Remember, your personal wellness plan is supposed to encourage you, not defeat you. Here's how to make sure it helps instead of hurts.
1. Be honest with your doctor and yourself.
It's essential that you're honest with your doctor. If your doctor recommends an unsustainable action or goal, speak up. You and your doctor can then discuss alternatives that will achieve the same outcomes.
You also need to be honest with yourself. As the saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. You might have great intentions when you agree to hit the gym six days a week, but is that realistic for your life? It's better to start with a wellness plan that includes achievable goals.
Now, we're not suggesting you shouldn't push yourself. Just make sure the "push" is something that can realistically fit into your world. Perhaps hitting the gym three times a week is more reasonable along with two brisk morning walks on the non-gym days.
Wellness is a lifelong endeavor. In other words, you should never stop striving for wellness. So even if you occasionally fail to meet certain goals, take heart: next week, next month, and next year all provide another opportunity.
That said, you should always take a hard look at your failures. Ask yourself these questions:
- Was the goal too ambitious? If yes, refine the goal. If not, probe further.
- Was the goal achievable, but did something else stand in your way? Life happens. You're occasionally going to have an off week or even an off month. That's OK. Keep your eye on the same goal for upcoming weeks and months.
- Were you never "into" the goal to begin with? This goes back to our first point. You need to be honest with yourself and your doctor about the goals you set.
Discuss your failures with your doctor and revise your wellness plan accordingly.
2. Communicate regularly with your doctor.
Taking part in a wellness consultation with your doctor and developing a 12-month wellness plan might seem like the hard part. But your day-to-day participation in the plan is what takes real effort, which is why those monthly check-in meetings with your doctor are so important.
Your doctor is there for you. He or she is holding you accountable, but your doctor also serves as your cheerleader. Plus, your doctor wants to help you adjust your plan along the way, based on your progress. Don't flake out on your check-in meetings!
3. Get positive people on board with your plan.
Most people need more encouragement than what their doctor can provide (there's no shame in that). So tell the positive people in your life—you know, the ones who truly have your back—about your personal wellness plan.
Be specific regarding ways they can support you. For example, if you need a gym buddy and you have a friend who is into fitness, consider asking him or her to join you during some of your gym sessions. Or if you simply need someone to send you encouraging texts, tell your friend that this sort of support would be helpful, especially on Saturday mornings when you're supposed to be out for a run. You get the idea.
Likewise, distance yourself from people who attempt to sabotage your plans. You know the types—those "frenemies" among us who, for whatever reason, don't like it when people try to improve themselves. Don't buy into their nonsense. In fact, it's probably best to avoid discussing your wellness plan with these types of people.
4. Celebrate your successes.
The right personal wellness plan should set you up for plenty of successes along the way. Acknowledge them. Celebrate them. Create a reward system for each milestone you reach.
5. Keep at it.
Like we mentioned above, wellness is a lifelong endeavor. Take it day by day, one foot in front of the other.
By the way, concierge medicine is the perfect medical model for supporting and sustaining people's long-term wellness plans. Learn more about our Total Wellness Program, which is standard with each person's Total Access Medical membership fee.
You might also like our free guide to corporate wellness. It's full of great advice that will help keep wellness a priority in your workplace!