February 2007 - Edition 4
New Years Resolutions - Achieve Health, Happiness
Written and published by Gina Gardiner
Please visit our website www.recoveringworkaholics.com
Welcome to this our fourth newsletter for
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
Achieve Health, Happiness and Fulfilment!
I do hope that 2007 has got off to a flying
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
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
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
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?
- I feel bad about how I look, I must lose
- 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
- 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
- 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
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
Does it serve you in the short term? How
about over your life as a whole?
How long are you prepared to keep paying
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?
BRITS PUT HEALTH AND FITNESS AT RISK
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
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.
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.
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
Did you have to stay late or take the work
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
- 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
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
- 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?
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
What do you think?
Creating a good work life balance is vital
for long term health, wellbeing and happiness.
If you would like support to achieve this,
For any further information or to discuss
your coaching needs contact email@example.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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Recovering Workaholics contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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