Often society presents us with short-term strategies, the promise of quick fixes and instant rewards
March 25, 2023 7:00 am(Updated 7:01 am)
We are a society that likes to count things. We talk numbers and statistics a lot. We like measurable things, because they allow us to set goals. We can see progress and we can see pressing issues.
There are certainly some advantages to framing our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing as something to measure, because it can help us think about it as we would our finances, as something to invest in.
Often society presents us with short-term strategies, the promise of quick fixes and instant rewards. We might all wish this was the case, but when it comes to our wellbeing, this attitude isn’t the solution. We need to approach our wellbeing as a long-term investment.
So, how can we make our wellbeing “count”?
Make a plan
If you want to make changes in your life, you first have to work out which areas need attention and where you want to focus your energy. That means you need to make a plan, a bit like you might draw up a budget sheet for your finances. You might have some general intentions about what you want to change in your life, but those intentions need to be made into something specific. Write down an area of your life you want to focus on. Maybe you want to improve your relationship with a sibling. Get specific about this – how are you going to create more time with them, what kind of activities will make that time feel more meaningful and how often will you see them. That investment will pay dividends.
Little and often
Investing in your wellbeing means being consistent and having a system that keeps your “balance” in credit, so you can be as resilient as possible when challenge arises. Grand, one-off gestures might have an impact, but it is the small and routine that will really make that investment pay off in the long run. Sit down and think about your daily habits. What is working for you and what isn’t? Can you change how you do things so you have more time for you? Can you alter your order of doing things so they are easier? Even on the tough days when you can’t do everything, still try to do something. Momentum is an important element of allowing change to come into your life.
Ask for support
We can make some changes sometimes, but on other occasions we won’t be able to do it alone. When we are struggling with our finances or if we are in debt, the best thing we can do is to ask for support. Similarly, with our wellbeing, it’s important to let someone know and get some advice early, before things spiral.
See your progress
One of the key motivators in sustaining change is to see our progress, and to make sure we celebrate it. It can’t be all hard work or we won’t keep it up. In the same way that we can see our bank balance improve if we save a little bit, so we need to step back and see how far we have come in regards to our wellbeing. Make sure that in whatever area of your life you are investing in, you stop once in a while and chart your progress, and create a space to see how well you’ve done.