Inspired by Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project, I am starting a year-long wellness project.
Why? Well, there are a few reasons. 1) I love projects. 2) I know I can be even more well than I am now. 3) As an aspiring Wellness Coach, I thought it would be a good idea to test out the various theories about how to be well.
But is there really a difference between a happiness project and a wellness project?
I don’t know yet. I think there may be some subtle differences, but I have a feeling that my wellness project will contribute greatly to my happiness. Indeed – happiness is one important measurement of wellness. But it’s not the only one.
The Wellness Project Outline
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the various components of wellness and what aspects of wellness I should include in my wellness project.
I want to commit to resolutions that are going to benefit me personally, but I also want to explore aspects of wellness that might help future clients.
With the caveat that the order may change, here is my current wellness project outline:
We are what we eat. It’s as simple as that. If we are not nourishing our bodies with real, good food, we’re starting off on the wrong foot. June will be all about eating right (for me) and eating for nourishment.
We spend a large portion of our adult lives working. Many people don’t enjoy their work. However, some people have managed to make their work their vocation. They are following their passion. I think this is key to wellness. Exploring ways to combine work and passion is the goal for this month.
The Blue Zones book by Dan Buettner really drives home the importance of good relationships for health and longevity. We often take relationships for granted and forget that they require nourishment and care, just like our bodies. August will be a month to intentionally foster special relationships.
Originally, this wellness component was called “productivity.” However, I don’t think productivity is what I’m trying to get at here. This is about freeing up time in our busy lives by learning to focus on the task at hand. Think email management, organization, and un-procrastination.
You can’t have a wellness project without fitness! I don’t have to tell you why it’s important to be physically fit. However, it’s one thing to know it’s good for you and another thing to do something about it. I’ll explore various ways to get fit, discuss the concept of “moving naturally,” and discuss ways to stick with your fitness plan.
In preparation for the holiday season, I thought I would devote November to spirituality. I identify as a Christian, but I also appreciate aspects of other religions and believe that we can learn a great deal from other spiritual traditions. This month will be about taking time for various spiritual exercises from reading the Bible to meditating.
Every year I make a commitment to have a calm, stress-free holiday season, and every year I don’t quite make it happen. This is why I thought December would be a good month to focus on being mindful. Mindfulness is a key ingredient to wellness, and I want to explore different ways to practice mindfulness, including mindful eating.
This may seem like an unusual component of wellness. But I think it is essential. How can you be well when you are in the rat race, working long hours to afford a house that is too big, and buying into obsessive consumerism? This will be a back to basics on voluntary simplicity and also include some financial management techniques.
February: Alternative Healing
In my experience, we need to explore alternative ways to heal our bodies and our minds and not always rely on Western medicine. This month, I’ll highlight some alternative health options and even try some out for myself. I’m especially interested in learning more about nutritional supplements and the range of ailments that can be resolved in this fashion.
March: Nature & Environment
This is a really broad category, and I’m still trying to narrow it down for this wellness project. But the general theme is that we are impacted by our environment and we also impact the environment by our actions. In addition, how does indoor environment impact wellness?
We are all creative – I don’t care what you say. Yes, perhaps you’re not a Rembrandt or a fashion designer, but creativity goes so far beyond visual art and design. Many places of work are very stifling when it comes to creativity. Time is another creativity inhibitor. During April, I want to make time for creativity and let it flow freely!
May: Mental Flexibility
If there is one “personality trait” that I’d like to fix, it’s my rather inflexible nature. It takes me longer than it should to adjust to a change of plans or some other disruption in my life. I also have some issues with anxiety. My hope is that all the wellness resolutions in the previous months will magically take care of these issues, but just in case, I’ve reserved the last month to focus on addressing these issues.
The Wellness Project Resolution Chart
One of Gretchen Rubin’s revelations in the Happiness Project is that her key to success was keeping a detailed resolution chart. She has a sample resolution chart available for download on her website. It’s a way to keep yourself accountable.
Update: I tried keeping up with the resolutions on the computer (trying to save paper), but it just did not work, because I don’t like to be on the computer at night. At this point, I’m not using a resolution chart.
In the next few days, I’ll be sharing my baseline with you (measure, measure, measure) and also describing my resolutions for June in detail. I hope you’ll join me on this journey. I’m excited!
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