Initiative: Stay Ahead of Your Health
By Ben Tyler, Owner and Head Coach
Initiative is something most of us think about when it comes to our careers, but we don’t think of it as often when it comes to our health.
For our jobs, doing excellent work is not simply following directions or following through with projects; it is actively searching for areas within our purview that need improvement and taking steps, on our own, to improve those areas. Even at work, an area we all focus on doing our best, going above and beyond a “job description” is not often sought out. When someone consistently goes above and beyond, they will outperform their peers in almost every area.
Taking initiative isn’t an unfamiliar concept. Most people would say they try, and hope to show initiative with their careers. However, outside of their jobs, we see many that don’t take initiative with their health. They tend to be too busy with work, family, hobbies, etc and have many reasons why their health is second place.
The problem with this is a fact no-one likes to admit: Our health enables us to work, it enables us to spend time (and quality time at that) with our family, and it gives us the capacity to enjoy our hobbies. Without our health, we lose all of these things.
Initiative comes into play when we get ahead of health problems by prioritizing our wellness. We look for things we can improve now, not later. We choose to eat less sugar, less processed foods and more healthy, natural meats, vegetables, nuts and seeds. We choose to prioritize our workouts, regardless of our schedules, and workout 3-5 days a week (even if it’s simply walking!). We choose to take time for ourselves (even if it’s only 10-20 minutes snuck in where we can) to read, relax, and allow our mind (a huge part of our overall health) time to unwind.
Taking the initiative to take care of our health will help us stay ahead of serious issues that result from poor nutrition, lack of overall fitness, or sub-par mental health. Each of these areas, when neglected, can cause problems that we can’t postpone or avoid, as much as we would like to tell ourselves differently. As painful as it may be to confront, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, anxiety, to only name a few, are the consequences of putting our wellness second.
Take initiative with these simple steps and help keep your health from forcing you to focus on it:
Find 3 days and times during the week you can put aside at least 20 minutes to workout. Add them to your calendar and mark them ‘Busy.’ Let your family or friends know this time is off limits and that you need their help making sure you stick to your schedule.
Find a time (5 AM is my favorite time) you can read or simply have some quiet time each day. Even if it’s only 10 minutes, you’ll be amazed at the change it will make.
Make a simple grocery list of meats, vegetables and healthy options. When you go to the store, only allow yourself to buy what’s on your list. Every time you do this, you’ll be one more step healthier.
Don’t worry about perfecting the above, focus on a little bit each day, but don’t sit and do the minimum - look for small ways each day you can improve your health. It will pay out in a huge way for you, your family, and those you care about.