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Participation Nation encourages team to build better habits

Posted by Denise M. Reagan on Apr 17, 2018 08:37 AM

“No hay excusas.”

It’s a phrase President and CEO Jorge Brunet-García often says. It means, “There are no excuses.”

No Hay Excusas

No Hay Excusas workout gear.

This motto shouts loud and proud on Brunet-García exercise gear to promote the agency’s stance on health and wellness. And it’s a fitting motto for the company’s second-quarter wellness challenge.

Participation Nation encourages staff members to accomplish a goal of their choosing by forming a sustainable habit throughout the quarter. A team member might aim to attend three fitness classes a week, bring a healthy lunch to work 15 times a month, or walk 5 miles a day.

Each person who successfully completes the challenge enters a drawing for a $100 massage gift card.

James Clear writes about important concepts for building better habits and mastering the routines that shape our life and work.

"What if you started thinking of your life goals, not as big, audacious things that you can only achieve when the time is right or when you have better resources or when you finally catch your big break … but instead as tiny, daily behaviors that are repeated until success becomes inevitable?" he asked in his book “Transforming Your Habits: The Science of How to Stick to Good Habits and Break Bad Ones.”

According to a study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, Phillippa Lally, a health psychology researcher at University College London, found it took anywhere from 18 days to 254 days for people to form a new habit.

According to Clear, it can take two to eight months before a new behavior becomes routine, and that can vary widely on the behavior, the person, and the circumstances.

Building good habits is difficult. Bad habits seem so much easier to maintain.

With this knowledge, intrepid Brunet-García team members have accepted the challenge.

Art Director Bianca Borghi vows to run 10 miles per week. Her goal is to work toward a personal best of 27:30 in a 5-kilometer race.

Partner and Vice President Diane Brunet-García wants to prepare and eat two healthy snacks each work day, such as fruit, vegetables, yogurt, or nuts. She needs these mid-morning and mid-afternoon power foods to help her avoid the temptation of snacking on treats provided by Level Office.

Art Director Cassie Deogracia challenges herself to attend two YMCA classes a week and walk a mile once a week.

“I'm using my busy schedule as an excuse to not be as active as I should be, and this will help me hold myself accountable,” Deogracia said.

Controller Thrude Legg’s goal is to quit smoking and be smoke-free for at least a month by the end of the second quarter.

Account Manager Chad Villarroel pledges not to miss a programmed workout during the second quarter. He typically trains five or six times a week.

“I am training for several scheduled weightlifting competitions later this year,” Villarroel said. “That will mean going in at 6 a.m. some days and Saturday mornings most weeks. I am usually pretty accountable but sometimes do make ‘excusas.’"

Account Executive Francie Lefkowitz wants to walk at least 10,000 steps five days a week.

“I know moving more  is something I should be doing, but I haven't been as good about it, even when I go to the gym,” Lefkowitz said. “I need to make sure I walk around more.”

Vice President of Brand and Marketing Strategy Kim Vermillion commits to walking at least 10,000 steps four days a week, and Associate Creative Director Aerien Mull plans to go to the YMCA at least three times a week.

Whitney Hachem, who performs post-implementation support for Florida SHOTS, aims to walk three miles at least four times a week and eat healthier meals.

“I moved my brother and sister in with me, so I want to try and set a good example,” Hachem said.

User Experience Designer and Developer Bruce Cooke approaches his healthy habit from a different angle: He wants to draw something five times a week.

Public Relations and Social Media Strategist Natalie Spindle intends to work out at least three mornings each week throughout the quarter.

“I think if I can achieve this consistently, my newfound level of discipline will pour over into my work life and help me to maintain focus and commitment to my projects and to other professional pursuits,” Spindle said. “I am hoping that by committing to the early morning workouts, I can also buy myself free time in the evenings to do more of what I enjoy like working in the yard or getting back into teaching yoga. As the days grow longer and the weather grows nicer, I want to get outside as much as I can after work, and getting a workout completed in the morning helps.”

This kind of reward for consistently maintaining good habits is a must, according to Clear.

“It’s important to celebrate,” Clear wrote. “We want to continue doing things that make us feel good. And because an action needs to be repeated for it to become a habit, it’s especially important that you reward yourself each time you practice your new habit.”