You will understand what I am about to say if you constantly fight with diet, smoking, working out or trying to maintain your health. Changing or maintaining healthy habits is hard! It doesn’t matter how smart or show much elf-control you have, it’s not easy for any of us.
Many of the people who come to me for coaching http://www.dianagabriel.com/whatiscoaching.php, find it difficult to maintain healthy habits. I have also had my share of challenges. Every so often you climb that mountain and other times you find yourself slipping down. Here are a few things that I’ve learned about our decision to climb that mountain or to slide down it.
As brain scientists of today study human behavior, they find that we make choices and operate more instinctively than previously assumed.
It’s not that we’re robots without free will or that we lack the wisdom and advanced decision-making skills. It’s that our brains (specifically, the frontal cortex) simply drive us to act in ways that often dodge sophisticated thought processes—and much more often than we would like to admit.
For example, how else do you explain the increase in overweight, diseased, stressed-out and addicted people each decade, despite our vast knowledge of health, nutrition and fitness? We devote a lot of money and study to cure disease, and very little to actually encourage wellness.
World Health Organization statistics reveal there are now more overweight than undernourished people worldwide. Only one in twenty U.S. adults engages in all top-six health behaviors according to David Berrigan in a 2003 article in Preventive Medicine, “Patterns of health behavior in US adults”. How many people actually know what they are? These top-six health behaviors are:
- Regular exercise
- Healthful fat intake
- Consumption of 5 servings of fruit and vegetables daily
- Limited drinking (alcohol) and drug use
- Maintaining a healthy weight
Seemingly, it is reported that the more our standard of living improves the less people are happy with their life we report. Countries track their Gross National Product (GNP) and education levels to measure citizens’ quality of life. In addition, Great Britain recently decided to track its population’s health and well-being. An individuals health and well-being is now considered as important to how satisfied one is with their life as money or education.
Of course, no one evaluates their leaders and bosses on health and wellness, so what does it matter, right? Well, have you ever worked for an overweight, driven, cigarette and alcohol- addicted boss? Besides the stress that accompanies habits, there’s evidence that mindfulness of good habits leads to success in other areas, such as relationships. If you treat yourself poorly, you’re more likely to treat others poorly.
I’m very interested in learning more about the link between healthy personal habits and effectiveness as a leader. Why don’t you share your experience and thoughts with me in regards to how an unhealthy boss or leader affects the team.