January is always predictable. The gym in our office building was quiet throughout the year, allowing those of us who chose to work out consistently a fairly private facility. But every January things would change. The gym would be packed! You guessed it! New Year’s resolutions to get in shape. But as I said, January was predictable. So was February. Come February 1st, the gym was semi-private again, because the majority of people who made those resolutions had broken them. This has happened every year for 15 years. The sprinters gave way to the marathoners. So, which one are you?
Entrepreneurs are indeed a different breed, and for that, cheers to a fantastic 2022! But let’s face it, being reactive is never as good as being proactive; especially when it pertains to your own health. And as we begin 2022, the experience I shared above is taking place all over the country and the world. People realize they have been inconsistent when it comes to their health and jump in full force at the beginning of the year. Some of the most common responses I have heard over the past 30+ entrepreneurial years are:
Regardless of whether we were in a startup phase, growing or downsizing rapidly, with or without children at home, and regardless of the number of employees we had, I chose to put my health at the top of the list of priorities. I chose to set an example for those who worked for me that it was not just okay but encouraged to spend part of your day taking care of yourself and your health. We bought gym memberships – and we did not spend every day of our entrepreneurial lives eating breakfast, lunch and dinners at our desk!
“It is only when the rich are sick that they feel the impotence of wealth.” – Charles Caleb Colton
I write this column as a 30+ year entrepreneurial veteran who has been through every up and down imaginable. And through it all, the marathon perspective ruled when it came to my health – it was always a top priority. When packing for a trip, I packed first for the workout I could fit in during my travels. At age 60, my health remains a top priority; and it is indeed the greatest gift I have ever given myself.
In most columns, the word “we” is used often; but I use the word “I” in this one to emphasize the point that this is a personal issue for each and every one of us. Our health is not a group effort.
I am challenging all of you to make your own health a priority, and to allow yourself to be selfish in this one area of your life. It is indeed one of the rare cases when being selfish is actually the right model to set for the rest of your organization. There is time to take care of yourself and change the world if you take on the marathon mindset, instead of the sprinter mentality.
In fact, some of my best ideas came to me while working out over the years, and yours will too, if you give yourself the chance and permission to live a life that includes putting your health as a top priority. It truly is the gift that keeps on giving.
So, when is your next health date with yourself? I will be on my Peloton soon – I can guarantee you that!