Focus on Health this Year!
With a New Year often comes new goals, dreams, plans, and aspirations. I love starting a new year with focus and direction. This post focuses on goals for improving health this year.
What does it mean to be “healthy?” The first thing that comes to mind is physical health in the form of exercise, eating well, and getting enough sleep. While all of these things are very important, health is so much more than the physical.
The five areas that comprise overall health are physical health, emotional health, social health, intellectual health, and spiritual health. At any given time, your focus on one area of health may be stronger than the others, and the emphasis you put on each area may vary over the course of your lifetime. A college athlete may put the emphasis on their physical health, whereas a person who just moved to a city where they don’t know anyone may put their energy into social health. Perhaps someone who just got out of a difficult relationship is focusing on emotional health, and a student new to graduate school is investing in their intellectual health.
Take a moment to do your own self-assessment:
1. What area(s) of health get the most focus in your life right now; which areas of your health are you taking care of?
2. Next, think about which area(s) are being neglected?
3. What areas are most important to you and are you focusing on those areas currently?
Try not to judge where you are now in terms of your health, rather use where you are as a launching pad to where you want to be.
Here are some definitions to help you with your self-assessment:
- Physical health is composed of physical activity/exercise, diet/nutrition (including low/no alcohol use), and good sleeping habits
- Emotional health is being able to cope with life without getting too stressed out or too sad; it is being in control of feelings and behaviors
- Social Health is how you get along with other people, the health of the relationships you’ve formed, and how you interact in society
- Intellectual health involves how much you’re engaged in creative or intellectually stimulating activities and your connections with others based on shared intellectual interests
- Spiritual Health can involve a combination of the ability to love, forgive, and feel compassion for others, as well as religious beliefs, faith, morals and values
Going back to the self-assessment, which areas do you currently feel strong in, and which ones need improving?
Now it is time to work on creating some goals based on the 5 areas of health. You can focus on improving areas that are being neglected and bolstering areas that you are already strong in. It’s up to you in terms of where you want your focus to be as we enter the New Year!
Research shows – goals that are specific are more likely to be realized. Here are some examples of vague vs. specific goals. Remember, the specific goals are more likely to achieve results! So when you write your goals, try to be as specific as possible.
|Sample Goals for 2018 (vague)
|| Sample Goals for 2018 (specific)
| 1. 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 4x/week
- Read more
| 2. read 6 books this year
| 3. Meditate for 10 minutes every morning
Now it’s your turn to write down some specific goals for 2018 related to improving your overall health!
“5 Weeks to Overall Health” can help you stay on track and achieve your goals in the 5 areas of health. In this 5 week self-paced video program (accessed online) Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Catherine Cirulli, will guide you through the 5 areas of health, focusing on one aspect each week.
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