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Getting to the finish line

Published by
January 3, 2019

It is about making conscious choices in everyday life.
Many sport psychologists work with different tools to help athletes strengthen their mental resilience, to be mentally equipped to achieve their goals. Many of these tools are also applicable in other contexts. I would like to present the "mental strength compass", which is one of the tools often used by sport psychologists, but which can also be applied to workplace health.

Create healthier habits for yourself

You can think of the strength compass as a long straight road that leads you to your goals. The goal could be to develop healthier habits during work hours. To develop healthier habits, you can, for example, participate in the health services offered by your workplace. This could be conversations with a health consultant, using the gym, doing small exercises during the day that you've been shown by the physiotherapist or simply taking the stairs instead of the elevator. In the short term, the consequence is that you have to take on something new, which for some people can be daunting. In the long term, you'll be rewarded by reaching your goal and doing something good for your health.

Beware of tempting detours

However, on the way to your destination, there are a lot of exits you can take. It's tempting to take one of the exits, as you'll encounter them many times along the way.
The exits represent all the things that prevent you or detour you from reaching your destination. Often it's old habits that cause you to take an exit. It could be laziness or the discomfort of trying something new that prevents you from joining the exercise class you had planned to attend. Or doubts about the benefits of taking the stairs. In the short term, you will be rewarded by not having to leave your comfort zone. In the long term, however, there are consequences to your health as the exit does not lead to the goal of healthier habits.
However, it's important to keep in mind that sticking to the road is the fastest way to the finish line. However, on the way to your destination you will encounter many exits and no matter how many detours you take, you can always find your way back to the road that leads to your destination.