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"Your business exists for one reason: to help you achieve your life goals." ~ Howard Partridge
Goal-setting-and-getting is an exciting and rewarding part of being a PHC contractor. However, if you get sick or injured, you’ll get knocked back a peg, or two. Of course your business suffers, and, worse, your dreams get derailed. I had a lovely client who finally gave up on his business because he suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome. It’s hard to be inspired and productive when you can’t lift your head off the pillow. So many things are outside your control. Illness, accidents — stuff happens. However, I’m concerned by how many of us are suffering unnecessarily due to poor lifestyle choices. We can do better with some simple, painless changes.
In my February column, I explored ways that we could create better options for our communities when it comes to food, lifestyle and environment. I started a conversation on Facebook, and lots of friends offered their ideas for expanding health and happiness. So, in this column, I’m adding to the list. Most of the ideas focus on happiness and mental health, not just physical fitness. Very inspiring! (Thank you, dear FB friends, for participating!)
Tammy: We have really been working on becoming more like a family. We remind staff members that we are committed to a drama-free work place. Also, at Christmas, for our party, we had a meal together and shared some life experiences during our meal.
Frankey: We introduced fruit for training meetings instead of donuts. It is cheaper too. (I believe an “apple a day keeps the doctor away.”)
Remy: Remember mental health! When an employee comes to me with a complaint or frustration, I always find a silver lining and mention that first, no matter what comes next in problem solving. Start out the discussion on a positive note, even if the employee just needs to vent. The brain and body are so connected, it’s always important to teach skills for both for the best long-term results.
Bob: We hired a personal trainer who came in, did a nutrition class and led a workout, once a week for six weeks. Open to the whole family. Our team lost 80 pounds in total, and people started going back to the gym.
Scott: NERDbody is four simple one-to-two minute activities that you do throughout the day using progressive resistance. The activities are designed to improve your mobility posture, strength and metabolism because that is what suffers most with our sedentary work life. In 2017, I won my fifth consecutive USA Masters Track and Field Championship and set an American age group record. I also spend 10+ hours a day at my computer. The short, at work, no-sweat activities of NERDbody are my workout program. (Yep, this is a flat out plug for his program, but it sounds great!)
Cheri: We added STAND-UP DESKS for the entire team. The desk app sets a certain amount of time for sitting/standing and alerts each team member. THEY LOVE them. We also have a HIGH END trampoline available for jumping and altering your state if needed. (Can you tell Cheri is full of energy? Yep yep!)
Erin: During the holidays, we launched a project, a secret Santa concept. You get a secret target and a couple months to get to know and do something nice/thoughtful for someone. It’s not about money; you can spend money or not. It is about doing something they would appreciate and make them feel good and cared for. We did this with our virtual team, as we were all feeling the day-to-day grind. It worked wonderfully in pulling us together, as we surprised each other with gifts of thoughtfulness. (Love this!)
Carl: Read great books, like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and the 4 Disciplines Of Execution. (Audiobooks and podcasts are a much better mental health choice than talk radio.)
Greg: Structure and clarity with compassion and an understanding of family first are important. Personally, I think most entrepreneurs are so busy visioning that they forget to hit on the details and bring the team along with them. Monthly goal celebrations and respectfulness at all times is key.
Jennifer: I did chair massage at offices for years. 15 minutes a week resolved a lot of chronic problems for people and kept stress at bay. Wish more people were offering chair massage everywhere — it’s awesome. (I could use one right now!)
Matt: We bought everyone who wanted one a Fitbit if they would agree to wear it for three months and join the company Fitbit group.
Isisara: Having the team form a circle before our big events, going around the circle and stating what success would look like for each person. (A powerful tool for visualizing success. Good for your health, too!)
Lynn: I have since retired, but I was an advocate for, and accomplished getting, a basket outside our elementary school front door. Above the door was a sign encouraging ALL who enter to deposit their personal issues in the basket for the day for the sake of the children.
M.J.: Hand sanitizers at each workstation are a must when you can’t wash your hands. USE OFTEN! (The basics work.)
Anna: I was an employee wellness intern at the city of Springfield. My project was to implement a 12-week healthy behaviors program. People were excited about it, especially with having prizes and incentives tied to it.
Mark: In my new book, Freedom from Fat, the hero, Charlie, replaces snack and soda machines with FREE water bottles, fruit, veggies and nuts in the break room. Hmmm. (And the book is fab! Thanks, Mark.)
Lorie: I teach people green living and how to shop wholesale from green manufacturers. I also work with my husband in his real estate office. I have detoxified our office cleaning supplies and bought diffusers for everyone. They love them. The air quality you surround yourself with makes all the difference in the world.
Randy: We have done a “Biggest Loser” contest for several years. It’s based on the amount of percentage weight lost. First and Second Place winners get prizes. We start before Thanksgiving and compete for six months.
William: I started a running group at work. We would run during lunch break, and then eat lunch while working. We found some great running trails near the office. It was great! We also started a Tuesday morning prayer group. It was voluntary, and we invited anyone from any religion to attend.
Sandy: Hospitals are designed to manage sickness and trauma. They are not geared for getting well. Offer to be on hand, to serve as an advocate, if a friend or co-worker ends up in the hospital. Or spell family members for a few hours, in the hospital and at home as they recover. We all need a little encouragement and accountability as we recover. (Oh, I love this one! So important to help each other heal.)
Got a different opinion, or an idea you’d like to share? Reach me at email@example.com.