Do you make New Year’s Resolutions?
If you’re like most of us, you do, and then fail miserably.
Many of us decide that starting January 1st, we’re going to change our diet, increase exercise, get better sleep, or make a whole host of other lifestyle changes. We’re gung-ho for the first few weeks (or even days), and then things start to fall apart.
The other night, I shared a delightful Indian meal with a friend. (I became a hermit in the last year, and one of my goals for the coming year is to spend more quality time with friends…what better way is there, than to do it while eating yummy food?) We were discussing some of the lifestyle changes we wanted to make. She shared with me that she tends to fail when working to truly embrace a healthy lifestyle, trying to do too many things at once, and never really having the energy to make it all happen. I reminded her that when you try to do too much, of course you’ll get overwhelmed.
I have found that the best way to make major changes in your life is to work on one thing at a time. Wellness has a domino affect…..when you work on one aspect of wellness, all the others fall into place. So choose one area, work on making some changes, develop those healthy routines, and watch the others fall into place! It takes time, so be patient… Remember: Rome wasn’t built in a day. It takes time to create greatness, so be gentle with yourself!
There are seven main aspects of wellness:
- Physical: When we think of wellness, this is where most of our minds go….healthy habits that include regular exercise, a healthy diet, and quality sleep, while avoiding things that aren’t good for us like too much alcohol, sugar, or tobacco. These good habits give us the ability to maintain a level of health that allows us to go about our lives without too much physical stress or fatigue.
- Emotional: When we acknowledge our feelings of joy, sadness, anger and more, and can regularly express them in a healthy manner, it is much easier to cope with life’s challenges. This allows us to move through the world with a lot more ease.
- Social: Humans by nature are tribal…we have our “pack” that we travel through life with. Positive connection with family, friends and co-workers leads us to care about a larger community. The healthier our social connections, the better our connection to the world at large.
- Environmental: Those living a true wellness lifestyle have a strong connection to the environment. We do all we can to make a positive impact on the quality of the air, water and land, recognizing that there is only one earth, and we need to care for her. Our environment includes our home as well as the natural word.
- Occupational: How we spend the majority of our time, whether it be in a career or as a full-time parent, is our occupation. True wellness comes when our occupation is our calling…when we love what we do, and do what we love. A healthy occupational life comes when we have balance between work and leisure time.
- Spiritual: Our never ending quest for the meaning and purpose in human existence leads some people to church, while others find it by spending regular time in nature or within the pages of books. This quest brings us to find a balance of peace and harmony with the rest of the world.
- Intellectual: Opening our minds to new ideas and experiences provides mental growth and stimulation. We tend to make better personal decisions, as well as have a better impact on those around us. The constant pursuit of learning, keeping involved in creative and stimulating mental activities, is imperative to a long, healthy life.
Good luck to you in your path to wellness! In the coming weeks, I’ll be writing more about each realm of wellness, and choices you can make to lead a truly healthy lifestyle.