Exploring the underlying benefits of healthy living


Every year, along with thousands (if not millions) of others, I make a New Year’s resolution to “get fit,” “become healthy” or “lose weight.”

If you can relate to this, here is one more reason why you should try again this year: by achieving your fitness or health goals, you may be giving yourself some unique and practical interview material.

Achieving your goals to “get fit” or “lose weight” gives you demonstrable examples of an array of valuable personal characteristics.

The first and most obvious is accountability. Your body is a personal liability – a direct result of your actions with no one else to blame but yourself.

You know yourself best and can find ways to overcome your weaknesses and keep yourself accountable. However you achieve your goals to “get fit,” you can apply the same strategy to anything else.

Then, there is discipline. Discipline is often cited as reliable, whereas motivation is fleeting and fickle.

Some smart chaps actually made an equation for motivation where motivation is a function of reward and time.

In other words, your motivation is greatest when the reward is large and the wait is short and vice versa. Where motivation is subject to time and size of reward, discipline is constant and unwavering. With discipline mastered, you can tackle on dull and difficult tasks to ultimately conquer challenges.

Discipline is the perseverance to help you overcome procrastination, laziness and continue to truck on in the face of adversity and setbacks.

Let’s not forget about patience and consistency. People say “patience is a virtue,” suggesting the ability to be patient is to demonstrate high moral standards. In other words, you can overcome short term distractions to achieve long term goals by practicing self-restraint.

Patience goes hand-in-hand with consistency. Consistency requires small, manageable tasks to be completed regularly and patience forces you to see the big picture and wait for the final result.

Both are largely underappreciated because we are increasingly restless and want instant results. Just keep in mind that no goal worth working for can be done overnight. Patience and consistency can be jogging five times a week to train for a marathon or studying a little every day to get the 12.0 GPA that you’ve always wanted.

Lastly, let’s not forget about SMART goals. Variations exist but I’m going to use Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic and Timely.

By creating goals that satisfy each category, you show that you understand how to make and accomplish what you’ve set out to do. That is more valuable than perfecting Pivot Tables in Excel. This means you are reliable and you see things through.

I don’t expect 500 words will motivate you to run a marathon tomorrow or help you land a job by using this in an interview. I just want to give you another perspective in the importance of transferable soft skills to help your career, academics and wellbeing.

You don’t need luck to fulfill your New Year’s resolutions. Instead, I wish you success.

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