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Measuring progress for health and wellbeing

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Author: Will Mbanga, Posted: Tuesday, 26th March 2019, 09:00

As we go through life, it is good to pause every so often and take stock. Life is a journey and in order to take the most scenic, enjoyable and efficient route, we need to look after our health and well-being. But what does getting better look like?

How do you know if your efforts are working?

Let’s consider ‘health’ to be the combination of our physical (food and exercise) and mental-emotional needs (belonging, purpose, love, etc.). How do you know whether your training, diet, work, studies or the effort you are making to ‘be better’ is working?

As far as relationships go, you will know what ‘better’ looks like because you feel it in the quality of your interactions and the resultant emotional well-being and positivity this brings. But relationships are the product of human interactions and as we know, people make mistakes, let us down, disappoint us. This can make for tricky inter-personal dynamics and negative mental-emotional health.

Physical metrics alone don’t signify good health

A fancy car, promotion or performance bonus might signify progress at work, but we know this doesn’t necessarily improve our well-being. Focusing on physical metrics such as improved quality or quantity of sleep, your ability to manage stress and hitting your training targets are more easily quantified, but these alone do not necessarily signify good health.

Good health and well-being can be attained through a continual effort to maximise all of these areas, whilst acknowledging that throughout your progression, you are good enough as you are right now. This process of learning to be comfortable in your own skin and believing that you are enough is a hugely important mental-emotional shift.

Tony Robbins talks about being in a state of ‘CANI’ – Constant And Never-ending Improvement. I’ve adapted this to ‘CANWIP’ – Consistent And Never-ending Work In Progress. Here are my tips to get your ‘CANWIP’ on track:

• Mental-emotional health

Strive to be a good friend to yourself. Embrace who you are, while being open to learning new things and changing in a positive way. Constantly seek to be a better person, while accepting that you will never be perfect to everyone.

The continuous pursuit of personal improvement and an ability to reflect, learn and keep going are essential. Sometimes, this includes recognising that we need help – whether that is in the form of a friend, a life coach, a therapist or medication is irrelevant. The important thing is to ask for help if you need it.

• Physical health

Those of you who own a car will service it to ensure that it is able to pass its MOT. In the same way, you need to look after your body through regular exercise and good nutrition to give yourself the best chance of passing a medical MOT. Again, remember to seek medical advice and perhaps consult a trainer, movement specialist or dietician to help optimise your health.

Part of being human is accepting that we are not infallible; the key to making progress in any area of your life lies in your ability to apply yourself consistently. It’s better to keep taking small steps and move forwards, than a few big steps that end up too big for you to handle.

 

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