Wellness After 30: Getting The Most Out Of Later Life

How do you define your Wellness? How does it show up in your life currently? About 15 years ago, I ask myself these questions many times. When I was in my early thirties, I watched my body, my health, my emotions and my sense of “self” slip away. I did not know what it felt like to wake up with a purpose and the will to move forward. I wanted to get a handle on my life and find a better way of living, one that would enhance the quality of my life as I aged.

After researching, soul searching, educating and defining what was important to me, I’ve come to believe that incorporating wellness habits into your life on a daily basis is the key. I recognize that wellness is unique to each person; it encompasses every aspect of your life and requires work, determination and commitment to bring about change. The change needed to bring balance and harmony to your life. This means wellness is a choice. What an enlightening discovery, I thought. Once I realized that it was a choice, I found a way to tap into my “self “strength and saw a time of change as an opportunity to be a better me.

Wellness is a choice. It requires that you do something everyday to honor your body, mind and spirit. Achieving wellness means taking control and directing your life where you want it to go. It means you are in command of all aspects of your life: physical, career, relationships, finances, spiritual, environment and emotional well-being. As you know, this is easier said than done. I’ve been a wellness coach for several years and find the denial of self-improvement and the lack of effort to achieve wellness, especially for those over the age of 30, dangerous.

The dictionary definition of wellness is: “The state of optimal well-being, not simply the absence of illness, but an improved quality of life resulting from enhanced physical, mental, and spiritual health”.

Many people are not willing to do the work to achieve wellness and go into denial about how well they really are. After a while they find comfort within their denial and use it as a coping strategy to avoid bigger problems. They will continue avoiding small problems until a major crisis develops, and sometimes even then it doesn’t trigger any action. The areas of life someone thinks about in the privacy of his or her heart (or alone in the dark) are exactly the areas that need to be honored–the mind, body and spirit.

Some reasons why adults don’t incorporate wellness activities into their daily lives include lack of time, effort, desire and commitment. I was talking to a client of mine the other day and he told me a co-worker had challenged him to run in a race. My client has been a heavy smoker for years and has not been physically active. I asked him how he planned on running the entire distance. He then told me about what a great runner he was in high school – more than twenty years ago. I explained to him that he had become very comfortable with denial about his health and wellness, and that I needed him to accept the truth about his overall well-being. We then set some goals to get him through a race at a later time, which included kicking the smoking habit as a first step.

It’s not only the physical being that affects wellness; stress is a growing contributor and excuse preventing people from taking control of their own destiny. Investigating where your time is going and then adjusting your priorities to free up time to incorporate activities important to your health and wellness reduces stress. You must re-evaluate your daily priorities and approach them in order of importance for your efforts to be successful. One suggestion might be instead of working 12 hours per day, work 10 and spend the two extra hours honoring your well-being.

According to time-use researchers and exercise experts, we’re making excuses about our time. “People certainly do have time. There are about 40 hours a week of free time in this country,” says John Robinson, a professor of sociology at the University of Maryland and co-author of Time for Life: The Surprising Way Americans Use Their Time. People are watching TV an average of 15 to 20 hours a week, so they have “room to carve out more time to be active.”

The main thing you should do is put yourself at the top of your priority list. Wellness is important, especially after age 30, because getting older brings with it an abundance of new metabolic, physical, physiological, emotional and mental challenges. And while change can be unsettling, this time of change can also be viewed as an opportunity to get the most out of life.

Later life can be a time of rest, fun, relaxation, maybe even retirement, and most of all a time to enjoy life. It should be a time to embark on new adventures whether it’s travel, a hobby or a fun job. Here are some suggestions to start creating a life that honors your wellness:

1. Be honest about how well you really are.

Realistically look at the areas of your life: physical, career, relationships, finances, spiritual, environment and emotional well-being. Identify the area(s) that need improvement. Set goals to achieve desired results one step at a time. Buy a journal to track your activity.

2. Assess your readiness for change and willingness to embrace it.

Identify and write down the benefits of wellness to your life and your willingness to make the necessary changes. Remember: every move, forward or back, is part of the normal process of change.

