Hi there. How have you been? How did you find the blog last week about setting SMART goals when it comes to exercise? By now if you have been following the blog series, you will have read SMART goal setting about diet and exercise. This week we finish up the series with a talk about setting SMART goals when it comes to wellness and wellbeing.
As those who have followed my blogs will know, I try to marry a balance between the focus between physical health and mental health. Looking after your diet and exercise is of course very important, but looking after your mental health and wellbeing, especially in such stressful and uncertain times, is just as important.
Setting SMART goals when it comes to your wellness and wellbeing though, cannot be as rigid as other SMART goal setting plans. For example, whilst it is conceptually possible to say, “By 6 months time I will feel better”, feeling better and measuring improvements in wellness and wellbeing may take longer for some than for others.
What may be a more valuable and interesting approach maybe be to ask what wellness means to you, and then to make small steps toward achieving what wellness means to you.
Ask yourself: what does wellness mean to me?
Your idea of wellness may be very different to mine, which it is important to ask the question. For the sake of exploring the questions let’s use a suggested idea of wellness.
I want to take better care of myself, mentally and emotionally.
This, you could argue, is a kind of specific goal. Whilst there no concrete timeline in place, you have at least a goal established. I know that this may go against the SMART goal planning of being time focused and measurable, but part of finding a way to achieve wellness means sometimes being flexible with goal setting and time management. Although it can be suggested is that a measure of this may be to reassess how you feel on a monthly basis. How are you feeling at the end of the month? Write a small reflective note down. Compare it to the next month. If you felt not as good, what happened, what can you learn from it, and how can you incorporate the learning into working your way to achieving the wellness you have set out to achieve?
Set out to do things that make you happy. Take up a hobby. Spend time with family. Watch less TV and read books more often. Go to a museum. Go to the theatre. Go for a walk. It doesn’t have to be big, but find time to nurture your mind and spirit, as looking after the all of you is key to a happy and balanced life.
In summary, setting SMART goals when it comes to improving your wellness and wellbeing is not as straight forward as setting SMART goals for diet and exercise, and a more flexible approach is suggested when measuring progress toward your set goal. Keep a diary and reflect on the month. How did you feel at the end of the month? What happened? If you feel good, praise yourself. If you feel bad, what have you learnt, and how will you take that forward to feel better and work your way toward your wellness goal.
I hope you have found the blog of some help. Remember: it’s a journey. It will take time. Have patience in the process. You will get there. Until then, stay happy, stay healthy, and have a lovely weekend wherever you are on the planet.
Also, next blog is an announcement on how things may change over the coming months. New developments. New challenges. 😉
And remember: love yourself.
A bit about the author:
I am a guy who is (nearly) 40, who is sharing a journey of weight management and wellbeing.I am also a mental health professional with a wealth of years of experience in supporting individuals who have challenging mental illnesses and personality disorders.
Prior to my current professional role, I spent several years supporting members of the community as a fitness professional, assisting individuals with weight loss and health improvement programmes.
I completed a PGDip in Mental Health Nursing in 2013, and an MSc in Advanced Practice in 2016 in which I looked at improving nurses’ level of engagement with patients with challenging personality disorders.
In 2018 I successfully undertook a Clinical reasoning in Physical Assessments course with the view to start studying toward becoming an Advanced Nurse Practitioner in late 2019.
In 2015 I also undertook a Mentorship for practice (BSc Hons) course and have been supporting future nurses with their training and development. I have also recently supported a Healthcare Assistant Staff toward training in and successfully passing and achieving a Foundation Degree in Mental Health Nursing.
In my current role I am a person looking to support the physical and mental health and wellbeing of the individual. As part of my role within the health services in supporting individuals with mental health care needs, I am also currently looking to develop myself as a Wellness Coach, to support the individual with weekly wellness blogs, with the view to support individuals on a 1:1 basis as well as holding motivational lectures and seminars.