Here I am two days after our Christmas celebration. The gifts are all opened, toys assembled, devices connected and boxes collapsed and ready for recycling. Next up? New Years. For me, this means setting my New Year goals and intentions. Looking for some inspiration, I hopped on over to some of my Health Coaching peers to see what they were all blogging about. As always, their posts are filled with inspiration and motivation, but I was immediately struck by the fact that every post I read was focused on losing weight. Now don't get me wrong....I too am looking to shed my COVID-19 like many others. However, I believe that weight loss is only a fraction of the equation to achieve steps towards optimal health and wellness.
Health is Multidimensional
When setting a New Years Resolution, many of us focus on only one or two areas of health. Commonly, I see many resolving to lose weight or save money. Both are very noble and realistic goals, but when considering overall well-being, unbalance in other areas may prevent one from achieving these.
I believe in the 8 Dimensions of Health. When these 8 dimensions are in balance, we thrive. When these areas are out of balance, or we consider all areas to be unhealthy, we may be living a life where all we do is survive. The 8 dimensions are Physical Health, Social Health, Spiritual Health, Emotional Health, Financial Health, Environmental Health, Occupational Health and Intellectual Health. Losing weight (physical health) and saving money (financial health) are only two areas of overall wellness that may be weighed down by unhealthy behaviors in social or emotional health.
The first step to a lasting New Years resolution is to mindfully assess where you fall in all these areas. I have created an activity that will help you find your starting point. If you think about goals through the lens of a journey, the first step is to identify your starting point and your final destination. If not, you are bound to get lost, frustrated and ready to give up. Hence the reason so many New Years Resolutions are quit in the first couple of weeks. You can find my 8 Dimensions of Health activity here. You will learn which areas of your health are holding you back from overall well-being and living your best life.
Setting Goals that Stick!
So once you know where you are starting from and where you are going, it is time to set a goal. I'm not talking about the "I want to lose weight" or "I will save money". While these are good, they are not very SMART.
Wait...what? My goal should have an IQ?
By SMART I mean Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Sensitive. When setting a goal, ticking off each of these categories will help you narrow in on one or two specific action steps, map out a course and allows you to know when you have arrived. Use this infographic to begin charting your journey with a SMART Goal.
You Don't Have to Go It Alone!
Did you know that when you clue others in to your plan, you are more likely to achieve success?
As you are mapping your journey, involve family, friends and loved ones. You will need support on the difficult days where life wants to throw you off course. Support provides accountability. When you take the journey with others with a similar path, you can lean on each other, offer support when obstacles pose a threat and share success to motivate and inspire.
I will be hosting a challenge starting January 2nd that will run for 4 weeks. As a group, you will learn the basics I have outlined here and begin to take action steps towards strengthening the dimensions of health that hold you back. You can read more about this challenge here. Ready to sign up? Register here.
There is no need to travel this road alone. Through this challenge, I will be with you every step of the way. Asking for help is a sign of strength and courage. Let's wave (or kick if you feel the need) 2020 goodbye and begin welcoming in a fresh new start.
I wish you Health and Happiness this year and always!