Welcome back to Wellness Wednesday! Last week, we talked about how to avoid a negative mindset when we’re contemplating wellness changes, but we also discussed the fact that this time of year is usually not the best time of year to try to make those changes.
Of course, with the new year coming up, many of us will be making New Year’s Resolutions. Many of these are considered to be wellness-related. The problem is that they’re often made arbitrarily, without a lot of thought about how they will affect our overall wellness or what it will actually take to make those resolutions a reality. Because of that, they’re often unrealistic, which sets us up for failure before we’ve even gotten started.
What if, rather than just making some resolutions on New Year’s Eve, we start thinking now about the things that would really improve our overall wellness?
By asking ourselves some questions and giving some real thought now to what we need in order to be at our best, we can set meaningful, achievable goals that move us toward better overall wellness.
Just as a reminder, when we talk about overall wellness, we’re talking about all the dimensions of wellness, not just physical health. Here’s a recap of the SAMHSA Wellness Wheel we first saw in What Is Wellness?:
The Eight Dimensions of Wellness
Emotional: Coping effectively with life and creating satisfying relationships
Environmental: Good health by occupying pleasant, stimulating environments that support well-being
Financial: Satisfaction with current and future financial situations
Intellectual: Recognizing creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills
Occupational: Personal satisfaction and enrichment from one’s work
Physical: Recognizing the need for physical activity, healthy foods and sleep
Social: Developing a sense of connection, belonging, and a well-developed support system
Spiritual: Expanding a sense of purpose and meaning in life
Some Things to Think About
For each dimension of wellness, we can ask ourselves a few questions to help us really drill down and determine if we need to make changes. Some questions we might want to ask for each dimension might be things like:
- On a scale of 1 – 10, how am I currently doing in this area?
- Why would I rate it this way?
- What specific things would I need to do in order to improve that number?
- What am I doing well in this area?
- Is there something I’m already doing that I could build on?
- What is my “why” for contemplating a change in this area?
- What resources would I need to make changes?
- What resources are already available to me?
These are just some of the things we can start thinking about now to help us determine if we even need to make changes at all. If we do, the answers to questions like these can help us start to formulate a realistic, sustainable plan to make sure we’re where we want to be with our overall wellness.
What have you found to be most difficult when trying to set wellness goals? Do you have a process that helps you figure out what your goals should be? Please share!