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  • Fabrice Desmarescaux

New Year Resolutions...

My gym was crowded yesterday. It is a small, trainer-only gym, so most times I see the usual suspects. Not yesterday. Lots of new faces… Lots of new year resolutions. Shawn, my trainer, shrugged and added with resignation: “It’ll be quiet again in March”. He's a wise man.

Most of the CEOs and senior execs I work with talk to me about their struggle to get in shape. We know the challenge of balancing a demanding life with moving our bodies. We all face the long hours, travel, and emergencies. So how to find time to move our bodies the way they are intended to? We compare our hacks, tricks, habits, and struggles. In the end, a commitment to being in shape and finding balance is the only reasonable answer. We need to block time for it, just as we would block time for a board meeting.

In my pre-Christmas newsletter, I shared two books that changed my life.

"Younger Next Year" by Harry Lodge and Chris Crowley, brought science and fun into the picture. They explain why daily exercise is like a magic potion for a long and fulfilling life. There’s a version for men and one for women. It's funny, motivational, and an easy read. After buying the book in 2015, I found myself hitting the gym almost every day. I had enthusiasm but I still lacked a systematic approach to physical fitness.

More recently, "Outlive" by Peter Attia, explains the science of exercise, nutrition, and sleep in the most compelling way (The section on emotional health is weak and there are much better resources that I’ll share at some point). Everything clicked. Building strength today is like investing in a future where you can climb stairs, walk in the woods, or carry your grandchildren when you’re in your 80s.

But before we reach 80, we need to perform at our best. CEOs and senior executives are like top athletes. Physical fitness is a must, not an option. You cannot perform at your best if you are not in tip-top physical, mental, and emotional shape. This may mean different things depending on your genetic make-up or health history.

So do yourself a favor. Don’t fail on your new year resolution to get in the best shape of your life. Get a personal trainer, work on your cardio, your strength, and your mobility range now. Push yourself to reach top quartile performance for your age and gender. You’ll thank me in December.

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