Achieving the '10 Healthy Habits' - Lance Burdett

Lance Burdett is married with 3 adult children and 2 grandchildren.  He also has a rescued cat and a dog that keeps life entertaining. Lance prefers home life rather than being out and about. He relaxes by renovating his home, fitness activities and at the end of each day he likes to watch movies and sample red wine. If he was still at school, he might be described as having an attention disorder as he can’t sit still for very long.

Lance is the founder of WARN International Limited, a company specialising in communication, personal safety and resilience. For 13 years of his 22 year police career, Lance was a crisis negotiator having trained in NZ, Australia and with the FBI. Lance was fortunate enough to work at the highest level in the police emergency call centre and with elite squads from police, prisons and the military. He published the bestselling book – 'Behind The Tape' – and makes regular media appearances commenting on police issues.

Q) WHAT DO THE '10 HEALTHY HABITS' MEAN TO YOU?

The '10 Healthy Habits' are an excellent guide on how to maintain a balanced life. We should all try to eat better, exercise more, drink plenty of water, all of those things that ensure that we remain as healthy as possible but we seem to forget about in busy times. The one thing I believe may put people off a healthy lifestyle is the perceived need to strictly adhere to a regime and because of this, momentum often wanes. It’s about small steps rather than giant leaps, we can travel much further if we take small steps and become consistent. The '10 Healthy Habits' are flexible and are offered without a strict regime therefore easier to maintain. It is not an 'all or nothing' program, it is more about doing what you can, when you can. Guilt is not a focus of the program.

Q) WHAT DRIVES YOU TO LIVE AND BREATHE OUR HEALTHY HABITS?

The better you look after yourself, the better you perform. It’s common sense really. I am fortunate enough to travel often with my work which also means that I have to maintain a healthy lifestyle as much as I can. It is so easy to fall into the trap of resting between meetings instead of going for a walk or completing one of the other nine healthy habits. The Synergy Health '10 Healthy Habits' model is a great approach, you don’t have to undertake every single one of them, just a couple each day can make a big difference in your life. The more you do, the greater the benefit.

Q) WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU AND HOW DO YOU PRACTICE THE HEALTHY HABITS?

Fitness has always been important to me. Running (or 'shuffling' given my age) and working out in the gym are my pillars in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It’s only recently I have discovered that you don’t have to spend hours hitting the pavement or in the gym to stay fit and healthy. I always try to start my day with a good breakfast – to stop the sugar cravings later in the day. I walk as much as I can throughout the day, parking in a car park away from my next meeting so that I have to walk longer than usual.

Q) HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN THESE HEALTHY HABITS WHEN YOU’RE TRAVELLING?

Eating junk food is so easy while on the road. Whenever I can, I carry a small bag of fruit and healthy nibbles to keep the hunger pangs at bay as adrenaline eats up my breakfast and tempts me towards sugary treats. A good lunch is important and for me this often consists of sushi, a chicken salad or some light dish. Two coffees per day maximum, lots of water and restricting alcohol to after dinner helps me get a good night’s sleep. By now you are probably thinking, who is this saint? Not quite! I still eat chocolate and sugary substances if I feel the need, I often go to bed late, I work far too hard and I eat fast-food every once in a while. What I have learned, however, is to reduce the negative things and increase the positive things when it comes to my habits. Everything is about balance.

Q) WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU'RE STRUGGLING FOR MOTIVATION OR HAVE ZERO TIME?

Motivation is a funny thing, when I don’t feel like going to the gym I force myself to go and always have the best workout. Endorphins make you feel good and will motivate you to do more. What I don’t do is work so hard that I am flat the next day; each day should leave you thirsting for more. Burnout will destroy you, trust me on this. Having worked far too hard for far too long, I became unwell and was diagnosed with burnout. The '10 Healthy Habits' approach to life ensures that I won’t go through the same thing again.

Time is often an issue for us all as we push ourselves to do more in less time. When time is of the essence, I slow myself down. A mantra I learned from working in specialist tactical roles is “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast”. "Speed kills" and "More haste equals more waste" are other mantras with a similar message. By slowing things down, you don’t make mistakes and your energy levels remain high.

Q) WHAT ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT THIS YEAR? HAVE YOU SET ANY GOALS/RESOLUTIONS?

I set myself goals every year, both personal and professional. If we don’t have something to aim for we become complacent and lose direction. Three letters in the word routine spell the word RUT. Focusing on the future is a way breaking routines, a way of motivating yourself, in fact a way of stopping yourself from worrying. For me, setting goals at the beginning of the year helps to motivate me and set me on the direction I want to head. This year, I am excited about a growing business relationship with Synergy Health. Because each of us learn differently, it is important to provide various ways in which to learn about health and wellness. The collaboration with Synergy Health will achieve that. I have resolved to maintain my current fitness level and to spend more time doing things that I enjoy.

Q) DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR OUR READERS?

If I had one piece of advice for others, it is simply to take things in small steps. Life has a habit of knocking us about, of keeping us grounded, of keeping us in line. It is important to have big goals but these should be broken down into small chunks. Then, when life does hit you, or you might be faced with a new opportunity, you can alter your direction. Being flexible is important. Stay positive when things change, ask yourself “What is the best I can make of this?” rather than “Why is this happening to me?”

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