One of the tips I give clients when it comes to staying committed to exercise sessions or other health habits is to treat the time allocated for these things like important appointments – like a meeting with your boss. If you had an appointment with your boss, would you skip it? Or push it off without a valid reason? Of course not, but we do this to ourselves ALL. THE. TIME.
We have a plan to go to the gym or to meal plan or for a walk, but the time comes and we’re busy, overwhelmed or just don’t have it in us. So we skip it or push it off. And the consequence is often that we feel overwhelmed, guilty or in a constant state of not enough-ness. It sucks!
What if instead of viewing your health commitments as yet another chore in your very busy life, you approached your health commitments as appointments with yourself (aka. your boss)?
How would that transform your relationship with your health habits?
Before we go too far down this analogy I’d like to clarify that you’d be an AMAZING boss. The kind of boss who wins HR awards for their kindness and innovation. For their capacity to get $h*t done and have a blast doing it. Who employees LOVE. Yeah, that boss.
As I started thinking about that boss I thought back to bosses I’ve had who inspired me and came up with a list of characteristics that I think relate beautifully to this analogy. Here’s the list and how you can apply them.
- Set clear boundaries. A great boss may offer flexibility but there are always very clear boundaries on what is and is not acceptable. Ex. You can work from home, sure, but the job needs to be done and done well.
- Make sure you set clear boundaries for yourself. In my coaching practice I use something called the Health Zone. The lower end of the Health Zone is your non-negotiables. The things you’ll do no matter what. That’s a boundary. Look at all the healthy boundaries you can set for yourself and then make sure you hold yourself to them! A good boundary is only if it’s respected!
- Understand your capacity. A great boss doesn’t assign you work you’re not capable of completing. They understand your strengths and hone them. They appreciate your weaknesses and help you develop them.
- This all starts with mindfulness. Noticing and owning what your strengths and weaknesses are!
- Instead of leaping from novice to expert where you’re weak, lean in. Encourage your inner learner by developing your skill set with time and practice. And while you’re at it put your strengths to good use!
- Use your resources. A great boss makes use of all resources to get things done efficiently and effectively. They not only know what their assets are, they put them into play.
- A great company isn’t about everyone doing everything in silos! It’s about enabling collaboration, connection and community! The same is true for health.
- Identify your key resources (perhaps a great blog, book or coach), and then put them into play.
- Don’t be shy! Asking for help is often the most profound step forward!
- Challenge yourself (just enough to help you grow and develop). A great boss will challenge you. They’ll encourage you to develop and grow as an employee by giving you projects and tasks that take you just a little bit out of your comfort zone.
- As the saying goes, if nothing changes, nothing changes. This is so true for health! If you’re always staying in your comfort zone – you can’t possibly grow!
- As we say in yoga, find your edge. Being a little uncomfortable is a great sign of progress!
- Hold yourself accountable. A great boss will hold you accountable to your commitments. Through clear expectations, reasonable deadlines, and effective measures or tracking a great boss ensures you follow through.
- Determine your best practices for holding yourself accountable.
- Start with expectations: I highly recommend starting by having a clear definition of what health means to you and then reflect on how that translates into a vision and practice of health.
- Set reasonable deadlines to measure progress and course correct as needed!
- Determine the best measures for you. This might be tracking your health habits or your wins.
- Having a coach or an accountability buddy can be a powerful tool in your pocket here.
- Be kind & compassionate. A great boss helps you stay inspired and get things done, but also understands that you’re human and as a human you’ll have a tough time now and then.
- Don’t expect yourself to be perfect. Embrace self-compassion and remember to treat yourself the way you’d treat others.
- Remember that you’re human. Honour the “failures” as opportunities for growth and learning and be gentle with yourself!
Your body is your business. Nobody gets a say what or how you treat your body. Be the boss of your own body. Own it. Treat it with respect, kindness and compassion. And find the practice of health + fitness that fits you!