Almost everyone has some aspect about themselves that they would like to change or improve. However, established routines and habits can be very hard to break. We have probably tried at one time or another to break our bad habits, and within a few days resorted back to our “old ways”. But before you can really be successful in changing your life for the better, you need to have a good plan. I will take you step-by-step through the process of behavior change. By learning the simple skills presented on this Website and applying them to your daily routine, you can begin to lead a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling life. So remember that old saying, YOU DON’T PLAN TO FAIL, YOU FAIL TO PLAN!
The first step in creating your own wellness program is to select the behavior you want to change, while identifying the benefits of changing that behavior. Maybe your doctor told you at your last check-up that you needed to lose some weight for health reasons, or perhaps your life has become so hectic and stressful that you do not know how much longer you can take it. Pick a behavior that will really have a profound impact on your life if you change it! To help give you some direction on choosing a behavior, the National Wellness Institute suggests that any program designed to promote an individual’s health and wellbeing should consist of six major components. These include emotional, intellectual, occupational, spiritual, physical, and social dimensions of wellness. Let’s take a look at how each one of the dimensions can be incorporated into a total health promotion package.
Emotional wellness is the degree to which you feel positive and enthusiastic about yourself and your life. It emphasizes the capacity to manage your feelings and related behaviors, including the realistic assessment of your limitations, the development of autonomy, and the ability to cope effectively with stress.
The intellectual dimension encourages participating in creative and stimulating mental activities. An intellectually well person uses readily available resources to expand their knowledge, this includes intellectual and cultural activities in the classroom and beyond.
Occupational development involves preparing for work so that you will gain personal satisfaction and enrichment in your life through work.
The spiritual side of wellness consists of seeking meaning and purpose in human existence. It includes the development of a deep appreciation for the depth and expanse of life.
Physical wellness consists of regular physical activity that is designed to promote cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, and flexibility. It also encourages good nutrition and self-care, while discouraging the use of tobacco, drugs, and excessive alcohol consumption. In addition, regular physical activity can help promote good mental health.
The social dimension of wellness emphasizes interdependence with others, including family and friends.
By choosing a behavior that is linked to one of the dimensions of wellness, you can be sure that you will be making a change in your life that will be positively felt! Maybe you want to improve your physical wellness by losing a little weight, or perhaps your occupational wellness calls for a boost in your self-confidence. Just pick something that is important to you, or that might be a reoccurring theme in your life. Whatever behavior you decide on, you can add tremendous significance to your wellness program by articulating it, so write it down NOW!
Identify a behavior that you wish to change:
Pros and Cons
If you possibly need a little extra convincing to start your new wellness program, sometimes it helps to write down the pros and cons of your behavior change. Known as a decision balance sheet, you determine the anticipated consequences of participating in your program including the gains and losses to yourself, gains and losses to significant others like friends and family, approval and disapproval from others, and finally any self-approval and self-disapproval. For example, your behavior change cost/benefit summary for exercise might look like this;
Better health Lose 30 minutes of my time a day
Have more energy Possible discomfort
Stronger body Might feel foolish
Able to do more
Identify the benefits of your behavior change (Pros):
Identify the costs of your behavior change (Cons):
There is no time like the present to get started on your new life, so let’s take that first step together!
Stay tuned for my next post on goal setting