3. Identify and eliminate barriers and challenges that could impede your success.

There are always barriers to overcome as we move toward our goals. Select one barrier to work on at time. For every negative message you encounter, turn it into a positive one. For example,”I don’t have enough time” can turn into “everything that needs to be done will get done”. Learning to replace the negative messages with positive ones is a matter of establishing new habits. It takes time and practice.

4. Set clearly defined and measurable wellness goals.

Create fun and interesting ways to fulfill your goals. For example, to be more physically active at work, you may want to take a two-minute walk every hour around your work environment. Break your goals down into small, incremental steps.

5. Create meaningful wellness priorities.

Take a closer look at how you spend your time on an average day. Record your daily activity. Find opportunities for wellness activities you might not have known existed and incorporate them into your daily life.

6. Challenge your wellness changes and strive to achieve even more.

Make simple changes first and then take a look at the things that are harder and that will require the most change to achieve your desired results. Tackle them one at a time.

7. Design and refine your goals so you’ll get the most out of them everyday.

If you don’t get the results you want in a reasonable amount of time, go back to the “drawing board.” Re-design and refine your goals to fit what works for you. You may even want to get some professional help.

8. Make lasting changes to your lifestyle. Identify and celebrate your accomplishments.

Reward yourself! Review your favorite activities. Try new activities to renew your motivation.

The pace of today’s world is so fast that we expect quick solutions to everything. If results are not immediate we’re quick to quit. However, the long-term results that extend our lives are well worth the time, work and effort that we put into taking care of ourselves. Wellness is a way of life. Get yours back!

Change Means Action

“Progress is a nice word. But change is its motivator. And change has its enemies.” – Robert Kennedy

Change does have enemies and Robert Kennedy knew that truth and paid for it with his blood. Change can be dangerous. That is why our natural instinct is to stay the course; stay put; avoid trying something new; leaving well enough alone; being safe; and I could mention another twenty or so excuses.

If you are the type that wants to stay in your comfort zone, you will never experience the immense joy that comes from living. In order to succeed we must take risks and that means we have to change. Robert Kennedy said this in the context of politics. He referred to making progress as a nation. The only way to make progress as a nation is to change our point of view, to change the way we govern ourselves, to change certain laws that are unfair, and change the way we deal with the bad guys.

But his words can apply to any aspect of life, not just politics. In my career as a trainer I can say that change is the one thing that is needed the most and done the least. I have seen people go way out of their way just to avoid change. I trained adults in job readiness skills. Let me tell you that there were times I couldn’t even get an adult to change their seat after 20 minutes of being seated in class. That is how ridiculous we can get about change. We all need to train ourselves to be more open. But it goes further than that.

Change is an action word and that means we need to act if we are going to progress. Change is not a theoretical practice of the mind, it implies real physical movement. For example, we may say that we have changed our attitude towards someone, but unless that is followed up by an action towards that certain person, they are only shallow words. Change means to repent. I instantly scare people away as soon as I say that because of the religious overtones. Well you can apply this to religion if you like. All I am saying is when someone says to you to repent, it simply means to change what you are doing. Change requires 3 things. The first is to recognize the need to change. The second is you actually do the action that is required. The third is you maintain the new course of action. Those happen to be the same three things involved in repentance. They say that recognizing that you need to change is half the battle and that is so true in my experience. The changing part is actually a lot less difficult to do than the first part which again is recognizing that you need to change. The final part is easy. It just requires that you keep on doing the new action over and over again. The second part in the middle means you must turn around and do something different to prove that what you recognized as needed to be done will be done. Change is empowering no matter how small it is as long as it is positive. Today, why not give change a chance and perform an action that you know needs to be done in your life. You will be gratified and empowered when you do it!

Get What You Want Out In Life

Whatever it is you want, get ready for it. Make a place for it in your life. Get comfortable with the idea of having it. With preparation it is summoned to come to be.

We can wish all we want for what we want. We can dream, we can hope, we can pray. Anyone can do that, we all do that, so what? It won’t just work like that unless you show that you are serious. You’ve got to prepare. Preparation turns the uncertain into the inevitable.

Believe in magic, it happens all the time. We manifest what we want through the ritual of preparation. Toil in the expectation of change and change will come about. The work you do will have a way of removing doubt. Doing and acting out can transform your unconscious and your conscious, in essence transforming your life.

