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Change Your Life and Create a Life You Love!
Achieve Health, Happiness and Fulfilment!

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February 2007 - Edition 4
New Years Resolutions - Achieve Health, Happiness and Fulfilment!
Written and published by Gina Gardiner
Please visit our website www.recoveringworkaholics.com


Dear Recovering Workaholic,


Welcome to this our fourth newsletter for Recovering Workaholics.


Firstly I would like to thank you for signing up for this newsletter which is published on a monthly basis.


Create A Life You Love - Change Your Life
Achieve Health, Happiness and Fulfilment!

I do hope that 2007 has got off to a flying start!


Are you one of those who decided not to make any New Years Resolutions so you didn’t have the pressure of failing to keep them?


Did you decide over Christmas that 2007 was going to be the year when you created a great work – life balance?


What have you done to change things? Is it working?


Remember if you always do what you have always done, you will always have what you’ve already got.


Being a workaholic is a challenge. It becomes the default setting we return to when life gets tricky or you stop focusing on the life you want. The problem with only using your ability to “focus” is that it requires constant effort and it fails to get to the underlying causes which are usually about the our beliefs.


Let me use a different example, but one where there is a very close parallel - Loosing weight.


Our desire to loose weight drives a multi billion pound industry in the Western world. There are thousands of different diets, books, exercise programmes and videos all giving wonderful advice. They are usually telling us what we already know.


Being a healthy weight is just an equation. Take in more calories than you use in physical activity and you are guaranteed to put on weight. Use more calories through physical activity than you eat and you will loose weight.


If it is so simple, why are so many people still significantly overweight?


Many people get as far as buying the product and by doing so feel good for a short while because they believe they have at least taken action.


The same principle is true of gym membership. People sign on for a six month or year long membership and buy all the right gear. They go once, or a few times, find it hard or boring, may be pull a muscle and then give up.


Specialized food is available in thousands of different guises – yet more people in the western world are over weight or clinically obese than at ay time in history.


We are being bombarded with information, think of all the TV reality shows showing obese people fighting their flab or makeover programmes where people have radical surgery to address the problem.


Is this addressing the problem?


When I talk and work with people who are over weight and get to the heart of the matter, with out exception they have a proven track record of being able to lose weight. Indeed many of them have lost their body weight several times over in their lifetime.


The problem does not lie with their ability to lose the pounds. It is about how they feel about themselves and the relationship they have created with food. The issue is how to enjoy food and maintain a healthy weight whilst feeling good about yourself.


How many of you or your close family and friends would recognize the weight cycle below?


Weight Cycle:

  • I feel bad about how I look, I must lose weight!
  • I need lots of will power – I’ll go on a diet
  • On a diet – all I can think about is food, it takes over my waking thoughts and most of my conversation outside work
  • Lose weight – feel better about me
  • Life happens – I find the weight creeps back on as soon as I eat normally or I want to feel valued and happy but I don’t – I need comfort so I eat
  • The metabolic rate has been altered by being on a diet so I actually put weight on more easily
  • I’ve put weight on again – feel bad about me – what I really need is will power – I need to go on a different diet.

Does it have to be like that?


No - Once clients change their relationship with themselves and they learn to love and appreciate who they are – wobbly bits and all they can start to create a very different relationship to food and to life.


The result is a healthy life style which is easy to maintain in the long term, a better self image and a healthy emotional approach to food. The weight loss might be somewhat slower but it doesn’t rely on will power in the same way. They are able to create a life style change which is lasting and doesn’t require a huge investment of will power.


The principles about changing your work life balance are no different. If you want true fulfilment and a great work life balance, where you feel in control, you need to look at why you are driven to work such long hours.


Think about the benefits of letting work take over your life.


Think of the costs to your health, your sense of wellbeing, your relationships with family and friends of letting work take over your life. What has it cost you?


Think about the balance between the costs and benefits of continuing with your present life.


Does it serve you in the short term? How about over your life as a whole?


How long are you prepared to keep paying the price?


Are you ready to take control of your life?


Take action now – if you need some help, contact us.


Make 2007 the year when you start living life to the full!


The following article from More Than Business appeared recently. Does it ring true for you?



Another New Year and a raft of resolutions will see millions of Brits up and down the country aspire to get fit in 2007. However, according to research released today by MORE TH>N BUSINESS, these good intentions will quickly be forgotten when workers step back into the office this month.

Despite a desire to live a healthy lifestyle, the research revealed that the British workforce is increasingly putting work commitments over and above health issues. In 2006, 44 per cent of workers admitted to cancelling doctor’s appointments booked during work time and more worryingly, over one in eight (12 per cent) felt it necessary to store up ailments to avoid making trips to the doctor more often1. These findings are echoed by a recent report from the Developing Patient Partnerships department that showed over 11 million GP appointments were missed in 2006.

Unable to fulfil doctors’ appointments, 13 per cent of workers said they used alternative means like NHS Direct or their local pharmacist to obtain health advice in their own time and one in 10 women even resorted to self-diagnosis by getting their health advice from friends and family.

Workaholic Brits are not only compromising their health but fitness too. January is the single most popular month for joining a gym when the fitness industry sees an11.8 per cent increase in new memberships2. Despite this surge in new joiners and the cost to sign-up, the research revealed that British workers just don’t get around to having a regular workout. Nearly half (49 per cent) of working gym members admitted to going just once a week or less and out of those a staggering one in five members (22 per cent) never make it to the gym at all.

