This week I’ve had the opportunity to talk to a group of business women at the launch of a networking event.
My brief was 5 minutes and I knew that I had to stick to it. So I made sure I was prepared, practised and ready with a timed piece.
I wanted to share with them how closely aligned our health is with something like a pension.
I’m guessing none of us would actively choose to rely on the State Pension at retirement. It’s about £170 a week at the moment and that’s not going to keep us in the lifestyle we’ve become accustomed to.
As such pensions are a long term investment. There’s a saying that the best time to start a pension is in your twenties and the second best time is today.
The same is true of your health.
You need to start young to get the best results that make maintaining it easy-peasy.
Failing that start now.
You wouldn’t expect to invest in a pension with one deposit and expect it to deliver in 30 or 40 years time. You invest monthly, in small, regular amounts so that the accumulation of effort gets compounded and grows over time.
Managing your health is the same.
Making small, daily choices about what to eat, when to exercise, when to go to bed, stopping work, getting outside and seeing friends and family all make up the regular investments to build and nourish your health investment plan.
Missing one pension payment isn’t going to ruin your retirement. Just as eating one family size pizza to yourself or having a piece of chocolate cake is going to ruin your diet.
I see the accumulation of small, consistent payments into your health pot as valuable to you as your monthly pension / savings contributions.
So what could you focus on?
Food – the best thing you can do for your health is to cook with fresh from scratch. Before you try any other regime that gets you counting points or removing food stuffs, cook from scratch first and watch the changes. If you feel overwhelmed with this, just do one day a week and build up.
Liquid calories – unless it’s water it’s going to have an impact on your body in someway. Too much caffeine? Too much alcohol? Diet drinks, milk based drinks (dairy or non), flavoured waters. Consider what you’re drinking and how it might be impacting you.
Exercise – can you create a rule along the lines of ‘no more than 3 days without exercise‘ or ‘walk each lunchtime‘. Whatever it is, get moving for brain function and muscle maintenance/growth.
Lifestyle habits – which habits are keeping you from getting what you want? Sleep patterns, a social media habit, alcohol consumption, work/life balance, time stuck inside or lack of purpose to name but a few.
Team – who you hang with. Are you with people who bring you down or keep you chipper? Do you follow people on social media who leave you feeling bad about yourself or do you have a bunch of awesome mates who you can be you with whilst they challenge you to do more?
And I acknowledge that I talk about this concept a lot. And you may have skimmed through this post today. However unless you feel top-of-the-world-tickety-boo, I think we can all do something to improve our chances.
At the event we all received a small card. Each card had a different message on it. Mine read “I don’t know where to start” on the back it read “What one small thing can I do towards it?”