When we think of professions who “must” take care of their human needs first – eat well, exercise, sleep enough, etc., what comes to mind? Athletes? Olympians? Musicians on tour? Actors prepping for a role?
What if we all thought about taking care of ourselves as a professional must? Overall health, prevention and management of chronic disease, managing our weight. The thing is, it IS a must for all of us.
Regardless of our chosen profession, the path to success is paved with making sure we are healthy, happy, and mentally/physically in the best shape we can be in.
This is where our journey begins.
I recently had the remarkable opportunity to attend the Johnson & Johnson Corporate Athlete program at the Human Performance Institute. It was part of a meeting with the Consumer Goods Forum Health and Wellness steering committee in my role as the Health & Wellbeing Advisor for IGA. Becoming a dietitian was a personal goal for my own knowledge in addition to wanting to help others, so you can imagine my eagerness to attend a program built to help all kinds of people from diverse backgrounds find their way to wellness.
The day started with our trainer, Bill, talking about how much of what he would share with us would be things we may already be somewhat familiar with. (You know, eating well, sleeping, getting adequate activity.) Familiar? Yes, and yet so many people don’t take action on these things. Why? Is it because there is no performance review on our personal lives? We don’t have the Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) to measure? Is it because we think that being human is optional, or that caring for our own health is in some way a luxury?
You know when you are about to take off on a plane, they talk about the oxygen masks dropping? How your duty is to first put your own on and only then should you help others? Apply that same thinking to your life. If you are not taking care of yourself, who will? If you get sick and can’t perform your duties, who will?
It’s time to rethink how we look at and choose sleep, food, and activity. Our bodies need these things to perform at their highest level. We can refocus on the fundamentals of what helps us to perform at our best mentally and physically. That’s how we will win at pretty much everything else.
My hope is that you all get to experience the J&J program and experience personally their coaching and tips to get focused on how to take care of yourself in the overly scheduled world we live in. In the meantime, here are three of my favorite takeaways to share with you to kickstart your mojo:
Define your personal mission. Everyone needs a directional compass. Your personal mission statement provides this. Have you defined your mission? What makes you happy? Why are you here? If you don’t define this for yourself, someone else will.
Update your story. Stories become our reality and help show us where our energy will be spent and how we will focus our time. What is the narrative running through your mind? How you think about what happens to you and how you tell your story matters.
Bring your best self to every performance venue of your life. Have you had that moment where you realize that you gave your all to work, and by the time you get home, your energy was gone? Be intentional as you change the channels in your day. Build in transition time from work to home and vice versa to make sure your energy is where you want it for those you choose to spend your time with.
Help ensure that everyone who gets your time is getting the “best you” in that moment.
Get fired up. Say no to choices you intuitively know are not the best ones for making you feel and look your best. Pretend you are on tour or that you are preparing for competition if that helps, because in fact, we are all athletes within our field of expertise.
When are you going to start training to win?