By Megan Shepherd
Happy New Year! Starting a new year often comes with a new energy as we look at goals we want to accomplish. There’s a sense of starting on a new page or a fresh slate as the clock ticks over to January 1st. Some will set resolutions which are often too broad or vague. Some will set goals which are often more specific and actionable. These tend to vary across several topics which typically include professional goals and fitness goals (I know mine often do!). The question is…. Why not achieve both?
There is a proven connection between overall fitness and performance at work. Forbes Magazine references five building blocks for success that you can learn through regular exercise (Cohen).
Build Mental Strength. Physical fitness can help provide mental clarity and can help develop the connection between the mind and body. It’s when I’m running, walking, or doing any workout that ideas often pop into my mind. An example is this article! Fitness is a way to get out of your comfort zone, push through limits. Fitness instructors talk about how your mind will quit well before your body will; these are those self-imposed limits that don’t necessarily exist. As you achieve and break those fitness goals, that same mentality can be used for any limits in life. Bit by bit, little by little, you can achieve any goal.
Stay the Path. Habits and routines take a long time to become automatic – an average of 66 days — but sometimes it can take three times that. It takes consistency, discipline, and time. No one can expect to see results on day one. That applies to fitness results as well as in the professional environment. Be consistent – even when it’s tough.
Take Health Seriously. Our own health is something that can easily slip from the priority list. As we support our families, friends, and customers, we often come second, third, fourth. If we don’t put our own health first, there may come a time when we can’t support those we want to support. Fitness helps keep our hearts and bodies healthy. In addition to strengthening the body, it strengthens the mind and improves cognitive functioning. Putting your health first now, will result in strength for success in the future.
Become Goal-Oriented. Fitness creates a hunger for continued growth and will result in goal achievement. As we said above, goals are specific and actionable. By setting goals, you’ll have a sense of achievement and success that will drive you to keep going. It will create momentum to keep going. What applies to fitness goals, applies to professional goals. Make them specific and actionable – complete a certification, meet or exceed all timelines for a month, actively participate in a council, present a SimV Academy to improve presentation skills, etc.
Mood Booster and Confidence. Two words – endorphins and serotonin! When you exercise, both are in play. During exercise, your body releases endorphins which cause happiness and serotonin which reduces stress and anxiety. I know that I always feel better after I exercise. I start the day that way and will end the workday with a dog walk to clear my mind and decompress before I tackle making dinner for the family and other evening responsibilities. That walk is me putting myself first so I can then be the best for my family. Additionally, as you meet and exceed your fitness goals, you begin to believe in yourself and what you’re capable of achieving. All of which translate into your confidence in the workplace.
Success isn’t something that just happens by chance – it’s a result for ceaseless resolve and steady hard work. That hard work is habitual; it takes consistency and commitment. So, as we embark on a new year, set those fitness and professional goals!
Cohen, Jennifer. “The Single Most Important Habit for Achieving Super Success.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 19 Oct. 2018, https://www.www.forbes.com/sites/jennifercohen/2018/10/19/the-single-most-important-habit-for-achieving-super-success/?sh=4472e21550f8.