I do hope that 2019 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 2019 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 get 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 our beliefs.

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

Our desire to lose 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 lose 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, maybe pull a muscle and then give up.

Specialized food is available in thousands of different guises – yet more people in the western world are overweight or clinically obese than at any 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 overweight and get to the heart of the matter, without 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 of 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 lifestyle 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 lifestyle 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 2019 the year when you start living life to the full!


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 argument's 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 on 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.

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