Seven Steps for Creating Your Wellness Plan by Coach Jean Gillis, HHC, CPT USAT 1, Jean Gillis Wellness Founder​

Some may think wellness is all about nutrition, for others it means exercise or mindfulness. While all of these are important components of wellness, individually they don’t fully define it. Wellness takes a holistic approach, working with the whole person and all areas of their life, since each area is closely interconnected with the others. For example, a stressful situation at home will affect our day at work, and may cause physical side-affects, such as headaches. In the same way, improving our nutrition can help to increase energy levels, help us sleep better and improve mood.

A technical definition from The National Wellness Institute is “Wellness is a process of becoming aware and making choices toward a more successful existence.” For me, wellness is the process of evaluating your level of happiness and fulfillment in all areas of your life, choosing those that are lacking and then setting goals to give those areas a boost. Through the wellness process, a more balanced life is created, which leads to living a more vibrant, passionate and happier life; versus just going through the motions (work, eat, sleep, repeat). For comparison, think the gloomy and depressed attitude of Eeyore versus the exuberant one of Tigger. There’s a quote by Yogi Berra, “If you don't know where you're going, you might not get there.” Without a wellness plan and goals for living more fully, you may never reach your full human potential or well-being. Here are seven steps to get you started: 

To create your wellness plan, start with the Circle of Life Exercise above. 

  1. Review the twelve areas in the circle, which shows the major areas of your life. 

  2. Rate how each area is working for you by placing a dot on the line. The closer to the outside of the circle, the happier and more fulfilled you are in that area right now. 

  3. Then connect the dots to see if you have a balanced, healthy circle! 

  4. For areas where you placed a dot towards the center of the circle, think of ways you can make that part of your life better. 

  5. Set three SMART goals every two weeks for areas that you want to improve. SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. For example, if you want to cook more at home, set a goal to cook three times a week for two weeks. If you don’t achieve the goal, look at what the blockers are and what you could do next time to enable yourself to be successful. 

  6. It is important in setting and working towards goals that you are compassionate with yourself. When you get off track, instead of beating yourself up, be kind and supportive to yourself like you would a friend or a child. It’s also important to celebrate any and all successes! Wellness is a process, not a destination and we all get off track sometimes, but as we go it gets easier to get back on track.


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