My experience continues to be that investing in my health, investing in my key relationships, and investing my time in pursuing purposeful and meaningful things and experiences leads to lasting contentment, peace, and happiness. That's certainly not unique to me! I am convinced that it can apply to just about everyone.
I think getting the best return from these life-giving investments involves prioritizing what leads to your health, well-being, and joy. This isn't to mean that being self-centered and caring only about ourselves is the move here, since one of the critical aspects of any successful approach to overall well-being has to do with our connectedness to those around us. However, the fact is that tending to yourself well enables you to better help and impact those you love the most, find it easier to smile, be more generous, and maintain a sense of gratitude even in the midst of hardship. So it is that the benefits of improving your health and wellness include a considerable lift in attitude, happiness, and contentment that will have the added bonus of spilling out into the lives of others.
So where to start? First up is to begin developing great habits. These habits can then be stacked upon one another to build even more great habits that will fuel and energize your efforts to crush it when it comes to setting and achieving the specific goals related to what it is that you consider to be most important. I believe that the key here is to try and simplify matters wherever you can. Take off the burdens of complexity and perfection. Focus on the simple things first as there is tremendous power in simplicity. After all, the pillars of health that support the foundation of your wellness aren't complicated. Developing the best patterns and approach aren't easy, but they are not all that mysterious.
What are the pillars of an excellent approach to health? Not surprisingly they are:
Sleep - the foundation of wellness
Nutrition - consuming whole foods, supplementing as needed, and staying hydrated
Physical activity - moving as much and as often as you can in ways that you enjoy
Inner wellness (mental, emotional, spiritual) - the seat of your very being flows from deep within, so guard your mind, will, and emotions
Of course, there are other elements attached to each of the above pillars and there is overlap between the categories. For example, getting adequate exposure to sunlight and the outdoors each day (especially in the earlier hours) improves sleep and boosts mood, both of which contribute to improved inner wellness. Tying these things together isn't very complex, is it?
Still, a first glance the full list might inspire feelings of being overwhelmed as you think of how difficult it seems to be able to put them all together, but in reality the basics are easy enough for anyone to put into practice. Like I said at the very beginning, it all starts with the decision to prioritize your health and well-being, which requires the willingness to change some behaviors and adopt them as the new normal. In other words, it's being willing to create new habits, new behavior patterns, and then sticking to them. That last part is critical, so coming up with a plan that is sustainable is very important.
Start with a quick assessment of where you are right now in relation to where you would like to be in terms of health and well-being, and identify which area needs the most immediate attention. It doesn't have to all be done at once! You are the expert in your own life and know where you need to course correct in order to feel and be healthier and happier. Then you can, perhaps with the help of a coach or trusted advisor, begin to map out a plan to improve things. It is absolutely doable! You have the capacity to make the changes necessary to upgrade your health and happiness! Decide to do just that and be willing to both arm yourself with the information you need and connect with an ally to assist you in your project to level up. Then resolve to work at developing the discipline and grit needed to stay at it.
Will there be some ups and downs, and times where you take two steps forward and a step or two back? Sure thing! Be realistic and merciful with yourself but believe that you can do this because you can! Not only will you be changed but you may very well be an agent for change in the lives of those you love (and who love you) the most. Start today!