Your mind sees yourself doing something in preparation for something and gets convinced that the something is something that will definitely be. It is real, it is coming, and you are making it happen.

Put in the work, put in the time, and especially put in the passion. If you feel it, then you can have fun with it and the ball will really start rolling. You can let it control you as if you’ve surrendered. Go ahead! It is what you wanted anyway!

Preparation could be playing, learning, practicing, growing, developing skills, acquiring objects and tools, investing, building relationships, creating strategies, planning inventions, giving attention, making observations, discovering how to use your unique qualities.

Remember you’re always walking some path, whetter you like it or not.

With preparation there is no apprehension, no fear, no wondering what is going to happen. Don’t lament over a far away desire. Prepare! You are then taking steps toward the desire. Additionally your desire is making way toward you. ‘Tis the operation of magic, run with it!

Focus your attention and energy on you desire goal.

It matters not that you have not what you want right now. You know you want it, you only need be patient, prepare and know you will get it with persistence. Preparation is a positive attraction energy. It is getting yourself ready. A doing on the road to being. Are you making room for being? Are you making preparation? Are you making magic?

Remember the formula for success: get to know exaclty what you want, keep it in your sight, go for it until you get it.

5 Inspiring Action Verbs That Can Change Your Life

If you’re having trouble getting inspired, it may be simply your choice of verbs. Here are 5 action verbs that can help get you inspired and get you out of your rut.

We’ve all been stuck in that place where things just don’t seem to go forward. We have trouble getting motivated and our goals seem either out of reach, or too weak. In short, we are uninspired! Master motivator Tony Robbins tells us that it’s not that people are lazy, it’s that most people have weak, or as he puts it, impotent goals.

Some self improvement experts will tell you that you have to have a good attitude in order to improve your life. I would agree with that, but it’s not always that easy. It’s hard to set aggressive goals and get inspired to achieve them when your mindset is not right.

If your mind is not ready to embrace more exciting goals, then change will be at best, difficult. In fact, if you’re not ready for it, then it will be hard to conquer even small challenges. If you can’t take on small challenges, then it’s going to be impossible to change your life to the degree you’d ultimately like.

To that end, I recommend using action to inspire yourself and create change. In effect, we’re placing the cart before the horse here, and forcing our attitude to match our actions. If you shake things up by taking action first, you’ll get your mind ready to create and pursue more exciting goals.

Below are 5 inspiring action verbs that you can use to shake things up and get yourself mentally ready to take on new challenges. If you use these techniques, even in small ways, you will naturally find yourself on the road to change. Change leads to bigger and better goals. Bigger and better goals lead to accepting greater challenges… and so on, and so on.

1. Give – Give to a charity, an individual in need, or simply a friend or relative. You don’t have to give something expensive or big. Just a show of appreciation will do, such as a card or a flower. Why it works… giving is a very uplifting experience since it frees your mind from thinking that there is not enough in the world. Giving teaches you that there is plenty to go around, and it will cause you to attract more good things in your life.

2. Learn – Learn a new language or a new dance. Learn about something you know nothing about, or learn to play a song on the piano or guitar. Why it works… learning something new develops your nervous system and makes you think in ways you’ve never thought before.

3. Change – Change your routine, take a different route to work, change your usual clothing style, your hair style, or change what you normally eat. Why it works… change begets change. If you want a big change, start by making a small change.

4. Participate – Participate in community activities, a sports team, or join a club. Why it works… participation requires social interaction and creativity, both of which will stimulate and inspire.

5. Create – Create a piece of art, write a short story, make a bookshelf, or start a web site. Why it works… creating stimulates all those dormant forces that allow change to enter your life.

Each time you perform one of these inspiring actions, take several minutes to feel good about it. You want your attitude to catch up to your actions. Also make sure that you enjoy the process, knowing that what you are doing is good for you and those around you as well.

Sometimes, just the exercise of reviewing these action verbs will be inspiration enough to get you thinking of what you could do to change your life. I hope you enjoy using these inspiring action verbs to change your mental state and improve your life. I’m sure that now you can think of some on your own. Remember, though, nothing happens without taking action!