Here we are at the dawn of another year. Now that the hustle and bustle of the holidays is over its time focus our intentions on the next 365 days of mayhem. Looking at the year ahead requires some reflection on the year previous. What did I accomplish? What could I have done differently? How did I utilize my time? Where did I succeed (or not for that matter)? Who was there for me? Who was I there for? How did I make an impact? The questions go on and on… and on.
Like most people I get that New Year’s Resolution “itch” each year and come a week into the New Year this “itch” is suddenly gone and I fall back into old habits. So over the past few days leading up to the dawn of 2015, the proverbial blank slate of the next year, I’ve been thinking about my life and what I would like to change. Sure I have complaints about life, who doesn’t? But, Overall I have a roof over my head, some money in the bank, cloths on my back, food in my refrigerator, and caring people in my life. Despite this it does not seem enough for me, I want more. So, I have to ask myself what I want more of. Do I want more money? More friends? A new Job? More social outlets? Etc. Quite simply, I WANT IT ALL. When I say “it all” I am not referring to world domination or anything of the sort. In fact I am referring to happiness. I want to have a happier existence in all aspects of life. I want to stop thinking about what I want out of life and start getting it. Life is about growth, sure I have grown, I have matured, I have changed; but lately in some areas of life I’ve just floated by. Floating has worked, but if I want to achieve more and make an impact I need to put in the effort.
So in 2015 I am not going to make a resolution, I am going to be the resolution. I am well aware that the probability of my following through with this is slim, but it’s worth a try. If all else fails there is always something binge-watch worthy on Netflix. In the meantime let me introduce myself I am Mike (2.0). Still the same great me, flaws included, but its go time (this would make a great Real Housewife slogan). I plan to achieve this new improved me by incorporating the “Dimensions of Wellness” into my daily life.
So what exactly is wellness? Simply put, wellness to me is creating a well-balanced existence full of health and happiness. Not only does this idea of wellness create a better existence for us, but I believe it can have a positive impact on the world around us. Wellness is not simply about choosing healthier meal options or running an extra mile; it is about examining all areas of life and giving each area equal care. The dimensions of wellness are as follows: social, emotional, spiritual, occupational, environmental, intellectual, and physical. As with most resolutions the majority of people put their focus on either physical or financial wellness. Maybe that is why many of us have struggled to succeed with past New Year’s Resolutions. Maybe we can be more successful if we focus on ALL areas of our life rather than just one or two. After all life is all about balance, if you over indulge it becomes problematic (i.e. drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc). Take my television watching for example, I am known to over indulge more often than not. My list of “Must See TV” grows by the day. At one point in life this was satisfying, but this time I spend in front of the boob tube can be better utilized. Thankfully we live in a day and age of DVRs and a multitude of streaming services that should allow me the step away from the TV, but still indulge (like I said it’s all about balance).
Let’s take a quick look at these dimensions:
Spiritual: (meaning, awareness of the unexplained, values
Financial: (money management, budget, good consumer choices, financial opportunities)
Physical: (body, nutrition, healthy habits)
Environmental: (nature, energy conservation, recycling, animals, appreciation)
Intellectual: (creativity, mental challenge, critical thinking, commitment to learn, curiosity)
Social: (relationships, community interaction, respect, healthy independence)
Occupational: (employment, skills, finances, balance, satisfaction)
Emotional: (feelings, emotions, reactions, cognition)
This idea of the “dimensions of wellness” is not a new concept. In fact it is a theory derived by Dr. Bill Hettler in 1976. This theory which started with six dimensions has since expanded to 8, as noted above. The theory is simple: Like a bike wheel, if all of the spokes or dimensions are functioning at optimal levels, the wheel rolls along smoothly. If however, one of the spokes or dimensions becomes weak or if the tire loses air, the wheel will run off course. So, when one dimension is strong, it strengthens and positively affects the other dimensions.
My hope is that I can look at each dimension of my life and make improvements. No, I’m not joining a cult nor am I going to live off the land, but I am going to assess each area, make changes and see what this brings into my life.
Why blog about it? For one, I have always wanted to start a blog. In fact, this is my second attempt at blogging. This first occurred in 2012 and it was a train wreck. On a delusional whim I thought I could become a TV Blogger; I’m sure you can imagine how that came out. Though I LOVE television, blogging about it is not my niche. Perhaps, this will be my niche. I am a Therapist after all. If I want to better serve my clients I need to better serve myself; so why the hell not share this with the internet. I doubt I’ll break the internet, but if I get one person to read this I’ll take it!
Anyway, I digress. Another reason why I am blogging is to keep track of my trials and tribulations to a well balanced life. I plan to do some reading of blogs, books, and other research on the journey and share my thoughts and experiences. Side note: reading more is another one of my many failed New Year’s resolutions. I may not post daily, but I hope to post weekly…err…biweekly…OK maybe monthly!
So that’s my story. I would love to gain some followers and some feedback. So please join me on my journey, share your experiences, advice, and questions! HAPPY NEW YEAR!