Jon tells us how the two small changes in his habits are helping him to sustain his energy throughout the day and how this has improved his wellbeing in general.
Watch our fine-minute interview right here or scroll down to read!
Thank you, Jon for joining me for this interview on Tiny Easy Habits to Wellbeing. And I’m very delighted to hear about the two changes you’ve made – one around your fork and one around your feet. Would you like to start perhaps with introducing yourself and sharing what you’ve done around your fork?
Sure. So my name’s Jon Hardwick, I’m an MD of Grafton International company that distributes health and beauty products and a father of two daughters. So we spoke around six, seven months ago and you asked within the session how our energy levels were during the day. I realized my energy levels were dropping around 02:00 to 3:00 PM every day for at least an hour or so. Which then combined with the other things we spoke about made me think about what I was eating, which was largely stodgy sandwiches, a little bit of fruit…Looking then at the options you gave, I’ve switched my diet since to something that’s a lot more salad-oriented, using grains, eating colorful food. So much less stodgy bready kind of lunches and a lot more vegetarian food with that. Still have meat, still committed omnivore.
Very good to be balanced.
Also, I have a nuts allergy, so getting protein without meat would be quite difficult for me. But grain, vegetarian, salads, colorful food and the difference in my afternoons has been dramatic. I’ve got much more energy levels throughout the afternoon. I’m able to sustain myself through meetings with all the challenges life throws at you much more ably.
So tell me, because some people might be watching this and think, “Oh, but it’s so much easier to grab a sandwich.” Has it been difficult for you to find more colorful type meals?
Not at all. I think that was in some ways a surprise to me. Looking down the take away food aisle at M&S, there’s lots of whole foods, salads, super grain salads, all sorts of things, which if I’m honest, I just walked past previously, having not been provoked to think about it. So it’s an absolute doddle to find.
Wonderful. And what have you done with your feet?
Focusing on the change of energy by adjusting my diet also made me reflect on the fact that I’m sitting at my desk eating lunch a lot of the time and working effectively all day just with a little brief respite for food. So I’ve started going for a lunchtime walk. I’ve got three or four different routes that are about 10 to 20 minutes in duration, depending upon how busy and stacked the day is. I’m getting out for a walk for all that period of time about three times a week.
It really just clears your head, no phone, no company, just fresh air and a little bit of pause. It’s really, really helpful at the end of the day.
So the fact that you’re not taking any technology with you and allowing yourself that space, it’s an act of mindfulness really. And I mean you’re a busy business leader, so would you recommend this to other leaders who might feel like they just don’t have the time because they’re so busy and stressed?
I think I would. I think at first I wasn’t sure I had the time either. There are still days where I don’t have the time and that’s fine. But I brought a pair of walking boots into work because I live on the edge of nature so I can get in a mud a little bit. It really does make a difference to the rest of the day. I think it makes you approach your afternoon with a kind of reset position with better energy. Yes, I would really recommend it. Just try with a few small steps, try a short distance, walk around and see if it works for you. But it’s really worked for me.
Wonderful. So it’s like you’re focused on the outcome, the feeling good. And then it sounds like you’ve also got the prompt by having the walking shoes.
Because often we set these great intentions and then we don’t set up our environment for success. So that’s actually really valuable. Can I also share that you’ve had some health benefits from doing these two things?
Yes, absolutely. So in the time that I’ve been doing that over these last few months, I’ve lost around 10 pounds, about five kilos. Which is great and I feel more healthful for that. I really do.
That’s wonderful. Thank you. Any last tips to anybody out there who perhaps is or was like you, working through lunch, very busy, not walking much, maybe wanting to lose 10 pounds? Any last words of wisdom?
I think something you said, which sticks with me – consistency over intensity, and I think so often in business we’re focused on intensity and pushing as hard as we can at problems. Where actually in this area of looking after yourself, those small steps lead to other steps into other steps and consistency kind of comes.
That’s brilliant and sounds really wise coming from you. Thank you, Jon.
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