BY: ROMAINE SEGUIN
The last quarter of the year is an important one for me. It is the last mile in the business calendar to achieve the set objectives, and it’s the time to start planning for the following year. It’s even more important personally because it’s not only about holiday parties, vacation and spending time with our loved ones. The prospect of a new year is “Look in the mirror” time, and it’s the perfect opportunity to make positive changes to yourself — because if you don’t take care of yourself, who will?
When I started with my company many years ago in a job that involved handling large boxes daily, it was, in part, because the job required physical activity. Being a huge sports fan and an athlete, it was a way for me to stay fit. Over the years, I kept growing with the company and moving up the corporate ladder, and that’s when I discovered that in order to succeed managing large groups of people, I needed to be emotionally, physically and mentally fit.
Over the past several years, I’ve developed a daily routine that is rarely missed. I start my day very early in the morning running 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) and lifting light weights. I travel quite a bit, and my only requirement is that the hotel must have a workout facility or have access to a neighboring health club. I always remember my hotel by the workout amenities. I could not tell you about the restaurants, gift shops or any other featured attraction. I can only tell you about the gym.
My routine has also evolved from being a mere physical workout to being my own think tank. It’s when I’m exercising that I think of the best birthday gift to buy, how to handle a delicate business situation or how to address the toughest employee concern. I have come to realize how valuable this time is to me and how it sets me up to be the best person I can be, both professionally and personally.
I strongly believe it is important to give yourself time each day to do something for yourself. Whether you choose to partake in yoga, swimming, bike riding, meditating or something else that makes you happy, giving yourself that time for just you is a must. What works for me is to do the same routine the same time each day, and yes, I do continue with my schedule on the weekends. I typically only miss one or two days a month due to schedule or choice.
So readers, let’s get started! First choose an activity, preferably one you enjoy, even if it is a leisurely walk. If you need a buddy system to get started, then team up with a friend or family member. I have always preferred to be alone with my routine because I can more easily control what I do, even when it’s challenging during business trips. The first step is to get started.
Here’s a helpful checklist once you choose your activity:
• What time of day is best for you to complete your routine? Try to be consistent with the time.
• Do you have the proper footwear, attire and/or accessories?
• Always have plenty of water on hand.
• Have a backup plan for weather if you prefer activities involving the outdoors.
• Most important, have fun, smile and enjoy!
For the first month, chart your progress on what you have completed. I still log my exercise routine every day in my planner. As I write this article, I am in Mexico City, and this morning I ran 5 kilometers in 21 minutes and 57 seconds and did four stomach and six arm series. The sacrifice of one hour of sleep gives great rewards.
After your month is completed, reflect back on how you feel and what you’ve achieved. If you missed any of your sessions, ask yourself whether that was a good choice. Then reward yourself for completing the month. It could be something simple, like a glass of wine or maybe even a new pair of shoes.
I hope these lines will inspire people to adopt this healthy lifestyle, but I want to do something else: I invite each of you to write me an email when you complete your first three-month period and tell me about your experience. I promise I will respond back to you and will become your biggest fan. So I look forward to many emails in February!