Fatigue and work commitments were cited as the main reasons for neglecting the gym. 43 per cent of workers said they were just too tired to head for the gym either before or after work and over a third directly attributed their lack of exercise to work commitments.

Mike Bowman, head of insurance at MORE TH>N BUSINESS, explained: “At a time when healthy eating and exercise is high on the government’s agenda, these findings don’t bode well for our health or make good business sense, especially when ten per cent of workers openly admit to being resentful that work takes precedence over health.”

It is a well-known fact that regular exercise and good general health helps combat stress, making individuals happier and more productive at work. MORE TH>N BUSINESS was shocked to find that so many people are neglecting their health and has a 24 hour customer helpline to give health and wellbeing counselling to small business owners.

Bowman concluded: “Sole traders and small business owners are the most vulnerable sector of the British workforce. Time restrictions mean they are more likely to ignore nagging health problems, but ultimately they have more to lose from taking these risks. It’s important they keep their health in tip-top condition to avoid taking extended periods of time off work, which may even result in their businesses having to cease trading temporarily.”

For further information on small business insurance from MORE TH>N BUSINESS call 0800 072 0077 or log onto www.morethanbusiness.com.


Media Interest


Recovering Workaholics has a mention in the February edition of Readers Digest. The snippet is all about the productive use of time in meetings. If you spend lots of your time in meetings you will find the full article on Meetings below in the Organizational section of this Newsletter.


The Bella article should be appearing in 14th of February edition.


There should be an article in the Reeds Training Magazine later this year.


New Developments


Support For Partners Of Workaholics


Synchronicity is such an amazing thing. I have recently had a number of conversations where the theme has been how difficult it is for the partners of workaholics. Themes which have emerged are how often they feel isolated and lonely because heir partner works such long hours and how the situation impacts on their own sense of self and well being.


The result is that I am launching a Newsletter for the partners of workaholics this month. My aim is that the Newsletter will be proactive covering issues raised by those affected.


Please pass on the web address to anyone you know who would be interested.





Meetings - The Corporate Cost Of Meetings You Attend


Think about the corporate cost of the meetings you attend during your working week.


To do that you will need to calculate the hourly rate of pay, plus the on-costs (employer’s contributions) for each person attending.


Calculate the cost to you in human terms.

(When the meeting ends you will still have the work waiting for you on your desk that you were unable to complete because you attended the meeting.

Did you have to stay late or take the work home?)


Calculate the cost if traveling time if appropriate.


So for arguments sake let’s say the meeting lasts 2 hours. Six people attended with an average cost of £50 per hour.

£50 x 6 x 2 = £600

You need to ask yourself

  • Was that the best value for money?
  • Did everyone need to be there?
  • Was there a more effective use of everyone’s time?
  • What was achieved by having the meeting?

I have attended meetings in the past when all that was actually agreed was the date of the next meeting.

I worked with a client recently who had spent over 30 hours in the previous week at meetings. This was the norm for her. The consequence was she was constantly under huge pressure to spend ever increasing numbers of hours at work to get the job done.


The following exercise was done by her initially and then by her whole team.


Each member of the team created a timetable of the meetings they had attended in the previous week.


They graded them according to their relevance and usefulness in helping them to meet their targets within work.

5 = completely useful and relevant. 1= of no use of relevance.

The picture varied from person to person. The major proportion for some were graded a 3 or below. Many were at level 1 or 2.


Together they discussed:

  • What was the purpose of the meeting
  • Who was the most appropriate person to attend the different types of meeting?
  • What was the most effective way of handling others expectations around their attendance?
  • How could information be shared with the most effective use of time?

They agreed the:

  • Criteria for inviting others to attend meetings
  • Criteria for pre meeting information
  • Criteria for refusing to attend meetings
  • Actions to keep all parties involved
  • How they were going to manage the expectations of people outside their team
  • How they were going to inform everyone of their agreement
  • When and how they would monitor the effectiveness of their new way of working

The outcome created a huge change in the way meetings are managed within the team and with the organization as a whole. The expectations of others are now being managed effectively and much time is being saved as a result with no adverse impact on productivity.


Think about your personal circumstances at work. What if anything is the relevance of this to you? Do you manage others? What is the impact of meetings on your team and their work load? Are there ways of using technology creatively to save time travelling to and from meetings or to share information?


Recommended Read


The Nine Insights Into The Wealthy Soul by Dr Michael Norwood


This is an unusual book telling the story of the relationship between
the author and his father, a former WW11 pilot.

The book offers an insight into how even the greatest challenges of life can offer spiritual meaning.

There are nine lessons in how to use adversity and to transform them into wealth of every kind. It offers a very different perspective on life, love and wealth.



Your feedback is greatly appreciated.


If there are any topics you would like covered in future issues please let me know on info@recoveringworkaholics.com


What do you think?

Warmest wishes,

Gina Gardiner



Creating a good work life balance is vital for long term health, wellbeing and happiness.


If you would like support to achieve this, visit


For any further information or to discuss your coaching needs contact info@recoveringworkaholics.com or phone 01708 703959

Gina Gardiner, recognized by "Investors In People" as creating an "innovative and exemplary training programme for emerging and middle managers" and by Ofsted as an “inspirational leader”. Her experience includes that of “Change Management” and in supporting organizational leaders in developing strategic vision and creating a “can do” culture.


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Author : Gina Gardiner


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