Getting started: Wellness vision and goal setting

What is wellness? 

Wellness can be defined as a state of health, yet it extends beyond physical health, nutrition and the number on the scale. Wellness is a multidimensional state of being. The wellness wheel below includes social, emotional, spiritual, environmental, occupational, intellectual and physical wellness. When all dimensions of wellness are balanced, we are more resilient to life’s stressors and more likely to feel happy and satisfied. How balanced is your wellness wheel? Which wellness areas do you want to work on first?

goal wheel

The goal setting guide (PDF) is intended to support you in building motivation and gaining a greater understanding of your lifestyle habits. We strongly encourage you to start with the first few chapters of the book entitled “Building Motivation” and “Creating a Wellness Vision.” 

When setting goals, it’s good to look at the big picture of your health and well-being and establish a clear vision of what you want to achieve. Once you’ve identified your desired vision, you can set goals appropriately to guide you there. 

A wellness vision is often short, about two sentences or less, and briefly lays out what you would like to see for yourself relating to your health and fitness. It may incorporate what brings value and meaning to your life. It is something that can be changed and modified any time throughout your wellness journey. 

Here are some examples: 
  • “I want to be able to run and play with my grandchildren”
  • “I want to feel rested and energized every morning for work”

Knowing your strengths

Do you know your character strengths? Positive psychology research shows that the VIA character strengths survey can be used to address a variety of life challenges and to achieve positive behavioral outcomes. The survey takes just 15 minutes to fill out.  When we leverage our character strengths, we typically are happier, more confident, and able to accomplish our goals. Which strengths might you use to approach lifestyle change?

SMART goal setting

When setting your goals, it is important to make sure they are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound. 

Here are some examples:

  • “I will walk 30 minutes per day during my lunch break, 5 days this week.”
  • “I am going to manage my portion sizes by making sure half of my plate contains vegetables at every meal. I will stick to just one plate at dinner.”

Once you solidify your goals, you can fill out your wellness contract (this includes your wellness vision, goals, and strengths). This is a contract you are making with yourself. You may choose to hang it somewhere visible so you are connecting to your vision and goals on a daily basis. You may also decide to hand it to a support person.