Recently we’ve been surveying businesses about the challenges they face in 2023, specifically in relation to wellbeing and maximising both employee performance and engagement.
There have been sone interesting observations, which we’ll share in a sequence of updates, in case they resonate with you and your organisation.
‘We really appreciate the importance of supporting employee wellness, and we’ve set up some great initiatives, but many colleagues feel they don’t have the time to take advantage of these initiatives, or to prioritise their health and personal performance in any way.’
OK, we hear this a lot from people. ‘I really want to be better at taking care of myself but I’m really struggling for time.’
It can be a real challenge for busy individuals to create space to tap into external resources, even when they know they are the ones who will ultimately benefit.
Here are some ways to think differently that will move things forward.
Share these with colleagues who feel they’re struggling for time to prioritise themselves and you should find they develop a clearer vision of how healthy habits fit into their busy routine, and how they can engage with the initiatives you’ve developed to fast-track their progress. Which reminds us, point 1...
Progress not perfection
Don’t wait for the perfect time to implement your perfect healthy living solutions.
Work with your current situation and break down your headline objectives into chunks as small as possible.
Tackle things one at a time.
Establish actions that are small enough to formulate a daily commitment to making progress.
Take the first action today.
And remember, a positive shift in your mindset and attitude counts as an action towards your goals.
Discover a new perspective
Break the cycle of frustration that’s saying, ‘if only work didn’t keep me so busy I’d be able to get started with improving my healthy habits.’
Resisting what you want or need will only increase stress levels and rob you of energy.
The easiest way to change this pattern is to talk to someone.
Voicing your internal dialogue will make you think about things differently. Your concerns may not sound as insurmountable when you explain them to someone else.
If you don’t have someone immediately to hand to speak to, simply speak your concerns aloud. Giving thoughts the language they need to bring them into the world always brings a new perspective and some solutions.
Take responsibility, take action
Only you can take action. Avoiding it may give you a moment of respite and blaming something / someone else for your inaction may salve your conscience for a few minutes but you’ll soon begin to feel guilt and frustration.
Tiny positive actions today can alleviate you of any guilt and frustration. Stop arguing with yourself. Decide what you want to do and get on with it.
Work with tight deadlines
Don’t just keep kicking the can down the road. If you’ve highlighted a behaviour change you’d like to implement, set a short deadline to run an experiment to see if it’s right for you.
The idea of daily meditation, getting to bed earlier, taking more exercise or eating better may lead you to procrastinate if you think you have to make these changes forever.
Tell yourself it’s just for a month.
Or a week.
Or even a couple of days, and you’re more like to get started.
And once you’ve started you’ll have new feedback to refine the habits and the approach that will work for you in the medium to long-term.
Find an accountability partner
This makes all the difference. We can all let ourselves off the hook but when it comes to explaining yourself to someone else, that’s a different matter.
Give some thought to the appropriate person, or people, to hold you accountable for your various healthy living commitments.
It could be someone supportive who is also capable of providing honesty and tough love.
It could be someone you like to impress.
Someone you’re competitive with.
Someone who shares the same objectives.
Have some fun with how you design your support and accountability network.
Consistency is key, consistency starts today
Remember that one positive healthy living choice a day leads to 365 in a year. That’s massive.
But that’s not all.
One positive choice usually influences other positive choices and before you know it you’re looking for opportunities to do the right thing rather than making excuses.
The sooner you begin, the faster you can get on board with this consistent, healthy living snowball effect.
And before you know it you’ll be making great choices, that lead to dramatic results, every day without even thinking about it.