Notebook with Wellness Goals with text overlay: Thinking Ahead for Meaningful Wellness Goals

[Wellness] Thinking Ahead for Meaningful Wellness Goals

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!




  1. This is a brilliant way to prompt our thinking and get us considering what’s important to us, what’s working well and what could do with a little more investment. I love the 8 aspects of wellness as it really breaks down what feels like a huge challenge into more manageable areas to contemplate. I could probably do with giving this more thought now, especially given the way this year has just disappeared! Fantastic post as always, Terri  ♥ xx

    1. Thank you so much Caz! I always feel I have so many things I want to work on that breaking things down helps me figure out where to start. It can become overwhelming when you contemplate too many changes at once, but determining small steps we can take one at a time makes it much more manageable. I agree with you that this year has just disappeared – I can’t believe it’s December already! Sending hugs!

    1. Well, you know they say “Great minds think alike” Jennifer! 😁 I think our wellness deserves much more thought than just making some arbitrary resolutions on New Year’s Eve. Blessings to you sweet friend!

  2. Great post Terri, it’s got my brain away from Christmas and thinking of how I’m moving forward with my health as I’ve had to start again on the NHS with my move down south. Thanks xx

  3. Due to age related injuries I have had to cease running and move to walking. I find longer walks to be hard mentally. Setting the goal of four miles is not hard…meeting it is another story.

    1. Thanks for sharing Don. It IS hard to get over those mental blocks sometimes, isn’t it? I can certainly see how having to walk longer could be difficult to get used to since you used to run. My husband was a runner, and he absolutely hates that he can’t so it anymore. Because of my pain levels and fatigue, I can’t do much of anything for very long, so I break things up into smaller chunks; ie, two 2-mile walks instead of one 4-mile (don’t I wish!) walk. I know time constraints mean that’s not doable for some people. For those who have the time to break it up, though, most of the research I’ve read has shown that short bouts of exercise throughout the day can be as effective as one long one. Wishing you all the best with all your wellness endeavors!

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