Thinner Next Year

My friends and colleagues know I am over the moon about the book I recommend to everyone called Younger Next Year, an amazing guide to turning back the physiological clock and having more energy, vitality and good health than you've had in years. The big "aha" is cardio exercise, unfailingly, 6 days a week, where you get your heart rate up and sweat. It's amazing, really. I've been doing it for months. This stuff works.

Co-Author Chris Crowley decided to write a companion, Thinner Next Year, because he was in peak physical condition (at 70, skiing down black diamonds, biking a hundred miles a day) but was still carrying around a few extra pounds. So he sought the help of Jennifer Sacheck, Tufts University Ph.D. nutritionist and former athlete. He become her guinea pig. The book cracks the code on how to finally shed that stubborn, extra 5 or 10 (or...okay..20 or 25) pounds that elude even hard, regular exercise. Through nutrition (not dieting) you can change your body at the cellular level and tell your muscles, heart, organs everything to turn back the clock.

As I'm beginning to read the book, it occurs to me that a lot of successful leaders I know aren’t just carrying around a few extra pounds,  They have psychological weight that's slowing them down. Like Chris Crowley, they can run faster and harder than most people, however that doesn't necessarily mean they're "healthy." There's an old adage, if you want something done, give it to a busy person. You have an enormous capacity for work. You can go all day and all night. But that doesn't mean it's good for you, or your company.

If you're going to go the distance you need to shed work/life pounds. In that spirit, I offer nine tips I've been giving my clients, and am recommitting to live by myself. 

  1. Get rid of the "junk food" activities that don't nourish you.    

  2. Look ahead to 2014 and ask yourself, what do I want to do with the coming year?  Put those activities on your calendar first: travel, vacations, professional education, exercise, family, friends, all of it.

  3. If you already have credit "in the bank" with volunteer events and community organizations, you don't need to keep making deposits. Take a "zero-based" approach to accepting events and volunteer activities, and every three years, cycle out of one and try something new.

  4. Just because you can fit it in, doesn’t mean you should.

  5. Don’t be afraid of having "nothing" to do on evenings and weekends.

  6. Every single day you should have white space to actually get a few things done.

  7. Ask yourself if this is a "hell yes," because if it isn't, it's a "hell no."

  8. Instead of chaining yourself to your desk, have walking meetings with people; they'll be shorter and more productive.

  9. Allow yourself the opportunity to give when the spirit moves you. A friend of mine defines success as having the resources and time to give as people come across his path.  This approach lifts your spirit and makes you feel lighter and freer. 

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