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Take Your New Year’s Resolution Beyond Weight Loss

Learn how to nurture the seven components of wellness

Over half of the American population chooses some sort of New Year’s Resolution and over 20% of us choose one related to weight loss. As you’ve probably heard, or possibly experienced personally, we’re also not very good at keeping these resolutions.

There are all kinds of reasons for resolution failure. But a bigger question is why we limit ourselves to setting these goals once a year? And why is weight loss such a popular measure of our perceived health, happiness and success for a new year?  

More and more people are beginning to realize the concept of “wellness” is much more than merely physical health, exercise or nutrition. Research tells us that, for a long and happy life, it’s about nurturing a set of seven interconnected dimensions.

These components include social, emotional, spiritual, environmental, occupational, intellectual and physical wellness. Each of these seven dimensions act and interact in a way that contributes to our overall quality of life and the goal of optimal wellness. Here’s a brief definition of each:

·      Social Wellness is the ability to relate to and connect with other people in our world. Our ability to establish and maintain positive relationships with family, friends and co-workers contributes to our Social Wellness.

·      Intellectual Wellness involves a commitment to lifelong learning. We nurture our intellectual health when we engage in creative activities, learn new things, and expand our knowledge.

·      Emotional Wellness is the ability to understand ourselves and cope with the challenges life can bring. The ability to acknowledge and share feelings of anger, fear, sadness or stress, hope, love, joy and happiness in a productive manner contributes to our Emotional Wellness.

·      Spiritual Wellness is the ability to establish peace and harmony in our lives. The ability to develop congruency between values and actions and to realize a common purpose that binds creation together contributes to our Spiritual Wellness.

·      Environmental Wellness is the ability to recognize our own responsibility for the quality of the air, the water and the land that surrounds us. Certainly, many of us have experienced the restorative feeling of spending time in the great outdoors. Preserving and enjoying nature helps us reflect on our thoughts and feelings by giving us a break from the hustle of everyday life and helps us feel connected to something bigger than ourselves.

·      Occupational Wellness pertains to the suitability of our work to our interests, skills, and values, and the fulfillment we gain from our jobs or our chosen career fields while still maintaining balance in our lives. However, work does not only mean paid occupations—it also includes life roles (such as mother- or fatherhood), hobbies, or volunteer work.

·      Physical Wellness is the ability to maintain a healthy quality of life that allows us to get through our daily activities without undue fatigue or physical stress. Broadly speaking, physical wellness involves implementing regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy diet, and rejuvenating our bodies through rest and sleep—all things that protect us from chronic diseases and improve our quality of life.

Of course Physical Wellness is where the most common new year resolutions live.  The ability to recognize that our behaviors have a significant impact on our wellness and adopting healthful habits (routine check ups, a balanced diet, exercise, etc.) while avoiding destructive habits (tobacco, drugs, alcohol, etc.) will lead to optimal Physical Wellness. But it's important to remember this is only one of the seven interconnected components.  

It’s not too late to expand your 2017 resolution and make a commitment to a life-long focus on building up each of the seven dimensions of wellness, one day at a time.

PS – If you’re looking for a little motivation toward your physical wellness goals, join our Community Health Challenge to Shoot for the Moon this winter. Together we’re tracking our mileage and aiming for a common goal, with some great rewards along the journey and a grand prize travel voucher for a lucky participant at the end! You can sign up and get more info at www.lrhc.org.

 

 

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