Work on getting ‘battle ready’ while everyone else works on their tan

Fat 010726 Pic Michele Mossop Generic . Obesity Health Fitness Diet Dieting Weight Afr Afrphotos老域名购买 ***Measuring tape around waist , measuring waist , tape measure and stomach , gut . Obese .I love this time of the year. I always have.

Christmas is great, but it is the period that immediately follows where I often still do my most valuable work.

While many of my clients were taking a break and the media schedules for cricket, tennis and January sales were ticking over as planned, I got the chance to work out the big moves for the year to follow. There is nothing like a half-empty office, vacationing clients and near-empty roads to make going to work a joy.

While the seaside towns and suburbs became a playground, I planned for the expansion and growth of my business both within and overseas.

My advice to anyone with business aspirations is to make other people’s down-time, your up-time for getting really clear about what you are going to do in the year and years ahead.

I always thought of this period as getting “battle ready” so that my competitors wouldn’t know what had hit them when they got back into the office, still admiring their sun tans.

The other part of getting “battle ready” is taking the time in December and January to get fit. Again, this is the opposite of what most others are doing.

Now I must admit, I have been a late adopter of physical fitness as a key business strategy. I guess I have some competitors who are thankful for that. If, forty years ago, I had been able to move as quickly physically as I did mentally, who knows what might have happened.

But these days, with more than a few things on the go that require plenty of energy and endurance, I schedule a full physical check-up in December in preparation for a new fitness plan for the new year. So, this year I kicked off with a colonoscopy and an endoscopy expertly handled by Dr John Coleman. And to save time and anaesthetist’s costs, I had them both done at the same time.

“Hopefully not with the same instrument!” cries Louise. And if it was, I hope they did the throat end first. I got the all clear on that.

Next were “the bloods” as they say in medical circles. The news is all good, except for my wobbly knees. But having been 60 kilograms overweight for decades, I’m happy to at least be able to see them now.

And I didn’t stop there. There were also visits to the dentist, the podiatrist, the skin cancer doctor and the cardiologist who wants to give me one more big stress test next year. Well “bring it on” I say. Four more weeks of training while most are still munching their way through the silly season should have me prepared for stress of all kinds.

And there will be plenty of stress flowing from Canberra, as there always is, but my advice is to just get on with running your own business and your own life.

And I think the first step in doing that is to use this period to get clear-headed about the big moves to make in 2018 and be mentally and physically fit enough to carry them out.

We owe it to our families, especially our grandkids, to be able get the best out of our country and, to be frank, we have not made enough progress in the past decade and a half.

Way back in 2003, I was invited to give the Andrew Olle lecture presented by the ABC. I said that there were five things we needed to do urgently:

1. Create good jobs for our kids 2. Build world-class hospitals with healthcare that is affordable 3. Fill the universities with students who will stay in and build the country 4. Make housing affordable and open up new land 5. Protect the environment

Fourteen years later, we have made little progress on some and gone backwards with others. And we can’t afford to wait for politicians to do something. Their focus is three years. Ours needs to be 100.

So, we have to shake ourselves out of the all-too-pervasive thinking of expecting government to take the initiative. Industrious individuals and private enterprise can make significant contributions in these areas. And even in those areas where government has a key role, they won’t change or accelerate their efforts unless the people demand it.

The truth is that nothing will change unless we change. The important word is “we”.

There is a saying: “If you try to change the world you’ll fail – change yourself and the world has changed already.”

And the change we need for ourselves is to be clear about what we want to do and be fit enough to do it.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year.