Tuesday, May 26, 2009

How to Do a Wellness Health Assessment

The first step to wellness is to take a wellness health assessment to determine where you are now in each of the holistic wellness dimensions. Once you know where you are and where you need to be, you can make a plan to close the gap.

The next seven posts will examine what your wellness health assessment needs to cover in each of the seven holistic wellness dimensions – body, mind, emotions, relationships/social, spirit, vocational and environmental.

Record Your Findings
When doing your a wellness health assessment, it is helpful to record it in the form of a wheel with seven sections, each named for one holistic wellness dimension. Let the hub at the centre of the wheel represent zero and the rim of the wheel represent 10, the highest level possible in that dimension. Put a dotted line between these two extremes to represent how you are currently doing in that dimension.

As you assess each dimension, it may be helpful to make a few notes beside each section on the wellness health assessment sheet to identify where you are now regarding behaviours your need to change in order to become a 10.

Look for Balance
Once you have completed all the sections, look to see how balanced the wheel is. If it was a bicycle wheel, how smooth a ride would you have? Can you connect the balance, or lack of it, in your wellness health assessment wheel with the smoothness and balance in your life right now?

Take Action
Does one area leap out as requiring urgent attention? What one thing could you do to raise the score in that holistic wellness dimension by one point? Can you commit to doing that this week? Make that commitment and plan how and when you will do it?

For example, your physical wellness health assessment may show that you are not getting enough daily exercise. You realize that if you walk for another 15 minutes a day you will meet the minimum criterion of 30 minutes a day. You decide that before or after work you will get off the bus a few stops earlier and walk the rest of the way to work or home.

Realize Balance is Not Static
Holistic wellness is a journey, not a destination. We strive to achieve balance in life, but there will never be perfect balance. The demands of life are never equal. Sometimes you will have to focus on one or two holistic wellness dimensions for a while to the detriment of others. That’s O.K. – just don’t get stuck there.

Prepare Your Wellness Health Assessment Wheel
Go ahead and make your wellness health assessment wheel now. Draw a circle, divide it into seven equal sections and write the name of each wellness dimension along the rim of each section.

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