Eat Move Sleep: A book review by Bob Morris

Eat Move SleepEat Move Sleep: How Small Choices Lead to Big Changes
Tom Rath
Missionday (2013)

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle

In a previous book, Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements, co-authored with Jim Harter, Rath explains that in addition to their own research for this book, he and Harter consulted an abundance of research conducted by the Gallup Organization with which they are associated. Moreover, “Gallup assembled an assessment composed of the best questions asked over the last 50 years. To create this assessment, the Well-Being Finder, we tested hundreds of questions across countries, languages, and vastly different life situations.”

They focus on five factors that are the currency of a life that is worthwhile: Career Well-Being, Social Well-Being, Financial Well-Being, Physical Well-Being, and Community Well-Being. (Note: In Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, John Ratey explains why there is a direct and decisive correlation between a healthy lively body and a healthy lively brain. Those who have a special interest in this important subject are strongly urged to check out Ratey’s book.) To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time someone has analyzed hundreds of Gallup’s global surveys involving millions of respondents and correlated, indeed integrated what they reveal within a framework that embraces five major dimensions of human experience.

Rath’s focus in Eat Move Sleep is on what any individual needs to know about how to improve their nutrition, increase their physical exercise, and sleep/rest more effectively. Based on a tsunami of research, Rath’s recommendations are specific, realistic, and eminently doable. They involve incremental actions (I call them “baby steps”) that can help achieve major results in those three separate but interactive dimensions of human activity. This approach takes into full account the reasons why, at the conclusion of each calendar year, millions of people with the best of intentions commit themselves to resolutions that — they believe — will improve their mental, physical, and emotional health. And then, usually within the first three months of the New Year, these resolutions are abandoned.

I know of no one else who knows more about patterns of human behavior that reveal human strengths and weaknesses than does Rath. Most of the information, insights, and counsel in his previous volumes is provided within a workplace context. Note that in Wellbeing, three of the five factors are Career, Financial, and Community. I agree with him: “No matter how healthy you are today, you can take specific actions to have more energy and live longer. Regardless of your age, you can make better choices in the moment. Small decisions — about how you eat, move, and sleep each day — count more than you think.” In fact, choices and habits determine one’s life span as well as the quality of one’s life.

He invites his reader to test his program during a period of 30 days. “I’ve noticed that making better choices often becomes automatic after just a couple of weeks. However, it takes some initiative — on your own, with a friend, or as part of a group — to take the first step.” Actually, reading and then re-reading this book is the first step. Then, accept the “Eat Move Sleep First 30 Days Challenge” (Pages 209-218) and stay the course. Long ago, Aristotle observed, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” How simple it seems: “Eat right. Move more. Sleep better.” That is difficult for most people. So, begin and then continue a series of small choices to complete small tasks.

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You may wish to check out additional resources here:

1) Eat Move Sleep Plan (online functionality allowing readers to get their own personalized EMS Plan)

Please click here.

2) Reference Explorer (over 400 references supporting ideas/advice in each chapter)

Please click here.

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