Why My 2016 Goal is to Get Fit

Each year in December, we review our last year’s successes and opportunities and discuss our goals for the upcoming year. When we’ve completed that process, Tony goes to Facebook and makes all of his goals public (he’s running late this year since he’s absorbed by his current job search). I keep mine more quiet and share them with Tony, my husband Andrew, and maybe my cat, but probably just the first two. The relevant ones get put on my Individual Development Plan (IDP) at the office, but otherwise, they’re kept quiet.

This year, I’m going public with my number one priority for the year! Even though it will not be appearing on my IDP. My number one goal is to get fit-in my mind, that is lose a few pounds, get stronger, and run more. Because I too believe in S.M.A.R.T. Goals (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Timely), the goal is quantified and given a deadline in her 2016 plan. But, for this article, I want to talk about physical fitness goal in a more general sense.

Since InsNerds.com is dedicated to career advice for the young insurance professional, you’re probably wondering why the Chief Editor is writing about Physical Fitness. (Tony is wondering too since he’s proud of his “executive figure” and claims to be allergic to all vegetables and any exercise, but I’m the final decider on what we publish so he went along :-D). The answer is that [tweet_dis]physical fitness is important for #career success![/tweet_dis] Sure, there are successful people who are physically unfit, and you may be thinking that right now, you are so focused on your career and professional development that you don’t have time to add one more focus area. I would make the argument that you can be better professionally and get more accomplished if you start taking care of your health, now. Below, I will share 5 reasons she is aiming to become more fit this year.

We are all corporate athletes, expected to last for 30+ years!

1. Better Ability to Focus:

Leading up to the wedding, I used my time in the gym to clear my mind and focus on the initiative in front of me-lifting the weight or completing the mile. I found that this transferred over to my time at my desk and helped me to cloud out non-work related things when it was necessary. I also started meditating and I’ve definitely seen improvements in my ability to focus and reduced stress after a semi-consistent month-long practice. (Note from Tony: Check out mindfulness as a solid alternative to traditional meditation, it’s scientifically proven to work.)

2. Easier to Get Those 7-8 Hours of Sleep:

We all know that we should be getting 7-8 hours of sleep. We also know that after a long day sitting at a desk, it can be hard to fall asleep even if you’re tired. Being healthy and getting some physical activity in after work can help you to feel sleepy and fall asleep faster when it is time to go to bed. Check out this article to read about the science behind why working out immediately after work can help you to fall asleep. Conversely, exercising in the morning is often recommended as a way to make sure you will get your workout in and to take advantage of the exercise induced endorphins to start your day off right. Whenever you choose to workout, extra physical activity and improved overall health and healthy weight should lead to better sleep.

3. Improved #Confidence:

If you are not feeling physically at your best, it is easy to be distracted. We’ve all had days where our clothes simply don’t feel right on our bodies. If you have this feeling, it can be distracting when you’re interacting with others. Taking care of your body will help you to feel comfortable in it. You will also feel improved confidence when you take on and achieve physical challenges you haven’t tried before. Finally, being able to prepare healthful meals for yourself may give you a feeling of self-worth that you didn’t experience buying fast food for lunch.

Cuddy If you don’t know who this is or why she’s here to illustrate confidence you need to watch this TED Talk!


4. More Energy:

With the improvements you’ll see thanks to better focus, sleep, and confidence, you will have more energy and be able to get more accomplished at work. Taking those CPCU exams will be easier. Having that difficult conversation will be more palatable. [tweet_dis inject=”#Career”]Improved health will allow you to be more efficient and achieve more each day.[/tweet_dis]

5. Research Shows Being in Shape is Good for Your #Career:

Finally, fairly or unfairly, people who are physically fit are regarded more favorably by their peers and superiors. A “Halo Effect”, which means if a person has positive attributes, these attributes may influence the view of that person positively overall,  may partially explain this phenomenon. Of course, physical fitness is only part of the puzzle for how this works, a person also needs to be well-groomed, dressed appropriately, and with good posture, but the numbers show that being unfit can affect your salary or your opportunities for promotion.

Those reasons are my motivation for eating better and getting to the gym more often in 2016.  In addition, I have less excuses since my employer provided me with a standing desk, added showers and lockers in the office, and is working on adding a gym! If you haven’t checked lately, it’s possible your employer has also added new options or benefits to help you get fit or fitter in 2016. Take a look around and see what’s available. If you’re working on your fitness this year, what are your strategies? If you have different goals for 2016, what are they and how are you managing them?

Standing Desk
The awesome standing desk!

About Carly Burnham

Carly Burnham began her insurance career in 2004 as an office assistant at an agency in her hometown of Duluth, MN. She got licensed as a producer while working at that agency and progressed to serve as an office manager. Working in the agency is how she fell in love with the industry. She saw firsthand the good that insurance consumers experienced by having the proper protection. When Carly moved to Des Moines in 2010, she decided to commit to the industry, and she completed her CPCU in one year finishing it in 2012 and attending commencement in New Orleans. She completed her MBA at Iowa State University in 2014. During this time, she and Tony founded a Gen Y Associate Resource Group at Nationwide in Des Moines. After they had both left Nationwide, Tony recruited Carly to co-author and manage InsNerds.com. She has the difficult task of keeping his constant flow of crazy ideas focused and helping to flesh them out into useful articles. Carly enjoys sharing knowledge and ideas about the future of the industry and finds the website a good outlet for this passion. Carly is involved in the the CPCU Society Underwriting Interest Group. She also writes "Next Wave" a monthly column in the "Perspectives" section of Best's Review.

5 thoughts on “Why My 2016 Goal is to Get Fit”

  1. Great post Carly and I wholeheartedly agree! Fitness certainly has a direct impact on my confidence and effectiveness, and many of my clients say the same. I primarily coach insurance professionals around career success and you’d be amazed how often we work on how to incorporate health and fitness goals into the weekly routine! They recognise the importance to their career just as you have explained and see real, measurable results at work when they invest in their health and fitness.

    • Thank you for the comment, Katherine! It’s a challenging lesson to remember, but every time I try to incorporate wellness in to my week, I see results that span all aspects of my life.


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