Wellness is holistic.
This means that wellness is practiced across domains (or aspects) of our lives. We can practice physical wellness, mental wellness, interpersonal wellness, financial wellness, work wellness, parenting wellness, etc. When we over-focus on one thing, we neglect the others and find ourselves off balance.
We may also find it hard to stick to dramatic wellness goals when we have not really thought through our choices and made sure they are truly aligned with our values and not our fears.
Wellness should be a way in which we deeply care for ourselves and create freedom in our lives. It should not be punishing or shame-based.
Here are 10 ways to
set yourself up for success with your wellness goals:
- Set a kind intention toward yourself. Wellness is not a moral obligation, it is a gift we can give to ourselves if we want to.
- Focus on how you feel when you practice wellness behaviors rather than a visible outcome. We cannot control the outcome of most wellness behaviors. We can control whether or not we practice the behavior, so focus on how it feels to care for yourself today, rather than only imagine some idealized outcome tomorrow.
- Remember that you and your life are not one thing. You and your life are made of many things, all important, and all needing your time and attention. Take a holistic view of your life when setting wellness goals.
- Be realistic. Pick goals that match who you are and how you live, not who you wish you were or how you wish you lived. If you are not a morning person, don’t decide that you are going to get up and run every morning at 4:00 AM. You probably won’t. Create wellness plans that work with who you are.
- Find a buddy. We know that when it comes to behavior change, having some healthy peer support and encouragement vastly increases your odds of following through. There have been countless times when the difference between me blowing off a wellness task and getting up and doing it has been an encouraging text from a friend.
- Set the bar low. By choosing a low standard of completion, you make it easier to do a behavior on even your worst day. Also, anything above the bar is extra and you will feel extra good about it. These wins help to reinforce your desire to keep doing the thing.
- Stack your wellness behaviors. This means choosing behaviors across “domains” that reinforce each other. For example, “stacked” wellness behaviors can look like: getting good sleep, meditation, joyful movement, taking medications, budgeting practice, and spending regular time in nature. Each of these built upon each other to positive impact our mental health, heart health, self-development, functionality, and productivity.
- Be fluid. I write about “wellness practice” because it is just that: a practice. This allows us to consider the ebb and flow of life. Obviously, the more consistently we do something, the more outcome we will get from it. But, when we are making these kinds of changes, we have to be able to pick it up whenever, no matter how long ago we dropped it. Remove the shame and failure language from your self-talk about wellness. It is always there for us to pick up, no matter what.
- Be adaptable. Wellness means different things at different times in our lives. Sometimes, we might do a great job at protecting our sleep. Then, we might have a baby and getting sleep looks very different. It doesn’t mean we are failing. It does mean we have to change the agreement we make with ourselves about what “good sleep” means.
- Know your “why.” Make sure it’s yours. If we practice wellness behaviors to try to please someone else or achieve some outward picture of wellness, we may struggle to be motivated because we are not truly connected to our “why.”
10 Suggestions for Wellness Practice
- Take your prescribed medications and supplements each day as directed.
- Take care of your oral health with brushing and flossing – and regular dental visits!
- Move your body several times per week in ways that feel good and fun to you
- Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables each day – get creative with this (like smoothies!)
- Download a free meditation app and listen to one each morning before you get out of bed.
- Make your bed each day.
- Read one chapter per day in books that teach you something new.
- Keep a daily journal – even if it’s just a sentence.
- Drink 64 oz of water each day – or however much your doctor recommends.
- Make that doctor’s appointment you’ve been putting off. Go on. Do it today.