It's now almost 3 weeks into the new year. Do you know what that means? It means that most of the people who have made resolutions involving ... well ... ANYTHING are beginning to slip up on them. By February 1 the long-term users of health clubs will be able to get at the machines easily again, and grocery stores will stop having great weekly sales on diet foods.
By April 1, health club memberships and home exercise equipment will be readily available in classified ads.
It IS hard to change life habits. Change is painful enough, but add hunger or sore muscles or tendonitis or (my usual one) getting sick 2 or 3 weeks into an exercise program on top of that, the probability that the change won't stick increases dramatically.
It doesn't have to be like that.
I say that you can improve your health 100% in 21 weeks by making a series of SMALL and RELATIVELY EASY changes.
We all know that wellness is multi-faceted. Most wellness professionals seem to break it down into 7 major categories, along the lines of Physical, Mental,
Spiritual, Career, Environmental, Relationships, Financial. Or they do a tripartite division - body, mind, and spirit - a la Dr. Andrew Weil, at DrWeil.com. While I'm a Celtic Reconstructionist and DEEPLY into triads, and I have been into Dr. Weil's books for almost 40 years now - I find his three categories too broad, containing too many subdivisions, leading to a feeling of being overwhelmed. I prefer the 7 part division.
Here's the theory I'm putting forth, and that I'll be expounding on during this health series: IF you make ONE permanent change within ONE part of ONE the 7 aspects of health every three weeks, aiming for a 10 percent improvement in your health from what you have now THEN in one cycle thru' the 7 aspects you get a 94% increase in your health in 21 weeks. Not quite the 100% I talked about in the title, but close enough. Besides, once thru' the cycle once ... you start the cycle over working on one other goal within each of the 7 aspects. Two complete cycles in a year will yield over 200% increase in wellness!
In this series, every week I'll be writing about - cheerleading, if you will - one part of one aspect. You don't have to wait till I start cheering you on in next week's post to start making changes. You don't have to make the change I write about, or do them in the order I propose. Start ANYWHERE, aim for a 10% improvement in that one thing. A few weeks later, make another change that you think will net you another 10% wellness increase. Small changes, synergistic and cumulative over time.
Heck, aim at the low-hanging fruit first. If you know an easy change that will net a big improvement, go for that first. Let success build on success by starting that way.
Before I end this, let me make one thing VERY clear - wellness isn't just for the 'able-bodied' or those without chronic diseases. Wellness is about living the best life you as a UNIQUE INDIVIDUAL can live. It's not a once-size fits all thing, and all improvements for are based on where you are starting.