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Action Plan to Wellness

The popular movie “The Wizard of Oz” has a well-known song – “Follow the Yellow Brick Road,” sung by Munchkins who offer five words of advice. They tell Dorothy in little magical voices to Follow the Yellow Brick Road and repeat the word “Follow” five more times.

Aside from assuring Dorothy the yellow bricks will take her to a wonderful wizard, “…who is wonderful because of the wonderful things he does,” the munchkins don’t offer much more of what the road may hold for Dorothy.  However, Dorothy has powerful Ruby Red Slippers to protect her on the journey and takes off in search of OZ and finding the wizard who will get her home.

WOW what a story – imagine following pretty yellow stepping-stones and arriving at Wellnessville where all dreams and desires happen by a wizard?  Stop Dreaming – Your “Road” to wellness requires more than Ruby Slippers, it requires personal action.

An earlier post, “Assessing Wellness”  illustrated a Wheel of Life as a method of determining where one is across many personal dimensions. The wheel displays a visual of how a life is functioning – smooth, choppy, or in need of a major overhaul. This second tool, your Action Plan, consists of taking a few wheel pieces and deciding how to create change. Even though you may select only one or two pieces to focus on, improving one area of your life elevates overall wellness.

Action planning can be as simple as listing items that you would like to work on with an associated completion date. If working with a coach, the list would contain at least three pieces – What are you going to do, When are you going to do it, and How will you communicate to your coach you completed the action.

ACTION PLANNING to FOLLOW YOUR ROAD

TO DO When I will Do it How to communicate
1. Exercise 3 times a week Mon, Wed, Fri I will email my coach MWF
2. Oatmeal for bfast each morning M-F M, T,W, T, F Text a pic each morning to coach

Action plans require reflection on past personal practices and current life situations. Often times a negative health diagnosis, stress of a job, unexpected weight gain, or wanting to look good to attend a wedding will prompt a strong desire to change and setting an action plan will become your road map to wellness.

Action planning only works when actions happen and holding the coachee accountable to actions, timelines, and evidence of forward movement allows for success of personal goals. 

Follow Your Own Road and color the bricks whatever color you want – just “FOLLOW” your action plan with accountability and you will reach OZ.

“Good luck and while you are there tell the Wizard I said hello!

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Assessing Wellness

Daily choices affect many areas in a
person’s life and by understanding how one food choice may affect both diet and sleep or fitness or mindset or stress levels, a person can begin to make better choices.

By assessing where one is on the wellness continuum and which health dimensions are lacking, a coachee and coach create an action plan to practice thoughtful choices on their wellness journey.

Health dimensions include many pieces of a life: self-responsibility, intellect, physical fitness, nutrition, environment, spiritual, purpose, communication, occupation, financial, family, self-care, connections …, play. Many of these combine to make an action plan more manageable (e.g. physical fitness, nutrition and play become diet& exercise or family, communication, connections become relationships. Regardless of the dimensions, an assessment of those pieces is necessary in order to create new movement towards wellness.

Assessing Wellness

Health & Wellness coaches have many tools to help coachees assess their lives.  One tool is a Wheel of Life – a circle is divided into equal pie parts based on dimensions representing a coachee’s life and they rank their pieces from 1-10 (1 being low). 

Dimensions of WellnessColoring the pieces illustrates various levels of wellness for the coachee’s wellness pie.  The discrepancies in rankings for certain pieces, (e.g. physical – 9 but financial – 3, family -4  and play -10…) provides a glimpse of the bumps in life and becomes a conversation starter in deciding where to begin.  One may argue having a 5 for all pieces would represent a life without bumps, however, the goal is to constantly strive for a personal best in integrated health & wellness.

Wellness is not the absence of illness or disease, rather a way to focus living a lifestyle of improvement in every dimension.  Those with chronic disease, family strife, or environmental difficulties can move towards the positive end of well-being by assessing their wheel of life and enhancing pieces in small or big ways. 

Improving one health piece improves all other pieces.  If a goal is to build better family relationships, other outcomes result; such as personal growth, physical health, and possibly fun and recreation.

The pieces of life affect each other – assessing wellness can guide one in understanding where the wheel is in need of repair.

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