If you’ve tried and failed to begin a wellness practice, rest assured you’re not alone. Moving from where you are now to a place where you feel like you’re taking care of yourself on a consistent basis can be challenging, but it’s not impossible.
Here are five steps to help you get going and stay motivated.
Step 1 – Develop a Wellness Mindset
The difference between wanting to take better care of yourself and doing it starts in your mind. To develop habits that support your overall wellbeing, start with where you are. Ask yourself the following:
- What habits do you have now that you want to keep?
- What habits will you probably need to give up?
- What excites you about creating a healthier lifestyle right now?
To help you stay energized as you go about changing your habits, focus on one thing at a time instead of worrying about putting an entirely new wellness program in place.
If you know you should clean up your eating habits and cut down on junk food, learn about healthy nutrition and then start making better food choices at the grocery store and when you go out to eat. Use healthy eating as a foundation to then build the next part of your wellness program which may be walking, jogging, or some other type of consistent exercise.
Step 2 – Define What Success Looks and Feels Like for You
Many people give up on making wellness a part of their lifestyle because they don’t take the time to figure out what wellness should look like and feel like for them. If you’re a busy mom with two small children, escaping to the gym for an hour each day and practicing yoga for another hour may not be feasible.
Instead of looking around at what everyone else is doing, figure out what wellness success would look like and feel like.
Maybe wellness for you is eating more healthfully, fitting in some exercise three times a week, and increasing the number of hours you sleep most nights. Make your wellness program challenging enough to keep you motivated but real enough to fit into the reality of your life.
As you design a wellness program that works for you make sure to consider how both your mind and body will benefit.
Notice where you may have gone too heavy on the physical activity without enough time to rest and rejuvenate, or if you’re focused too much on internal practices such as meditation at the expense of regular exercise.
Step 3 – Practice Boundary Management
If you’re one of those people who can’t seem to find the time for personal wellness, it may be time to start taking a hard look at where you need to practice better boundary management. We all have the same number of hours in a day.
By setting better boundaries with yourself and others around time and energy, you’ll regain some of those hours without shirking key responsibilities or commitments.
Boundary management can be best accomplished by honing in on your values and perspective and then figuring out how you can start making your wellness a higher priority.
A few things to consider when you set boundaries are:
- Clearly communicating your needs to others
- Actively setting aside time on your calendar for wellness activities
- Honoring your wellness time to see the best results
Step 4 – Focus on Balance Not Perfection
One reason people have trouble sticking with their wellness decisions is a tendency to define rigid goals and then get discouraged when those goals run off course.
Perfectionism is the enemy of progress, and when you’re trying to add something new to your life, it’s important not to give up just because you aren’t perfectly adhering to a set schedule.
Remember, you are the one defining and designing wellness for you, so you make the rules, and can change them if something truly isn’t working. Think in terms of what would be good enough vs. perfect.
- What habits or consistent activities would be breakthroughs for you?
- What would feel successful to you in mind, body, and spirit?
Step 5 – Design a Lifestyle
Wellness is a lifestyle that pulls together all facets of your life and makes you feel satisfied, fulfilled, and successful. It’s sustainable and flexible enough to keep you motivated all while allowing you to honor your commitments to yourself and others. Designing a wellness program for yourself is not about the amount of time spent exercising or a number on the scale, it’s a way of living and being.
Designing and living a life of wellness is possible. Give yourself the greatest chance for success by using these five steps and watch for signs of progress over time.