The path to ultimate health and wellness is quite the journey. Most individuals desire to be in better health. Many try different measures to achieve it but often success seems unachievable.
As unachievable as it may feel at times, success is possible if we follow the path of progression.
Let’s look at some common paths our wellness journeys travel as they relate to time and the approach we take.
We will visualize…
- How we envision the ideal journey
- How we want the journey to go
- What the journey probably feels like
- A common wellness journey progression
- Compare no progress verse a little progress
- How to get the journey to look like we want
As we go through these, see which one you are currently experiencing. Then, make a note of the journey you would like to be on and how to achieve it.
How We Envision the Ideal Journey
The golden ticket of health–the ultimate unicorn. Discovering that ONE thing, if done ONCE, moves you from unhappy health to happy health. And you never have to work at improving your health ever again.
Here is what it looks like visually…
Don’t we wish this was how it worked? Little work for great reward. Spoiler: There is NOTHING out there that does this! Hate to break it to you. If you do happen upon this magical secret, you will probably become the richest person ever.
How We Want the Journey to Go
Once we realize the ideal journey is unattainable, we might wish that over time with our minimal efforts, we would progress to increasingly better health in a smooth line. Like this.
But how can we achieve this? Is it even possible? Yep! It is and we will get to how.
What the Journey May Feel Like
What does your current journey look like? If you had to be honest, it probably isn’t very pretty.
Maybe it feels like this…
It is all over the place. A few days good. A few days (or more) not so good. You never feel like you are getting the progress you want. Or progress isn’t coming quick enough so we give up for a bit. Then we start something new or jump back on the bandwagon of something that worked before but wasn’t sustainable. Stuff comes up that we let throw our healthy plans out the window. We struggle with overcoming those challenges. Your emotions are a jumbled mess, ranging from feeling so proud you have done well for a few days to saying, “screw it this isn’t possible,” to beating yourself up because you can’t seem to get together.
Can you relate?
A Common Wellness Journey Progression
Many of us try something good for a bit. We see some health gains. But the good thing we’ve been doing either isn’t sustainable or we don’t make any additional adjustments. In either case, our health goes back to baseline or worse.
After more time passes, our health drops below baseline and we aren’t happy, so we try something new or go back to what we did before to regain some good health. It works for a time but then returns to baseline again because it wasn’t sustainable or we failed to address another area that would have helped progress further along in the journey.
Then again, more time passes and our health goes back below the baseline. We see another too-good-to-be-true claim or another shiny packaged plan and follow it for a bit. It is either not sustainable or we don’t see results fast enough so we quit and return to baseline or below.
See the cycle? This is what it looks like….
Does this sound like a familiar dance?
No Progress verses a Little Progress
There is another side of the coin. You don’t do anything to improve your health, so it obviously falls below baseline and stays there.
It looks like this…
But if you improved just a little bit every day, the graph would look similar to this…
Again, the perfect line isn’t realistic so how can we get close?
How To Get The Journey The Way We Want
Here is what we have to do… and it is about progress, not perfection.
You have a goal you want to achieve. To achieve that goal you need to create or change supporting habits.
The number of habits you need to change might feel overwhelming. I suggest never working on all the new habits at one time, otherwise your graph will end up like the wave graph above.
Instead, I coach my clients to work on making 1 or 2 habits sustainable over 4 weeks. You will begin to see progress. Even small progress is still progress. Once those habits seem like your new norm, add 1-2 more habits.
This is all part of what I call the Warrior Approach. You can learn about those steps in my post 5 Simple Steps to Create Sustainable Habits.
As you continue to move in this pattern, you will see progress over time and your graph will start to look like this.
Now there may be times where you have stagnation or even perhaps even a little regression. As long as that is only temporary and you jump back on the habits building principle, your Wellness Journey graph will continue to progress as you reach your goals.
Sometimes a visual understanding of how your approach to wellness impacts your journey increases your awareness of what you need to do.
No matter how you choose to approach your wellness journey just remember, it is a process guided by progress, not perfection.
To sustainable healthy habits,
Jen is a certified nutrition coach and master personal trainer with a specialty in corrective exercise. She owns 7Core Wellness, where she strives to empower individuals to live better, move better, and become their strongest self.
Jen created the Warrior Approach and the Warrior Approach Guidebook, which introduces a simple system to plan and prep your way to a healthier life by creating sustainable, healthy habits. As a former Special Operations spouse and registered nurse, Jen understands the demands placed on the family and the challenges they pose to well-being. She is passionate about helping families find balance through self-care in an achievable and sustainable way by simplifying how to eat right and move more.