Over the past year, learning about colleagues, friends, and acquaintances wrestling with newfound health issues has been almost a daily occurrence. Three former colleagues have being diagnosed with breast cancer, one is wrestling with a previously undetected autoimmune disease, and yet another has a myriad of debilitating symptoms yet to be diagnosed. All are seemingly health conscious people in their 40’s or 50’s, without a history of health problems, and all have now had to take a complete pause to put their health and healing front and center in their lives. Health and healing has now become a number one, all-encompassing priority for each of them.
Not surprisingly, “health” is always mentioned as a top priority and as very important to the people I work with on a daily basis. When I ask people to list the top five priorities or the five most important things in their lives, “health” inevitably falls in the top three.
All of this has made me think of one of the exercises I do regularly with my clients:
- I ask them to list the top five most important priorities in their lives.
- I then ask them to write down next to each priority what behaviors they would exhibit daily to demonstrate that that item was a priority.
- Finally, I ask them to look at the priorities and the behaviors they wrote down, and to assess whether or not they were indeed behaving as if the things they espouse as priorities were as important as they say they are. (If not, what were they doing instead?)
What they often find is that there is quite a mismatch between what they say is most important and their actual actions. Their actual behaviors don’t really reflect their priorities, at least not regularly.
For example, as someone who espouses personal health as a top priority, the behaviors I would exhibit that would reflect that fact would be as follows:
- I would make a consistent effort to choose healthy foods
- I would avoid toxins and toxic foods
- I would exercise regularly
- I would practice yoga regularly
- I would be sure to get all my annual screening tests
- I would be diligent about following up on my preventative care
- I would put my health and these things above before other things that are not on my top priority list
And the like, you get the idea.
Am I doing these things I mention above? I am making a good effort — but the answer is “no”. The reality is, I say that health is actually my number one priority above all else, yet in practice and behavior, it falls behind. I go to my hairdresser for hair grooming more regularly than I go to my doctor for preventative tests!
So I’d like this post to be your “recalibration” catalyst for something as important as your health this week, with the following questions to you:
Would you say your health is one of your top priorities?
Do your behaviors indicate that importance?
If not, why not?
What actions do you need to take today to align your actions to your intentions?
One thing we all share in common is our human condition, which includes the fragility of our human bodies. It is up to each of us to treat it with care and nurture it accordingly.
Here’s to your health!
Originally published at www.themanagroup.com.