"Make an agreement with yourself"
The new year feels so young and fresh – the perfect opportunity for a new beginning. Which is why the start of the year is traditionally the time of good resolutions. In the following interview, Roland Schäfer, Head of Corporate Health Management at AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG at the company headquarters in Münster, shares a few tips – and reveals his personal resolutions for 2016.
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- Roland Schäfer
It's easy to make resolutions. But how can I also ensure I keep them?
Roland Schäfer: I like to suggest people "make an agreement with themselves". Use the SMART criteria to set a goal. S stands for specific, so a precisely defined aim, such as "I want to be more active". M stands for measurability (e.g.10,000 steps a day – as recommended by the World Health Organisation), A for achievable (to keep fit or not be so out of breath after walking up stairs), R for relevant, and T for time-bound (e.g. by the end of March). I recommend a pedometer or step counting app for this.
That sounds like a good structure. But what should I do when I increasingly have problems motivating myself?
Roland Schäfer: It is very important to set subgoals that are also achievable. If you are overwhelmed from the outset and want everything at once, then your motivation will of course rapidly dwindle. Old habits are very difficult to break. Taking small steps towards achieving your ultimate goal is what will ultimately get your further. And even if you take one step back, do not give up – be cross for a moment, take a deep breath and then prepare to channel all your willpower once again. You should reward yourself – with concrete rewards – when you achieve subgoals. Be proud that you have achieved your subgoals, for they bring you closer to your ultimate goal.
What new year's resolutions have you set yourself for 2016?
Roland Schäfer: For me, my good resolutions are something very personal. I have my own little annual ritual and consciously take time for myself after Christmas. After a short review of the "old resolutions/goals", I turn my attention to the new year and only select resolutions (less are more here!) that I personally also consider interesting challenge. I then record these in writing using the SMART criteria. Successful participation in Münster's relay marathon features in my "contract" for 2016, for example: to once again participate in a healthy yet fun manner and to cross the finish line a bit sooner than last year.
AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG has established an operational health management department with the aim of raising awareness for health issues and safeguarding the performance of company employees. Within this, the operational health management department makes comprehensive health offers available in the workplace – from health consultations and seminars through to presentations and health days. AGRAVIS currently employs a total of over 40 health managers.