June marks the completion of six successful months of blogging. In my previous posts, I have focused on sharing information from experts or from my own personal experiences surrounding setting and achieving goals. At this point, I thought it might be helpful to share some information with you about my work with clients and how we arrive at setting an achievable goal.
When setting goals, I like to take a more holistic approach (stay with me, don’t let the word holistic freak you out). To me, a holistic approach means evaluating how a change may impact an individual’s entire well-being. Well-being comprises five elements: Financial, career, physical, social and community. At any given moment in life, the importance of one of these elements over the others can vary.
One struggle I am all too familiar with is having many things in life that I want to change all at once. I’ll believe that each one of these well-being elements is essential to address right now. I want to stick to a budget, exercise more, have a thriving social life and kick-butt at my job. I’ve had many failed attempts in the past at trying to dedicate my time to tackling all of these at once. I’ll admit it – I want it all, and I want it now.
In my coaching work with clients, I’ve come to learn that simpler is better. It is best, when trying to make lasting change, to prioritize and devote focus on just one of these areas at a time. That can feel like a sacrifice. It can feel awful to say that something isn’t important enough to address right now.
But, there is a silver-lining. In time, as you devote more energy to that particular goal, you may begin to notice a ripple effect and begin to see improvements in other areas of well-being. Here’s an example of the ripple effect in action. Perhaps career is the area of well-being you identified as needing attention. You had been feeling burnt out and were putting in long hours without being more productive. You set a goal of working toward a healthy work-life balance. One of your action steps was to leave work on time every day. The action of leaving on time afforded you more time with your family. You were able to sit down to family dinner three times a week. You felt refreshed because you were able to spend more quality time with your loved ones. You noticed at the end of the week, you had more money left over because you weren’t relying on fast food like you had in the past. Pursuing the goal of work-life balance positively impacted both your social, physical and financial well-being.
I encourage you to start watching your own ripple effects. What changes have you made that have led to enriching your overall well-being?
Kate N, MS, CEAP, joined Empathia in 2005 as an EAP counselor, then became a Performance Specialist in 2012. Kate has a master’s degree in Educational Psychology. Kate is devoted to helping individuals determine how to make lasting changes. Prior to joining Empathia, she worked in the social work field as a case manager for Child Protective Services. Kate enjoys baking, yoga and escaping into the woods of Northern Wisconsin.