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1,001 Things To Do

You’re not alone. There are 1,001 things to do between now and the end of the year—and let’s face it, many of them are activities that clutter our calendars and create stress. They’re obligations. Why does it seem that the extras that are supposed to be “fun” become a burden every holiday season?

Then, there’s the work calendar jammed with last-minute projects and tasks that are seemingly urgent to complete before the New Year. Really? One more meeting? One more work session? One more proposal, slide deck, presentation, report—you name it? Yep. ‘Tis the season. We’ve grown into a society that expects to be over-programmed through December until we enter into January. Then there’s the chore of creating a list of resolutions that often end up as fix-its for the physical, mental, and emotional casualties caused by an overstressed December. 

Why are there 1,001 things to do at this time of year? Couldn’t we downshift and change the story? 

That’s my challenge to you this December. I know, it’s a tough one. But it’s a challenge that puts your people first and foremost, shows them their contributions and health matter more than pushing paper, and demonstrates that you get it. You understand they have 1,001 things, and you want to help them have a different kind of year-end.

So, where do we start? Truthfully, this is a challenge I’m accepting, too. I’m proposing a few behavior changes, and I’m hoping you’ll share with us in January how it worked out for your business and your people. We’re in this together. Ready?

First, let’s take a moment to evaluate what’s important. Certainly, some projects and to-dos need to be closed out before the year’s end. So, mark those with red flags, and decide what can wait vs. what’s necessary. Which tasks will have a short-term verse long-term impact? What makes them worth investing time in now? It’s about building space and time into your people’s calendars so they can breathe and focus their attention on priorities that yield the most significant benefits.

Next, understand what is on your people’s plates. Be mindful of the pressures they might be facing, how they are managing, and encourage them to take advantage of the wellness programs you have in place. When our team members are run ragged, no one wins. 

Third, as we wrap up the benefits renewal season, consider the impact of your health and wellness offerings and how you steward them. Our responsibilities as employers are shifting beyond just offering health and wellness benefits and programs to making sure those offerings positively support and impact the overall health of our employees. 

Of course, all of this comes with a slew of uncontrollable variables: how employees care for themselves, their behaviors outside of the workplace, their fiscal fitness, and their families’ habits. 

We’re saying that health and wellness benefits make a short- and long-term impact and must be a priority as we wind down the year and look toward 2022. Little actions can show employees that their health, mental wellness, and families matter. 

Setting priorities during this hectic time of year can help us transition into the New Year with clarity, purpose, and realistic expectations for what we want to and can accomplish. Do you accept the challenge? We hope so.

About Health Action Council 
Health Action Council is a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) organization representing mid-and large-size employers that enhance human and economic health through thought leadership, innovative services, and collaboration. It provides value to its members by facilitating projects that improve the quality and moderate the cost of healthcare purchased by its members for their employees, dependents, and retirees. Health Action Council also collaborates with key stakeholders – health plans, physicians, hospitals, and the pharmaceutical industry – to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare in the community. 

Patty Starr bio image

About the author

Patty Starr

Patty Starr is president and CEO of Health Action Council and is responsible for driving the strategic direction of the organization--build stronger, healthier communities where business can thrive. 

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