Perhaps the key is striking a balance in the areas of our lives that matter. In 1976, Dr Bill Hettler, co-founder of the National Wellness Institute, came up with his model of the Six Dimensions of Wellness. According to him, wellness is much more than the absence of illnesses or diseases.
We can use Dr Hettler’s model as a guide to set our goals or resolutions for 2009. Some suggestions:
Social Wellness ~Work on improving our relationship with our family members and friends.
~Widen our circle of friends e.g. join a senior citizens club or a Toastmasters club.
~Reconnect with old friends.
~Take up a new hobby that encourages social networking.
~Embrace life-long learning e.g. learn a new language or skill.
~Take up an activity that is intellectually and mentally challenging e.g. online forums, Sudoku.
~Learn to think critically, analytically and creatively.
Physical Wellness~Exercise more regularly e.g. daily brisk walking, yoga or qi-gong.
~Watch our food intake.
~Get enough sleep.
~Get rid of bad habits that are detrimental to our health.
~Go for regular medical & dental check-ups.
~Learn to accept who we are - warts and all.
~Find ways to cope with stress. Travel. Play with our grandchildren.
~Remember “not to sweat the small stuff”. Relax.
~Share our experience, knowledge and skills with others in the community
~Volunteer our services to help the less fortunate
~Find a worthy cause to support.
~Undertake a community or environmental project.
~Adopt universal values and incorporate them into our daily living.
~Show gratitude for what we have.
~Respect differences in others.
~Discover meaning and purpose in life.
You can be more specific when you set your individual goals. You know best which areas in your life need working on next year. I won't recommend that you cast your goals in stone, but you should at least put them in writing. That way you create a stronger commitment to them.
I suggest going one step further – make your own 2009 vision chart and visualize your goals every day. Trust me, it works. 85% of what I’ve put on my vision chart for 2008 has materialized. And this was before I had read about the Law of Attraction in 'The Secret'.
2009 will turn out to be another annus horribilis if all we do is pass each day aimlessly, watching TV and slowly withdrawing from the world around us. As Singapore's Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew says, "people who retire and lead sedentary lives, the pensioners die off very quickly."
Enough said. Here's to wellness and active ageing in 2009 and beyond!