I knew I wanted to write a New Years resolution post, and while pondering my goals for 2017, I came across an article that outlines the Seven Dimensions of Wellness. It really got me thinking about the kinds of goals people make for the new year and the percentage of people who actually reach the goals they set for themselves. Generally, I think new years resolutions can be too lofty or too focused in one area. When people make resolutions to “lose 20 pounds” or to “get a better job” or to “make more friends” they are setting a goal for themselves, but not really laying out a plan of how to get there. This usually leads to resolutions being abandoned a few months into the new year. I decided to use the Seven Dimensions of Wellness to create smaller goals in various areas in order to reach a larger goal of becoming my best self. Each of my seven goals seem attainable to me, and because of this I feel more likely to stick to them. I encourage you to take into consideration each of these seven areas when creating your resolutions. You can find in-depth descriptions of each of the Seven Dimensions here.
Social Wellness: Plan more date nights and make more of an effort to catch up with out-of-town friends.
This is not something I really have trouble with, but it is something I hope to be more consistent about. I need to make a conscious effort to plan more date nights out of the house with my husband and see my out-of-town friends more frequently (or be better about catching up on the phone). My husband and I do spend time with family and our friends that live in the areas very frequently, but some of my best friends live in other states and I only get to see them a few times a year. My husband and I DO spend a lot of time with each other, but we both would love to spend more nights out trying new restaurants and having new experiences together. This is especially important since we are young and don’t have kids yet!
Spiritual Wellness: Try meditating on a regular basis.
We had a workshop on Mindfulness at work on an in-service day, and it included a short meditation. I found it very calming and peaceful. I’m hoping to try meditation on my own on a regular basis to see if it will help reduce anxiety and bring harmony to my life. I have read about the numerous benefits of meditation and I think incorporating just a few minutes a day will bring positive results. My first step towards this goal is to complete a short, 5-minute daily meditation each morning OR a 5-minute meditation before bed.
Environmental Wellness: Use less plastic lunch bags (e.g. sandwich bags, snack bags, etc.)
This was a tough one for me because I feel like my husband and I have already made a lot of changes in our lives that promote environmental wellness. I am a pescetarian and my husband eats very little meat, so that is a big thing we are doing for the environment (watch Cowspiracy!). We also use reusable grocery bags, recycle everything we can, and do not buy plastic water bottles or other disposable products. However, we DO use plastic sandwich and snack bags in our lunches to hold snacks. My first step towards this goal is to be better about using containers instead of bags. I’m also looking into buying reusable bags like these.
Occupational Wellness: Get more organized by using a life planner.
I wasn’t sure whether I wanted my occupational wellness goal to be about my job as a Speech-Language Pathologist, or about growing my blog. I decided to make a small, attainable goal that combines the two. As an SLP, I have a lot of evaluation and IEP deadlines, meetings, continuing education requirements, and special events to keep straight. As a blogger, I’m always trying to plan out time to make recipes, take photographs, write up posts, and plan a post schedule. I bought an Erin Condren planner so that I can keep everything organized (ps. planners are now 20% off if you’re looking for one!).
Intellectual Wellness: Read 6 non-fiction books throughout 2017.
I’m a big reader. I love reading on my lunch breaks, before bed, and on days off. I really love both fiction and non-fiction books, but I tend to read fiction more frequently. My goal is to read more non-fiction books so that I can learn about topics that interest me (e.g. nutrition, healthy living, travel, etc.). I decided not to make a per month goal because I have months where I will hardly read at all (e.g. the beginning of the school year) and months where I am able to read a lot (e.g. in the summer). As a first step towards this goal, I ordered two non-fiction books to get me started.
Physical Wellness: Stick to the Tone It Up program and complete all challenges.
This includes following the daily workout guides and nutrition plan most of the time. I want to give myself flexibility with my meals and workouts, too, so that is why I will be following the plan most of the time but not 100% of the time. Allowing myself a little flexibility will increase my odds of sticking to this resolution. My first step towards this resolution is completing the 6-week Look for Love challenge beginning January 1st.
Emotional Wellness: Reduce anxiety-triggers by sticking to my resolutions.
This sounds like a weird one, but I experience anxiety when I’m too stressed out and my thoughts are that sticking to my other goals (particularly my spiritual goal to incorporate meditation into my life and my occupational goal to stay more organized) will help me to stay emotionally-balanced and keep my anxiety levels down.
If you try making your New Years resolutions using the Seven Dimensions of Wellness, let me know in the comments section of this post! PS. Happy New Year from my family to yours!