Age Proof Your
By Dr. Nancy D. O’Reilly
Is your workplace starting to leave you behind? The truth is,
whether you’ve been working for two years or 52 years, it is easy to
get into a rut … and stay there. Humans are creatures of habit, and
the habits that we develop over the years can be difficult to break.
It’s easier to stay in the same routines, activities and
responsibilities that we’ve always done. Unfortunately, that kind of
attitude in business will get you nowhere. The people who rise to
the top of their careers are motivated, innovative and ready to take
on new challenges.
If you are starting to experience a mental or physical slowdown in
the workplace, here are some tips to get your edge back. These
strategies will help you find the energy and drive to succeed,
whether you are 29 or 99 years old.
1. Get healthy. Your number one way to age-proof your career
is by taking a closer look at your physical and mental condition.
The easiest way to do that? With a complete physical from your
family doctor. Be honest with yourself – how long has it been since
your last check-up? That little ringing in your ears, could be more
serious than just a little hearing loss. Make it your priority to
have regular physical examinations, and check for the diseases that
may affect you more as you age, such as heart disease, prostate and
2. Get moving. Are you feeling more sluggish and less
energetic? It could be because you aren’t getting enough exercise.
Many Americans have more sedentary lifestyles, not just at home (in
front of the TV) but also at work, typing away at the computer or
checking emails regularly. To keep that edge, you should be spending
at least a few days each week doing some sort of physical activity.
Incorporate cardio exercise (at least 30 minutes), weight training
(use free or stationary weights at least three times a week) and
most importantly, cross train to do different cardio exercises that
challenge your body and build a healthy heart.
3. Check your skills. Are you staying up-to-date with the
skills in your industry? What about all the technology tools out
there? Are you on the leading edge or are you feeling frustrated by
your lack of knowledge? Remember, it is fun to learn. Even if you
don’t have time for long classes or weeks of training, you can still
subscribe to your industry magazine, read up on the latest trends
via e-mail, or network at industry events in your city. There are
usually even weekend events or retreats that will help you stay
up-to-date on your job skills.
4. Keep balanced. Are you spending too many lunch breaks
trying to catch up on paperwork? Are those office e-mails eating
into your vacation time? If so, you’re not alone. Many workers have
a hard time separating their private lives from their work lives. We
live in a 24-hour society, with easy access to the office via
e-mails, Blackberries and cell phones. But that doesn’t mean we
should be doing things that way. Staying balanced means spending
quality time with family and friends, enjoying vacation time and
knowing when to un-plug the Blackberry. By keeping your life
balanced, you can actually get more done at work!
5. Learn to take a break. Taking a vacation these days can
seem like a pipe dream, but it’s important to take a break every
once in awhile. Some people blame the rising cost of fuel and
airfare, while others simply can’t find the time. Stop with the
excuses! Working non-stop and even forgoing a vacation may make you
feel like Superman or Superwoman in the office, but soon enough your
body will protest and get burned out.
6. Take even a small break. If a weeklong vacation isn’t for
you, opt for a day or two of personal time away from the office. Use
that time to go to a spa, visit family or friends, take the kids to
the beach or even just get some housework done. If a week in Europe
is out of the picture, set up a vacation at home, known as a “staycation,”
where you purposely stay in your own home doing personal errands or
just kicking up your heels on the sofa. You can even check-in at a
local hotel to really get the “feel” of a vacation away from home.
7. Try something new. When you are young, it can seem so easy
to pick up a new sport or hobby, without even thinking twice about
whether you will be good or not. It’s important to have that
attitude at the office as well. Try something new and you may
surprise yourself, in a good way! For example, if you’ve always
wanted to start golfing, why not join that group of golfers in your
office during their next outing at the driving range? You could be
making new connections and helping your brain stay young. If your
boss asks you to try take on a new responsibility or task in the
office, develop a positive attitude and jump right in. Sure, you can
always ask for help if you need it, but you may also learn that you
have natural talents in other areas.
8. Stay connected. Are you good at keeping in touch with your
friends, co-workers and relatives? Not only is it important to stay
social in business because of the contacts you make and the
opportunities that you create, but socializing also keeps your
energy levels up. Without that social interaction, you can start to
feel deflated and unmotivated. People want to work with and be with
people who are fun, outgoing, happy and energized. These days, you
can even re-connect or build relationships over the Internet with
social networking sites.
9. Develop an attitude of gratitude. In other words, pass it
on. You might be higher up on the pecking order at work, so wouldn’t
it be nice to help someone at the lower end? You can mentor someone
new at the office or volunteer at a local charity or non-profit
organization. Every bit of positive energy you put out will come
back to you in a BIG, positive way!
10. Think it and it will be. The laws of attraction really do
work! Your mind and your thoughts attract the people you want, the
career you want, the money you want, the love you want, and life you
want. So, start thinking about the things you’ve always wanted and
start moving toward these goals with a positive attitude.
You can jump-start your life with these simple steps. It’s never too
late to re-fire your energy and drive, and feel great about you.
Read other articles and learn more about
Nancy D. O’Reilly.
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