2020: A Year of Perfection on the Horizon

By
Jenny Dodson-Jenkins
,
Executive Program Director
of
Global Healthcare Resources
By
,
of

I read somewhere on social media about how 2020 is going to be a year of positivity, and I instantly agreed. How could it not be? 2020 is perfect vision. 2020 is a marketer's dream. So much can be done with this ideal vision of a year. Holidays such as Halloween, the Fourth of July, Christmas, and Valentine's Day fall on a Friday or a Saturday. Even Cinco de Mayo is on Taco Tuesday! What could go wrong?

In the theme of well-being in the new year, I wanted to look at ways that we can help our members flourish in 2020. Not just through certification and training, but through articles that CWM can publish, events we might host, and volunteer opportunities that we all can seek out. We work with some of the most amazing men and women in the well-being field and are blessed to call them friends. With companies like Deloitte, The Gap, Nike, HPE, AJG, Aon and more, we find our education to be filled with nuggets of treasured advice, case studies that show the value of a particular strategy or initiative, and insight into thoughtful, responsible human capital investments.

It is possible to have it all. There are ways to incorporate better health utilizing small changes that can impact our body, mind, and soul. Exercise, nutrition, and healthy habits are three key pillars in maintaining our individual health in 2020. We're also encouraging participation in team objectives, like step challenges, quit-the-sugar challenges, or temporary time-outs from drinking that daily glass of wine. These are just a few ways that can energize your program and harmonize your health. According to a Gallup study, teams who score in the top 20 percent in engagement realize a 41% reduction in absenteeism and 59 percent less turnover.

It doesn't have to be long hours at a gym or total sugar/alcohol cessation that makes you happy. Instead, focusing on simple, small changes with team members can encourage employees and foster a group culture of wellness. Incorporating a team-building, volunteer group activity once a quarter, or creating a walking team for a charity, is another way to bring wellness participants together.

Incorporating healthy activities into our home and work life can help us achieve better health for our employees and teams both at home and at work. Creating a culture of health starts with each one of us. Never allowing negative or thoughtless gossip to be spoken in a family or work family is another rule of thumb to take to heart. Whether your makeup is one that thrives on gossip, or you are a "last to know everything" type of person, each of us has a responsibility to hold each other accountable in this area.

Gratitude is another practice that should be incorporated into your program. If you have daily or weekly meetings, start with a gratitude exercise asking each member of the meeting to give just one thing they are grateful for in their lives. Focus on this as a mantra to every meeting. Additionally, if your meeting is usually around a boardroom table, occassionally switching to a walk-and-talk meeting to help stimulate creativity improve and get the blood flowing.

Another thing we can focus on in 2020 is taking the time to breathe. A number of studies show that breathing techniques are effective ways to fight anxiety and insomnia. While avoiding all sources of stress in our lives is not possible, we can always develop healthier ways to respond to them. Simple breathing exercises, which were first developed by Dr. Herbert Benson in 1970 as a way to invoke a relaxation response, are simple, effective ways to find the calm. A lot of us have these breathing exercises on our smartphones, watches, or other devices. Take time every day to close your eyes and take deep breaths. It improves circulation andblood flow, and it offers a minute to regain clarity.

Another way to improve your daily life is to invest in something that can improve your work life and your home life. Take a continuing education course related to your work. Take a personal writing class, art class, or horseback riding lessons. Do something that is outside of your comfort zone. Stick to it and follow through. A study by Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce, with information taken from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, showed that earning a certificate for your job improves your pay, in some cases, by 72 percent just by having an associate's or bachelor's degree. Additional education and training often has a tangible effect on your bank account.

These little ideas for 2020 will help you at work and at home live a healthy and more positive life. Whether you are a pessimist or an optimist, you can't go wrong with adding some of these little things to your daily, weekly, or monthly routine.

Most of all, take the time to say thank you to those who support you every day. Focus on the positives that team members bring to the company more than their shortfalls. Do this every day, and you will definitely see a more loyal and hard-working team. Don't just take my word for it -- according to numerous studies, including one from the NCBI, incorporating gratitude into your daily routine has a direct result of people reporting less depressive symptoms. Do this every day with family, and you will have a more harmonious family and work life.

As I reflect on what I'm grateful for this year, I am grateful for my clients, colleagues, friends, and family. I am extremely grateful to have a job that teaches work-life harmony.

I wish you and your families and workplaces a happy, healthy 2020!