The singular focus of this blog centers on becoming more aware of ways we can connect with clients when life is challenging. Issues like divorce, loss of employment, chronic or terminal illness, family challenges, and scores of other issues all elbow their way into our practice. And when they do, how do we respond?
That said, the last impression I want you to have about my approach to all the above is the suggestion that you are not a caring, thoughtful advisor. Almost ten years in the business tells me that if we did not care deeply for those we serve, we would not have a practice. In fact, the feedback I read most often includes a “thank you” for the reminder to keep client care and the broad scope of knowing clients’ stories foremost in our minds.
So, as I look to the last days of 2016 while tidying up those year-end loose ends, the New Year may seem like a long runway from which we plan to take off—and soon! With a flight plan in hand and the horizon beckoning, is there one resolution you and I might make and keep in 2017 that would impact all others we may possibly imagine?
It occurred to me that the number one resolution for the new year and beyond will always be to take better care of ourselves physically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually. This is not some self-serving “I’m so important” resolution. Rather, to take care of ourselves, to be mindful of what “healthy” implies, is central to how effective we will be with our families and friends, existing clients, prospect opportunities, and practice partners. This fundamental law of life requires self-care because without it, we never feel good enough about who we are to ever risk helping others. Deeply caring for others requires a reservoir of energy from which such care flows. With it, all manner of care is possible. Without it, care is hollow at best, even absent.
Exercise, whether aerobic, strength, or endurance, increases oxygen flow, awakens a sleepy imagination, and infuses these often-tired bones with energy. A diet of wholesome fresh vegetables and fruits, protein, complex carbs, and lots of water feeds us with nutrient-rich calories. Sleep—none of us get enough! —rests the mind and restores the body. Meditation and/or prayer centers the spirit, opening windows of awareness our noisy world so often drowns out.
Take a long look in the mirror. This for many is an uncomfortable task as we are reminded that the eyes are the window of the soul. Do you like who and what you have become? This resolution to take care of Number 1 goes far beyond form and physique, but, it challenges us to look inward and ask the tough questions of ourselves. Allow in this moment of reflection to contemplate the questions that long for answers. This is a practice that has not been tried and failed. For most of us, it’s never been tried at all. I encourage you in these waning days of an old year to resolve to give yourself the gift that will reward you, the people for whom you care, and who care most about you in ways you cannot now possibly imagine. Give it six weeks and then tell me how you are doing. If you are not feeling better, enjoying life more, experiencing improved relations with those you love, and doing better work with your clients, let me know and I’ll never go here again. Resolve to give this one gift to yourself, and all other gifts will follow. Until then, I wish you a very happy, healthy, and successful 2017!