Finding calm in a chaotic world is certainly no easy feat, but the best place to start is within ourselves. In fact, it’s when things seem the most out of control that we can focus our attention inward and do what’s in our ability to enhance our own wellness, happiness, and life balance.
There’s no better time than right now to focus on your wellness goals, but how do you begin to identify, set, and achieve them? This article can help you establish your wellness goals, and gives seven tips for achieving them.
What are wellness goals?
Wellness encompasses your entire mind, body and lifestyle, and your wellness goals are benchmarks you can set to become an overall healthier, better you.
Wellness goals involve deciding what you’d like to improve about your overall health, setting realistic benchmarks, and creating a plan to get there. Meeting your wellness goals means taking the whole you into account. They aren’t limited to numbers on a scale or steps taken in a day. Wellness goals can include having more energy, getting better quality sleep, or training to compete in a 10K. Tools to meet these wellness goals can include what you eat, your regular activities, and what you do to take care of your mental health.
Setting and meeting your wellness goals doesn’t involve a one-size-fits-all solution. There’s no magic button to push. Your journey depends greatly on who you want to be and where you want to go. Here are seven ideas to help you get there.
1. Develop — and stick to — daily routines
A little bit of planning goes a long way. Keeping to a schedule each day not only helps you set your intentions, but ensures that you set aside enough time to take that 45-minute exercise class or prep and cook a healthy dinner.
Sit down each night to plan the next day, or take time Sunday night to set the workweek’s intentions – whichever works for you. Spell out your wellness goals and schedule time to ensure they’re done properly. Don't just think about your routine in the abstract, though; put pen to paper and write out your ideal routines.
Whatever routines you develop, they will become habitual if you stick with them over time. Every routine needs some flexibility, so don't create a rigid routine that will discourage you if you fall short. Your ideal routine should be a guideline for your daily activities. And if a checklist motivates you, we highly encourage that, too.
2. Practice good sleep hygiene with a regular schedule
Creating — and sticking to — healthy sleep habits is critical for sleep hygiene, or routines that support the critical, quality sleep needed for optimal health and wellness. Setting a regular sleep schedule is important to staying balanced and maintaining your energy levels day in and day out. Waking and sleeping at the same times, including on weekends, helps establish a natural rhythm for your body.
To practice proper sleep hygiene, prepare your body and mind for sleep around the same time every night. Create a dark, cool, comfortable environment free of noise and light — studies indicate that a mild drop in body temperature induces sleep. It’s also important to establish an electronics-free hour before going to bed, as studies suggest that blue light disrupts our circadian rhythms: a 2010 study published in Environmental Health Perspectives found that blue light tricks our bodies into thinking it’s daytime.
3. Devote your time to deep and loving friendships
We are social beings who benefit from quality time with loved ones. Long-lasting, meaningful relationships are the single-biggest factor to lifelong health and happiness. One landmark study coordinated by the Harvard Study of Adult Development followed a group of 724 men for 60 years – the longest study of its kind – and monitored what brought the participants happiness and satisfaction. Researchers found that maintaining strong personal relationships was one of the strongest indicators of long-term happiness among the participants.
A second experiment run by the London School of Economics in 2013 tracked 50,000 people over three years, asking them to track their happiness levels with an app. Analyzing three million responses, they found that people were at their happiest with their friends, followed by with their partners. So go ahead and schedule that coffee date – it’s good for you.
4. Prioritize self-care
Our fast-paced world demands productivity, availability, and support in an “always on” way – it can be easy to forget to take care of our biggest assets: ourselves. Self-care may be a buzzword, but it’s much more than a trend: it’s the practice of taking action to preserve or improve your well-being. After all, you can't pour from an empty cup, so setting aside time to recuperate from the demands of the day and reflect on your goals for the next day can be a game-changer.
Just as you plan your obligations to others for the day, you should plan your obligations to yourself. Take time to relax and recharge in ways that work for you. This can take a few different forms: try taking a few minutes each day to write down what you’re grateful for, spend some time outdoors, drop a bath bomb into the tub, or even curl up on the couch to enjoy your favorite TV show.
You may consider incorporating Cannabidiol (CBD) into your self-care routine. This famous phytocannabinoid helps us retain and sustain balance while supporting sleep, recovery, mood, and immunity*. Consider applying a hydrating body butter or facial oil before you go to sleep, or try a daily vegan softgel capsule to encourage balance from the inside, out*.
5. Find some time for regular exercise
There’s a reason “runner’s high” is a known phenomenon. Exercise has a significant impact on your physical, emotional, and mental health. Working out releases neurochemicals that can lift your mood and improve your focus, such as endorphins and serotonin. Regular exercise can also reduce stress. How you move is up to you: sign up for a group fitness class, spend some time solo on the treadmill, or join a club team and play your favorite sport.
6. Check out a good book
Reading often falls by the wayside in our digital world, but physical copies of books offer more than just a good story. Reading physical books is believed to promote several health benefits, including strengthening neural connections in your brain and increasing your ability to empathize with others. Reading books is also a great way to build your vocabulary, stave off cognitive decline in older age, and reduce stress. It can also help improve your ability to fall asleep at night, giving you something to do before turning off the lights that does not involve a glowing screen.
7. Enrich your diet
Nutrition plays a key role in wellness, both body and brain. The quality of the foods and supplements you put into your body matter. Sugar and chemicals can trigger our bodies to react negatively, while healthy, nutrient-dense foods can help fuel our bodies to feel and perform at their best. Basing your diet around whole foods, rather than packaged or processed goods, can give you the physical and mental energy needed to meet your other wellness goals.
Looking for healthy recipe ideas? Check out our recipes for Stress-Busting Hemp Balls, Baked Avocado Fries that ditch the oil for the healthier oven, and a delicious dairy-free “Nice Cream” Strawberry Sundae.
Planning and achieving your wellness goals
Nearly every behavior in our lives can impact our wellness goals, from the food we eat to the way we respond to stress. Viewing our entire lives as part of the equation creates numerous opportunities for us to improve our overall health and wellness. By deciding what, and how, you want to achieve, you can explore the activities, foods, and products that make you your best self.