For many of us, a new year begins with new goals. We take the last few days of December to assess where we’re at and what we want to the future to look like.
The top 5 resolutions or goals for a new year include:
- Improving fitness and increasing exercise.
- Losing weight.
- Saving more money.
- Improving diet.
- Pursuing a new career goal.
Does any of these goals sound familiar?
What is most striking about these goals is that they focus primarily on improving health and wellness in the physical realm. From improving diet to exercising more to losing weight, each of these goals is related to our physical health. Saving more money is a financial goal and pursuing a new career goal relates to professional wellbeing.
But there’s more to life than money, physical health and careers.
In fact, experts agree there are actually 8 elements of wellness.
What are the 8 Elements of Wellness?
The 8 dimensions of wellness include:
Each of these dimensions plays a key role in our overall health and happiness, in our wellness.
According to Debbie Stoewen, “Attention must be given to all the dimensions, as neglect of any one over time will adversely affect the others, and ultimately one’s health, well-being, and quality of life. They do not, however, have to be equally balanced. We should aim, instead, to strive for a “personal harmony” that feels most authentic to us.”
How Do I Create a Wellness Plan?
Using the 8 elements of wellness, use the following 5 steps to create a personalized and balanced plan for your overall well-being.
- Identify which of the 8 dimensions of wellness you value most. This doesn’t mean you neglect the other areas, but you will want to create a plan that sets priorities based on those values.
- Identify if any of the 8 areas of wellness are currently lacking or in need of attention. Your professional goals may be currently set and met, but perhaps your social life needs attention. How long has it been since you saw a movie or had coffee with a friend? If your physical health is suffering, you might put that at the top of your list of priorities. Take the temperature of each dimension and see where you’re at.
- Create goals for each element. The goals don’t have to be big or fancy to be beneficial. Simple, doable goals add up to big changes in our lives when we do them with consistency and attention. If you want to address emotional health, you might start by reading a book or seeking a counseling referral. If you want to improve your financial situation, you might begin by finding an advisor, establishing a budget or opening a savings account.
- Create a timeline for your goals. If you want to become financially stable, you may need to increase your income. This can be done in a series of steps rather than all at once. Put those steps into a timeline in order of when they need to be done. This will keep you on track and give you a clear direction.
- Reassess as needed. We often create goals we think will be helpful only to find we need adjustments. This isn’t failure; this is part of the process. Don’t be afraid to review your goals every few months or when new information comes available. Our wellness is flexible!
With these steps, you can create a personal plan for a life that feels balanced and healthy for you. Your steps, priorities and values don’t have to adhere to any rules or matter to anyone else. Your wellness is up to you, so create a plan that feels right and authentic for your life right now.
Be flexible, open to change and, most of all, be willing to enjoy the process. Growth and change should be something to look forward to!
Here’s to a happy and healthy 2022!
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