I'd like to start with the definition of well-being. According to Psychology Today, "Well-being is the experience of health, happiness, and prosperity. It includes having good mental health, high life satisfaction, and a sense of meaning or purpose.
Can you increase your sense of well-being? Yes, you can! Well-being develops from your thoughts actions and experience, most of which you have control over.
Through the next few weeks, I'll be covering some key components of positive well-being. When any of the components are lacking, your well-being is thrown out of balance. I'll be sharing some tools to help you discover where you should be spending your energy in increasing your sense of well-being.
No matter what you are after, whether it's to be in better shape, to lose weight, to make more money, or to have better relationships, it all starts with being clear on who you are, what you value, and what you find meaningful and fulfilling. The happiest, most successful people know who they are, what their strengths and weakness are, along with their goals and a plan to achieve them.
In order to gain clarity, it's important to ask questions, research, and try new things. In other words, lots of experimentation!
Look towards your future self.
In looking at who you are, it's really important to look at who you want to be and how to become that, not where you are right now.
Take a moment to think about and even journal about the best version of yourself. The most successful people spend more time thinking about their best self.
It's not only important to think about your ideal future self, but to regularly engage in activities related to that ideal future.
For example, when thinking about your ideal future, healthy self, you might say to yourself, "I am a person that eats healthy food. I don't eat junk food." The flip side of that would be saying, "I can't eat those French fries, I'm trying to be healthy." Do you see the difference? In the first statement, you take on an identity, the second statement is weaker, it doesn't say anything about your identity.
If you aren't growing or looking toward the future you become stagnant no matter how good your life is in the present.
Create specific and challenging goals for yourself.
Whether you create your own goals, or they're assigned to you, research shows that your more likely to perform well when you have goals that stretch you beyond your current ability or performance level. Having clear "stretch" goals leads you to more productivity, enjoyment and satisfaction.
Try choosing stretch goals in each area of your life. Be sure to make them specific. For example, this past year, I had a goal of "swimming more." It wasn't all in vain, meaning I did swim, but it wasn't as consistently as I had hoped.
A week or two into January, while reading Michael Hyatt's book, Your Best Year Ever, I decided to be more specific in my swimming goals. I decided that for the month of January, I would swim at least 2400 yards, three times per week. Then in February, I would increase the yardage to 2700 yards, three times per week. I plan to increase the yardage each month through May and then in the summer, I might add a fourth day.
Having this specific goal, has made me a consistent swimmer, and getting in better shape increases my enjoyment of going swimming. So it's a win-win!
The two other strategies that are working for me in becoming a more consistent swimmer, is that I have deadlines attached to my swimming goals, and I have a clear plan. In the middle of August is a long open water swim that I'm planning on participating in, so that is another incentive.
In fact, having a clear plan is just as important as motivation and willpower. Studies show that you're more than twice as likely to achieve a goal if you know when and where you are taking the steps to achieve it.
It's hard to ignore the steps when they're right there in front of you!
Put it into practice!
Now, if you're up for it, take out a sheet of paper. I'm going to share a couple of "High Performance Practices."
This is a measure of your congruence. Are you behaving in a way that is in alignment with who your best future self is? Rate yourself on a scale of one to ten.
Practicing these exercises on a regular basis, gradually increases your sense of well-being.
Are you living into your best self? Comment below and share how you're succeeding and how you could do better.
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Women's Wellness Circle: Create Your Extraordinary Life
Hi, I’m Crystal!
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