Most individuals have good intentions to spend time with family and friends; they plan to exercise and focus on their personal health; and they plan to eat better and put an end to bad habits that negatively impact their well-being.
Good intentions, however, aren't enough without a plan to act.
Whether you want to start a habit of going to the gym consistently, cooking healthier meals, or simply adding a home workout to your daily routine, the important first step is to taper the plan to your life.
By identifying the personal influences impacting your wellness goals, you can construct a plan focused on your specific needs and lifestyle.
Creating a personalized plan helps to avoid unforeseen setbacks by taking into account your daily habits and composing a wellness approach built into your lifestyle.
Have You Considered Your Workplace Wellness Program?
A comprehensive wellness program can be such a game changer.
Workplace wellness programs provide an opportunity to maximize the time you have throughout the week regardless of your home life or personal obligations. The fact of the matter is that we all are bound by the same 24-hours, 7-days a week – no matter our socioeconomic or relationship status.
Creating a plan to achieve a healthy state of being is an attainable objective, and the benefit of a comprehensive wellness program can be just what you need to begin achieving a happier, healthier you.
Ask your HR department to learn more about the wellness benefits that are available to help you reach your goals, like coaching, online courses, or team challenges.
Changing Your Perception of What Wellness Looks Like
For most of us, wellness tends to fall to the end of the priority list. There are just so many other obligations during the day that finding time for personal care and self-maintenance becomes lost in the shuffle.
While these old habits can be hard to break, it is essential to make wellness a priority to begin changing your personal health and overall well-being.
This may include the creation of a daily schedule, enabling you to handle your normal responsibilities while also making time to focus specifically on improving wellness habits.
It may also require overcoming certain fears and misconceptions regarding wellness, including the thought that implementing wellness techniques needs to be completely uncomfortable and foreign.
In reality, making the time to include wellness techniques into your daily schedule can quickly result in an improved sense of control and positive perspective due to the body’s reaction to healthier habits and lifestyle.
Time Management Strategies for a Healthier Lifestyle
There are a number of viable options to help you better manage your lifestyle by practicing healthier habits. Here are a few effective recommendations from the coaches and clinical specialists at Cleveland Clinic:
1. Assess how you spend your time and what you value.
Many of us have more free time than we think. A new study of more than 32,000 older teens and adults found that people reported having at least four and a half hours a day of leisure time on average. That's time spent doing something other than working, basic self-care (sleeping, eating, and washing), going to school, taking care of children, doing housework, and shopping for necessities.
How do most people spend their free time? Screen time. Keep a log of how you spend your down time, or even set screen time limits with an app on your phone, and you'll find opportunities to insert better habits without rearranging your entire life.
2. Set reasonable goals that you can stick to.
According to U.S. News & World Report, the failure rate for New Year’s resolutions is said to be about 80 percent, and most lose their resolve by mid-February.
Roughly 55% of all resolutions are health-related, such as exercising more or eating healthier. The problem is that resolutions are often too vague, or unrealistic.
For example, Ashley wants to work out more often sets a goal to work out every day for the next week. Ashley typically only works out one or two times per week. On day three, Ashley has to skip her exercise class because her child is sick with the flu. Now her goal is technically unattainable by the way she defined it, and she's less likely to work out the remaining days of that week.
A more realistic goal for Ashley may be to increase her workouts gradually, starting with a goal of working out four times per week. That way, if she happens to miss a day due to unforeseen circumstances, she still feels confident in her ability to meet the goal by the end of the week.
3. Write down specific goals and the actions necessary to practice a new habit more regularly.
This can include anything from making the commitment to eating healthier to improving the quality of sleep you get every night.
Let's say Josh wants to make healthier eating choices at work. He recognizes his temptation to pick out chips in the cafeteria to munch on, especially when he's hungry and running from meeting to meeting.
Josh writes down his goal: to eat a healthy snack every afternoon after lunch. Josh then writes down the steps he'll need to prepare to meet that goal:
- Go to the grocery store to pick up five apples and a bag of mixed nuts.
- Separate serving sizes of the nuts into ziplock bags for the week.
- Every evening, place the snack into his bookbag so that he doesn't forget in the morning.
- Set a calendar reminder at work, in between meetings, to eat the snack so he doesn't skip it and instead grab candy from the front desk dish.
However you approach this strategy, the point is to make a plan and stick to it.
4. Learn when to say "no," and when to ask for help.
If creating time for health and wellness still doesn't seem feasible, it’s time to start asking yourself some questions about what's in your way, whether that be a lack of time, or a lack of knowledge on how to implement these changes into your life.
- What extra responsibilities can you say no to?
- Can your leisure activities be modified to support your health?
- Do I know the steps I need to take to make healthier choices?
- How much will eating healthier and getting more regular exercise impact my budget?
- Who can I ask for help?
Redefining or addressing the way you perceive your time, and what’s expected of you, is the first step toward achieving a healthier state of mind.
Ready to integrate wellness into your life? We’re here to help you succeed with our accountability and guidance.
Understanding that there is a better way to manage your time and achieve personal wellness is essential to overcoming negative perceptions and creating a wellness plan that works best for you.
What if, instead of forging a wellness path alone, you were paired with a dedicated Cleveland Clinic health coach to receive encouragement and strategies to meet your goals?
What if all this connection and accountability and guidance was completely personalized to you and your situation?
With Cleveland Clinic eCoaching – a proven, email-based coaching solution that helps you reach your health and well-being goals – you can find better, more sustainable ways to integrate wellness into your daily life.
Learn more about Cleveland Clinic eCoaching.