We're only a month into 2015 but for most people that's a lot of distance from our New Year's resolutions. Most of us start the New Year with the best of intentions to start fresh. We pledge to lose weight, eat healthy or get more exercise. We go to the gym we might not have seen for a while, or we hit Whole Foods and load up on crunchy granola and organic everything - the stuff that's supposed to be good for you (but not necessarily good for your wallet).
As those of you who are regular readers of this column know, Tracy and I are pretty health conscious. We eat healthy at home and we keep up a pretty rigorous exercise regimen, at least we try to. But I don't necessarily buy into most of the health trends that seem to become popular almost overnight.
For example, the juicing craze that everybody is so hyped up about just doesn't do anything for me. I'd rather chew my fruits and vegetables than drink them. The truth is I savor a good solid meal and a great bottle of wine, and I'm fortunate to have many opportunities to enjoy them since I live and work in New York City, the restaurant capital of the world. But Tracy and I make sure we give in to those indulgences in moderation. In fact, last week while I traveled to Las Vegas for an accounting conference, she did a 5-day juice and was only too happy when I got home to go out to a regular meal.
Eating is obviously more than just fuel for the body; it's fuel for the soul. There's nothing better than sharing a good meal with family and friends. Most of you know how much I value my time with my wife and five children. Holiday meals when the whole family is together are especially important to me, as I'm sure they are to you, too. I honestly can't get enough of it, especially since now that Isaac (age 22) is a college grad and living on his own, and Leo (age 20) is living away at college in DC, having our whole family together at the dinner table is a rarity. (Isn't it bittersweet how you work your whole life for that, and then you're not completely ready for it when it gets here?).
In a personal service business, such as ours, meals are also an important and valuable way for me to reinforce relationships with my clients and partners. Try bonding over a smoothie - somehow it just doesn't do it for me.
"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." Seven words to live by, from author Michael Pollan in his 2008 book, In Defense of Food.
That's obviously much easier said than done. Right now we're deep into our annual busy season here at Marcum, when our people spend long hours in the office, often well into the evening and on weekends. During the weeks leading up to the end of April, we provide dinner during weeknights and a full schedule of meals on Saturdays and Sundays. We always make sure to offer healthy choices on our menus. It's important to us that staff and partners don't have to sacrifice wellness in order to do their jobs. In fact, wellness is very much a part of our corporate culture as well as a firmwide priority. Our HR Department offers a robust program of activities and wellness information to help our people stay healthy not only during busy season, but year-round. Helping our people stay healthy is not only a way to appreciate those who work so hard for our clients; it is also integral to keeping our business healthy. It's a big contributor to productivity – not to mention a factor in reigning in our health insurance costs.
Busy season coincides with everyone's other favorite time of year: cold and flu season. Bundle up, eat well and drink your chicken soup.