me at asparker@asparker.com.

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