Build Healthy Habits
When we think of our own personal life, we may think of the big picture focus or we may pause and think of all the intricacies that make us unique. The goal is to get you to think about how balanced your life is in this season and make adjustments when and where necessary, and revisit and reflect often. Life is inherently dynamic.
Generally, people "want the ability to juggle precious priorities of their lives; they want tools to manage their activities; they want to be more empowered and less at the mercy of circumstance and other's people's expectations and demands" (Kimsey-House, Chp 9). Working with a coach and/or therapist, you can grow in your awareness to live a more alive and rewarding life.
You can explore your work-life-wellness balance by assessing dimensions, or areas, in your life. The 8 Wellness Dimensions are: emotional, physical, occupational, social, spiritual, intellectual, environmental, and financial. The Wellness Wheel is a popular tool among integrative, functional, and masterful health coaches.
Below the graphic, ten professionals from several walks of life, weigh in on how they build healthy habits for their overall well-being. (You can find and connect with these professionals on LinkedIn.)
What piece of advice resonates with you? What can you add? Share in the comments.
What areas/dimensions are you tending to most? What areas could use more TLC? Take a couple minutes to think about these eight areas and take stock of what's going on - what areas are you needing more support and what areas are you shining in? Consider this answer may change tomorrow, next month, or in a year or more. This is natural and to be expected.
Most of us are living on auto pilot and likely thinking about past experiences and maybe worrying about future events. Yet, we spend little or no time thinking about the right now. I encourage you to give yourself permission to pause, reflect, and take a few deep cleansing breaths, and love yourself in this moment.
Repeat after me: "I am worth it!" "I am needed." "I am visible." "I am healthy, well-rested, and strong." "I am of a sound mind and capable of making right-fit choices for me."
Lauren Fonvielle, an Integrative Energy Practitioner & Coach of Mindshift with Lauren shared: "Creating a new habit all starts with making a decision and wholeheartedly committing to that decision. From there, create a solid plan and get into action! I think it’s important to have a strong motivating WHY! Asking myself why did I commit to this? How will I feel if I stick to my plan? How will I feel if I don’t? In addition to pausing to ask myself questions like this, I also use EFT/ Tapping to help me shift my mindset, and release any anxiety or other emotions associated with obstacle that I’m facing."
Greg De Marco, a Certified Sales Coach, who offers a complimentary sales mentoring virtual call on Wednesdays shared, "There is a sequence of things that happen! Once [I] make the decision to be better than [I was] yesterday, and commit to it, then as [I] make [my] plan to consistently be better, one of those sequences is to create new steps to begin the process of change. Effectively starting each day, taking one small step to improve. Eventually a new habit is formed. Over simplified but it works for me."
Courtney Freeman, an Organizational Development Expert of AZF Strategic Consulting shared, "I break down the goal into the smallest components possible and start there. For example, if I want to drink more water. I start by making the water visible (e.g., taking my water bottle where I go). Once I've mastered the first step, I move on to the next right thing until the habit has become a part of my normal practice."
Dennis A. Nicholson, III, retired Army veteran, and a sound voice of DE&I, shared, "Intentionality produces sustainable outcomes (IPSO! I like acronyms; blame the military!) I find that I have to be committed to change I want to see. This requires placing that goal consistently in mind and ensuring I intentionally create space for me to focus on achieving that goal, even when it’s uncomfortable. I set alarms to remind me to take a mental break and/or step outside and breathe some fresh air."
Enrique Acosta Gonzalez of Triad Leadership Solutions who hosts a weekly Aloha Friday Live on LinkedIn where he interviews leaders of various industries shared, "I think about what I want to see come out of my life. These are the things that I will invest in, through deliberate methods, to see my world be better than yesterday. All other habits must go, if they do not serve my purpose."
Latrish Thomas, retired Army veteran, a strong advocate for EEO, and a budding solopreneur, shared, "[I] decide what I want/need to do, make a plan, work at it daily or as frequently as decided in the plan, continue until it becomes a habit. I also set an alarm, have an accountability partner, or have it scheduled in my day like a very important appointment. Being consistent and intentional."
Heidi Barker, a Certified Project Officer, educator, instruction designer, and a multipotentialite, shared, "I think part of building new healthy habits in your life is knowing yourself. I know that I like to help others and I know I like to walk my dog and spend time with him. The hardest part for me is taking the time to invest in myself. This past month I participated in a suicide awareness fundraiser where we walked our dogs trying to reach 50 miles in Feb. The Facebook community was very supportive and kept everyone motivated. This is a new healthy habit I will try to continue based on how it started, it was a challenge that I decided to participate in that supported many aspects for me, suicide awareness, time spent with my dog, exercise for both of us and support from a community."
Sean O' Leary, a Marine Corps veteran, tech writer, and John Maxwell Team leadership coach shared, "For me, I have to say start with finding the right coach/s and mentors. What I mean by right coaches and mentors are ones that you make a connection with. That earn your trust because you feel they care about you and not your money. They will guide you in establishing your goals and finding the tools you need to build your healthy habits. Next, have a good support system. Those people that keep you on track. Maybe even take the journey with you."
Moni Jefferson, CEO of AMSE, shared, "Honestly I have to write it down and set reminders if it’s something that is new to me."
Cindy Leslie, a budding solopreneur, shared, "For me, I have say to stay committed to [my] goals without procrastination. [...] Mental discipline is very important especially if you want to stay focused and to get something done."
Create a sacred space for setting goals that align with your commitment and purpose.
The value of a support system cannot be overstated.
Small actionable steps is still forward progress.
Evidence shows that we can rewire the brain with growth and reorganization. Neuroplasticity sounds complicated but you can definitely do this at home. Learn a new skill, make music and art, travel, set goals and conquer them with digestible action steps, replace negative words with 3 positive adjectives each and every time, and do something every day with the opposite hand for at least 5 minutes.
Embrace well-rounded experiences to build momentum in your life. Success begets success. When one area is strong, the skills carry over to other areas.
Be cognizant of the language you use about yourself and your environment.
Some people rely on written affirmations, a dream board, vision statement, or other, to keep them on track for their why/purpose.
Jessica David, MCHC
Source: Kimsey-House, H & K, Sandahl, P, and Whitworth, L. (2011). Co-active Coaching. Changing Business | Transforming Lives. Nicholas Brealy Publishing.
Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, or prevent any disease, condition, or ailment. This information is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Speak with your health care provider to see how/if it pertains to your individual needs.
The purpose of this blog is to offer support for your health goals. Jessica David is a Master Certified Health Coach and is not a healthcare practitioner.
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