Why make a plan?
The purpose of a plan is to ensure we stay on track, do the things we agree to do, and do them effectively. We often reserve such plans for the workplace or big events, for example a wedding or a work Christmas party, but we don’t often use them when managing our lives.
So, if we realise the effectiveness of planning in an event scenario why, when we still have many factors to consider, should we approach our wellbeing any differently?
Why set wellness goals?
Achieving wellness goals can make you feel good in many ways: they give you a sense of achievement, purpose and drive, and they give you the opportunity to learn about yourself. The outcome of this is you become less agitated and stressed, and people often find you more fun to be around.
So here are a few top tips to consider, to ensure you have tip-top mind and body condition:
Think outside the box
Any good plan needs to ensure all factors are considered to provide a ’whole’ outcome. When thinking about wellness, we immediately tend to revert towards eating healthily and doing exercise. Whilst these are vital parts of a wellness plan, a plan of healthy body and healthy mind is much more than just diet and exercise.
So what are the factors to consider in your wellness plan?
To create your plan start by making a list of everything you’d like to include in your life; include all of the things that make you feel well, and contribute in some way to a healthy mind and body. These are likely to vary from person to person, and will depend on your interests, health and fitness goals and the time you have available, but here are a few ideas to get you started:
#1 Diet: If you are overweight or suffering from an illness that requires a specific eating plan, healthy eating may be top of your list. Try not to plan a ’diet’ as such, but plan a healthy eating regime that you can stick to regularly and for the foreseeable future. If it’s something that you can’t stick to always, you will just pile the weight back on. So, remember, make it SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely - i.e., set goals that have a finite timescale but that continue until your actions become habit. Remember to factor treats into your ’diet’ - a little bit of what you fancy does you good!
#2 Exercise: When you plan an exercise regime, make sure to choose the things you enjoy most; these are things you are most likely to stick to. Make sure you mix up cardio based exercise with strength based exercise; both have different benefits for the body, but both are equally important.
#3 Time with friends / family: every wellness plan needs to factor in time spent with the people you love most. Make sure you factor in regular activities with those you feel most comfortable with; they will restore you mind, body and soul back to health!
#4 Wellness in the workplace: Consider your relationships with your boss / co-workers? Could they benefit from a coffee chat here and there? Or a bit of appreciation via some positive feedback? Nurturing the relationships you have with those around you can make you and your co-workers feel happier and more motivated. A happy workplace means happy people. Lunch breaks - do you take them? Do you leave your desk? Factor in some time away from your desk now and again, the walk and a change of scenery will refresh your mind and help you to be more creative.
All of these factors and many more can influence your overall wellness; so make sure these, and the things that are important to you, are part of your plan!
How will I set my goals?
- How often will you do things?
- When will you do them?
- How will you monitor your progress?
- Use pictures to motivate yourself to act on your plan. (Perhaps you’re working towards a holiday or a new job, or maybe you want to learn a new skill) - using images to reflect your goals will help you to visualise what the end goal will look like and give you a push to keep going!
Once you’ve set your goals, you may need to adjust them
- Perhaps they are too easy or too hard, or perhaps you’re right on track and so maybe you want to challenge yourself a bit to do more exercise, or treat yourself with a reward because your right on track!
- Make sure to leave time for breaks too. You can’t be expected to stick to the plan all of the time, sometimes you need to cut yourself a bit of slack and take a day off to do something you wouldn’t normally do. Perhaps you skip the gym one day to spend time with a sick relative or just to have a day of fun with a friend. Either way, let yourself have days off without feeling guilty, but make sure you make up where you’ve missed out and still work towards achieving those goals.
What are you waiting for? Get that pad and pen or Excel sheet out, write down your personal goals, the things that matter to you, and make a plan of action. Whatever it is, with a bit of careful planning and some solid determination, you can make it happen!
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