In August of last year I wrote a post titled “Being Healthy is Selfish”. Though the term selfish is typically not viewed favorably, bringing up images of spoiled, entitled, heartless narcissists, my premise is that to be healthy you must be in control of your life, your decisions and to a reasonable extent “your time”. So many of the reasons we put off going for a run, working out, or even eating right, is that we’ve continued to put the needs and expectations of others above our own needs.
When you’re playing multiple roles, and have an incredible, non-stop demand for your time by all seemingly ‘urgent and important’ things, it can often seem that there’ simply no time left for you (or your workout). Like most people, I struggle to get it all done, and I have very high expectations for myself as an employee, husband, father, and person. However, I’m not a “Yes Man”. There are times, when I have to opt out or say “no” to a request, or to the needs of someone else, so that my basic personal health needs are met. For example, I’ve been traveling from event-to-event, and in all day meetings for the last week and a half. We all know that business conferences never end at 5pm, they almost always include dinners, evening social activities, etc., and as a leader you really should be a part of these things. As an extrovert, I tend to like the social side of meetings/events anyway. However, after a 10 day period of basically travel and meetings, I had a request just come in for a dinner tonight with a vendor that is very close to my organization. My desire to say yes was more like a compulsion, but I thought for a moment, and told the vendor that I would meet with them in the coming weeks, but that tonight simply wont work. I was honest, and told them that I’ve had large, planned evening dinners for the better part of the past 10 days, and that I simply needed to tend to some things. Now, over the past 10 days, I have done my “hotel room workout” with sit-ups, push-ups, crunches, lunges, squats, etc., and I’ve worked in a few runs along the way, but I really haven’t had 2 hours to get a really good workout in. Tonight, I will. I find I have to say no to my family, friends, colleagues and vendors from time-to-time, to manage my own balance, remain healthy, and in the long run deliver better on their needs, because my energy is up. When you give up the bottom levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs because you always put the needs of others over yourself, it’s not healthy.
Don’t be a “Yes Man” or “Yes Woman”, always find a way to make yourself and your health a priority that matters.
Small steps add up!!!