One of the greatest obstacles I see busy and time pressed professionals face time and again, when trying to improve their level of fitness and wellbeing is that of time. Really, if I had a pound for every time someone told me they just “don’t have time” to improve their wellness routines…well let’s say I’d be buying WAY more Stella McCartney bags than I currently do. This issue feels particularly insurmountable to parent of small children: in many cases it rally is the “make or break” factor in whether someone will indeed take action towards shifting their habits for the better.
Now let me tell you a story: my story, actually (and my father’s story). You see, after spending hours (and I mean HOURS) researching and investigation my purpose and our company’s mission statement as a part of a business accelerator course I attended (by Dent Global, BEST thing we ever did), I realised how far back the seed was planted for me to become who I am and do what I do.
My dad was a VERY successful entrepreneur; in his early thirties, he quit his safe and sound full time job to start a business which he grew to several millions euros in revenue in 5 or 6 years. He actually invented a profession that didn’t really exist before his time. He was brilliant, successful, healthy and had it all, or so it seemed. Until he didn’t. When I was only 8 years old my dad became ill with with Bipolar Disorder, a mental illness which is a trickier variation of Depression, and in all honesty has never really recovered. I see now with great clarity that he simply didn’t have the tools to handle the mounting pressure of a highly demanding creative job and running a business on his own, whilst taking care of a young family. He literally crumbled under the pressure and lost EVERYTHING he had worked so hard to achieve over many years. Needless to say, the consequences were profound and traumatising not only on him but also us and ALL the many communities around him: his extended family, his employees, clients and work associates, his friends. The list goes on.
We often think of our fitness and wellbeing routines as something we do “just for us” but the truth is, they’re not just for us.
When we’re strong, fit, healthy and fully satisfied we go through life with different energy and stamina; we have more to contribute and generally do a better job all around. This extends far beyond the workplace too: we are better care takers, parents, friends and partners. We’re happier in our body and mind and therefore are more pleasant to be around. Not to mention, and this is huge for young parents in particular, we are a great example to our kids who will inevitably pick up the good habits, consciously or unconsciously.
So next time you struggle to make time for a run, nap, massage or to cook yourself a healthy meal because “the kids come first”, think again. Your kids want nothing more than for you to be your healthiest, fittest, happiest and most satisfied self because if you’re not, we they can’t be either. Simple.
I wish my dad had take time to take care of himself: I didn’t need more stuff, better schools to attend or cars to be driven in. I needed a healthy and thriving father that could be there for me physically and emotionally. Taking care of ourselves should be top priority and is our greatest responsibility at ALL times because if we don’t, soon enough somebody else will have to; and if you have any children it may just have to be them.
I know often times it’s easier said than done and essentially, that’s why I do what I do: I want to empower as many business owners and CEOs as I can to establish solid, sustainable wellness routines in their daily habits so that non of them will ever have to face the traumas me and my family went through for so long. Don’t believe anyone who tells you it’s not possible. Don’t settle for “good enough”.
Don’t wait until things get a little easier as they may never do. Most importantly, don’t use your kids as an excuse: use them as a motivation to make it even more of a priority. Start now. #maketheshift