The Power of Wellness Planning 

With Guest Writer Graham Kenny

Wellness planning is a new concept for many of my patients. In a time when people are more reactive to health symptoms than proactive towards wellness, how can we apply our understanding of business and strategic planning to managing our own health?

Every business faces greater and greater challenges as it continues to grow. A successful business remains adaptive and flexible while approaching challenges with a holistic mindset, which is rooted in sound planning. In fact, to hear real-life stories of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time and the obstacles they overcame to create their business check out the NPR podcast, How I Built This. 

So what does business planning have anything to do with health? 

Just as an individual aims to build a business, one can equally take steps to shape their health.

Author Graham Kenny discusses the differences between “the plan” versus “planning” in his article “Strategic Plans Are Less Important Than Strategic PIanning”. He says that the plan is a static construct that becomes obsolete upon completion and that planning develops the framework to actually achieve goals. His message reminds me how crucial planning is to cultivating good health.

Cultivating vibrant health and wellness is no different than leading a successful business. Health requires steady resources like nutrition, rest, and social involvement. It needs constant maintenance in the form of meditation, exercise, and wellness treatments like acupuncture. Health must be perpetually evaluated through medical screenings, checkups by healthcare practitioners, and personal assessments to determine the body’s integrity. Finally, one’s health must be rooted in a vision that constantly renews, reaffirms, and propels it into the future. Similarly, steady resources, maintenance, ongoing evaluation, and a commitment to renewing one’s vision are the same practices that lead to successful business management. In other words, health is an action, not merely an end-goal.

How does one start wellness planning? 

1. Assess your current state of wellness and the factors influencing your health. 

Basic parameters used to assess your wellness include: current weight, quality of sleep, levels of energy throughout the day, mental clarity, stress levels and causes, and results from a physical from your medical doctor and complimentary medi-cine practitioner. 

2. Determine your health goals and decide on time frames to attain those goals. 

Based on your assessment, decide on the areas of health that you want to culti-vate. It could be improving your physical stamina, bolstering daily energy, or re-ducing stress. Create SMART Goals for yourself by ensuring they are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. 

3. List all of your health resources and find the resources you need. 

Acupuncturists, psychologists, doctors, massage therapists, dietitians, organic grocery markets, gyms, personal trainers, and yoga studios can be considered health resources. These people and places will help you maintain your quality of health.

4. Incorporate wellness activities that you ENJOY to benefit your physical, mental, and       

    emotional health.

Wellness activities include much more than exercise. They could include medita-tion, drawing, cooking, healing retreats, gardening, vacation, dancing, counseling or psychotherapy, or community service. Getting healthy doesn’t just mean your physical health, and doesn’t have to be agonizing or painful. It can be easy and enjoyable.

5. Set your wellness plan in motion. 

Make it easy. Start on an area of your health that is easiest to make a positive change. It might be as simple as drinking more water until it becomes a part of your everyday routine. It’s achieving the small goals that allows you to make giant leaps.

 

 References:

Graham K. www.hbr.org. Strategic Plans Are Less Important than Strategic Planning. https://hbr.org/2016/06/strategic-plans-are-less-important-than-strategic-planning. Published June 21, 2016. Accessed May 5, 2017.

SMART Goals: How to Make Your Goals Achievable. www.mindtools.com . https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/smart-goals.htm. Accessed May 5, 2017.