As a career and leadership coach, I not only focus on specific work and career issues with my clients, but I also have them take a look at their wellbeing. Although I practice as a certified career and leadership coach, I am also a licensed therapist and strongly believe in a holistic approach in coaching. Gallup research has determined that there are five universal and interdependent elements of wellbeing that differentiate a thriving life from one spent stressed out.
Career: liking what you do every day (Strategy: Every day, use your strengths. Make sure you are aware of your strengths!)
Social: having strong relationships (Strategy: Make time every month for individuals you care about.)
Financial: a well-managed economic life (Strategy: Set financial goals annually.)
Physical: Having good health and the energy to get things done on a daily basis (Strategy: Get 20 minutes of exercise every day you can and 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.)
Community: A sense of engagement with the area where you live (Tip: Identify how you can contribute to your community or neighborhood.)
While 66% are doing well in at least one area, only 7% are thriving in all five. If we are struggling in any of these areas, as most of us are, it damages our wellbeing and wears on our daily life. Stress can affect us in so many ways but often we do not address the stressors. In my own private practice I have seen how important stress management is for my clients and notice a direct correlation in their career success depending on how resilient they are.
Our wellbeing will not improve unless we make a conscious decision to do so. I often hear from my clients that there is just not enough time for exercise and time with friends. We have to make our wellbeing an objective just like a career objective. We need to have our own personal development plan so we have the energy needed for the success we want!
Small changes can have a huge impact. It also helps to have someone making you accountable. In my full day career class I have everyone leave with an action plan. Not every person will be meeting with me as a follow up, so I have them identify someone who can check on their goals. This one step will greatly improve their goal success.
September is a great time to focus on your wellbeing. There is something about the start of a new school year that makes setting new personal goals exciting and more realistic. Think about the five areas above and how would you rate yourself in those areas. Then pick one to set a specific goal in for September. Set up a file or get a journal and write down your wellbeing goal! We sometimes focus too much on getting things done and forget that we need to energize first so we have the energy needed to accomplish our goals!