In this week's blog: while health can never be guaranteed, there are steps you – and your staff – can take to improve your health
He was a powerhouse at work. Then this happened…
“I’m burnt out.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. I was talking to one of the most successful people I know – a real powerhouse of a man, who was always brimming with good ideas and bouncing from event to event, full of energy.
Yet here he was, slumped in a chair, telling me that he had just quit his job because he was “tired. Just so tired.” And he didn’t have anything else lined up, either. His career had come to a hard stop – or at least a lengthy pause.
Gradually, I uncovered what really happened.
His story contains an important lesson for anyone in their late 40s or 50s.
Now, you might be wondering why I’m telling you this story. After all, my weekly blogs usually don’t focus on matters of health. I tend to talk more about financial issues, and share my thoughts on how both you and your employees can build up your assets, so that one day you can enjoy a comfortable retirement.
But that’s just the point. We traditionally think of our assets as purely financial.
But as my friend's experience shows, your health is an asset too…
…and if you’re at the mid-point of your career, and want to work for another 15-20 years, building up wealth and an adequate pension for the future, you can’t neglect it.
After all, you can’t be productive, and fulfil your career and financial goals if you’re feeling tired, lethargic – and worse.
But it goes further than that.
Over the past couple of months, I’ve been writing about the need for you and your team to create a structured plan for your 50s…
…so that you spend these transitional, “mid-career” years putting in place all the skills, experience and resources you’ll need to thrive as you approach retirement.
Health and wellness has to be part of that plan.
In fact, this is the perfect time to finally focus on your own wellbeing – even if you’ve never done so before.
There’s nothing like that first time you feel your knees creak or the gradual appearance of middle-age spread to make you re-evaluate your priorities!
Now, you don’t need advice from me on how to improve your health.
But if you’re planning ahead, I do suggest starting by evaluating honestly whether your health is as good as it could be, and whether you really want to continue feeling the way you do today for the next 15-20 years. (Remembering, of course, that things can always get worse…)
Book an ‘official’ health check with your GP, not least so that you have a proper baseline from which you can measure progress.
And then make any health resolutions small and manageable, so that they are sustainable.
Small changes in your sleeping patterns, hydration, a few minutes of exercise here and there, can all add up to a significant difference.
And if you are adding exercise to your schedule, do things you enjoy.
That’s exactly what I did.
Over the past couple of years, I have taken this part of my plan for my 50s extremely seriously.
I have taken up biking, climbed a Nepalese mountain (or at least tried to) and reduced my meat consumption (I’d say I eliminated it entirely but… there was that piece of turkey on Christmas Day)…
…and I have to say, I feel so much better for it!
There is so much I want to accomplish over the next few years in my career, my volunteering activities and with my family. While no one can ever be fully in control of their health, I know I have taken proactive steps to allow all those good things to happen…
What’s your plan?