It’s about religion, not tactics. In June of last year, I wasn’t paying any attention to my health. At all.
I was working eighteen hour days, taking every meeting I could, running an agency, investing, and spending time with my family. But I wasn’t making any time for my health. It wasn’t a priority.
And this baffled me. I couldn’t understand why I attacked every other thing in my life with such vigor, but not this. Why not my health?
The more I thought about it, the more I realized something when it comes to our well-being. With health and wellness, you’re either accountable…or you’re not. And in every other part of my life at that time, I felt accountable.
The things I am best at are things where I am accountable to someone else.
The sense of responsibility, for example, that I have for my businesses, for the 550 people of my agency VaynerMedia, is greater than my own well-being. My sense of accountability comes from the fact that I feel that I owe it to them.
I tried to do the same thing with my health. “What’s the matter with me?” was something I thought a lot back then. If I don’t fix this, I’m going to die. I’m going to lose.
All the terrible things that could happen were by-products of the process I was living. As a practitioner, I needed to find accountability in the trenches of that world. I was accountable to my employees in business. I needed to find someone who could hold me to those standards in health as well. I needed the same drive that I had in business.
So, what happened? How did I make the switch?
I introduced a person to hold me accountable. I hired a full time trainer. Mike. The reason I work out every day is because I don’t want to let Mike down. I have to be ready to go at 5:45am because Mike will be upset if I’m not.
I hacked away at what made me tick till I discovered, within myself, what would force me to get healthy.
So that worked for me. I succeeded at finding a way for myself to make it work.
But so often these narratives can be frustrating because they leave us with tactics and hacks and ideas…and that’s it. And you’ve probably read a bunch of articles on the best stretches, the best fifteen minute workouts, the best smoothies.
The thing is, there is something we aren’t addressing enough in this space.
Here is the real lesson in my narrative that applies to everyone: it’s all about religion, not tactics.
It’s not about P90X, or CrossFit, or a juice cleanse. It’s about an enormous mental shift. It’s about believing in what you do.
That’s what happened to me. Before I even decided what kind of routine I was going to get myself into, I took a big step back and self-evaluated. I asked myself questions and tried to become as self-aware as possible. I realized my whole accountability thing. I made a switch. I refocused.
The tactic was accountability. But it became a religion over the first sixteen months, when I changed my entire thinking.
I figured out exactly what I needed by being brutally honest with myself: I needed someone to babysit me. Now all I ask is that you’re equally honest with yourself when you answer: What will it really take for you to make the change?
For some, money still may be the bottleneck. To that I say this: Nothing is more important than your health. So before you buy that next 42-inch TV, go on an extra vacation, or buy season tickets to your favorite sports team, it might be worth taking a step back and seeing how you can make a strong financial commitment to your health. I am the extreme. It’s not practical for everybody to go out and hire a personal trainer, but gym memberships are becoming more affordable, fresh produce is attainable, and YouTube has hundreds of free workouts.
Starting now could mean 20 extra years of doing what you love. Isn’t that reason enough? Definitely was for me.
Image credit: CC by 401(K) 2012