Focus on the Whole Team: Wellbeing is Built on Small Changes

March 7th, 2017 | by Walt Whitfield
Focus on the Whole Team: Wellbeing is Built on Small Changes
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Small Changes

A phrase used in the wellness industry is “small changes, big results.” It’s simple but true. Typically, these changes are to physical activity or diet. These minor lifestyle tweaks can have major effects on your overall well-being. What’s great is these tweaks are not limited to physical activity and diet, and cost little to add to your daily routine. Here are a few small changes that are simple but effective.

Change Your Gear

It is understandable that if you work for a university athletic department you will often wear the team colors. Your job in part is to promote the brand throughout the community. With that expectation and the digital age keeping employees plugged into work in some capacity at all times, it is important to find ways to disconnect from your job.

So do yourself a favor. Begin an after work ritual of changing into non-work related clothes as soon as you get home to disconnect. It is entirely impossible to get away from being an employee, but it could do you some good to not live every moment as a representative of your institution.


Change Cheat to Reward

Many people have a co-worker who is health conscious. When caught eating sweets, they reply “it’s my cheat day!” As a health promoter, I cringe when I hear the word cheat. If a person is eating unhealthy snack food every day, then yes, they are cheating themselves. But if you have stuck with exercise and diet for a scheduled amount of time, a piece of cake is not cheating.

Change the word cheat to reward. Trust that the occasional slice of cake will do little to curve your chances of reaching your health goals. If anything, it will reward your progress. Another tip is to schedule your reward days on special events. A Saturday tailgate. An alumni party. An athletic awards ceremony. Just keep the rewards within a moderate amount.  

Change the Way You Gauge Your Health

The University of Nebraska Cornhuskers football program has a home sellout streak dating back to 1962. This streak is a source of pride for the university and fan base. As an athletic department, event attendance is a key performance indicator. But if Nebraska strictly cared about sellouts, how would they ever truly gauge a positive trend when the attendance number has been static?

In the health industry, many people only worry about weight. What if you are at your ideal weight or hit a plateau during weight loss? You need other health measurements to gauge success and keep you engaged. Waist circumference, serum lipid profile, blood pressure, push-ups, and a step test are all easy ways to score your health. Multiple measurements allow for a better assessment of your health by identifying strengths and deficiencies. Often, a small tweak here and there are all that is needed to improve weak areas.

Typically, these changes are as easy as not wearing work clothes at home, rewarding your progress with a little snack, or finding other ways to show positive health growth instead of fixating on one measurement.  Remember small changes become big results. Don’t complicate things.

 

About Walter WhitfieldWalter

Walter Whitfield is an employee wellness consultant and founder of Lavoro Workplace Wellness where he helps businesses improve their workplace through employee wellness strategies. He has worked with corporations like Chevron, BP, and Seadrill. Walter is a former college athlete for Louisiana’s Ragin Cajuns where he competed in cross country and track, winning Sunbelt conference titles in the 3k Steeplechase and 5k. He is married, has 3 kids, and loves all things New Orleans Saints and Louisiana’s Ragin Cajuns.

wearelavoro@gmail.com

About Walt Whitfield
Walter Whitfield is an employee wellness consultant and founder of Lavoro Workplace Wellness where he helps businesses improve their workplace through employee wellness strategies. He has worked with corporations like Chevron, BP, and Seadrill. Walter is a former college athlete for Louisiana’s Ragin Cajuns where he competed in cross country and track, winning Sunbelt conference titles in the 3k Steeplechase and 5k. He is married, has 3 kids, and loves all things New Orleans Saints and Louisiana’s Ragin Cajuns.

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