Setting yourself up for wellness success

Some years back I had the opportunity to present to a group of 75 people – a one-hour wellness success talk – and I wanted to the participants to be engaged. So I put together a questionnaire, based on good science, around the fundamentals of a good, long, healthy life. And I called it the Wellculator™.

It got such a great response that I have used it thousands of times since its inception in 2006. And I think it got the response that day because it’s easy to use and people love getting a score! It gives you an idea of where you are – and where you could do some work, and helps you to benchmark your wellness so you can set some goals and intentions.

So, why the Wellculator?

Especially when you go through it and think to yourself, this is common sense? Well, it’s common sense, but it’s not common practice. Many of us know this stuff, but we certainly don’t put it into practice.

We are stressed and tired. 

When we’re stressed and tired we often compromise on basic things like eating correctly, getting enough rest, getting enough exercise, managing our mind-set and general sense of wellbeing.

When we’re passionate about what we do, that also makes it harder. We’re also human, so it’s important to take time to rest and get good quality sleep, and also to bring in practices like mindfulness, conscious movement, heart coherence, and being able to tap into things like flow. 

There’s a chemistry that supports that.

A lot of what I speak about is understanding the chemistry that you need to support what you want to achieve in life. I help people to find a personal blueprint that works for them, and the Wellculator is a good place to start.

But of course, once you’ve started, hopefully the goal is to make some improvements, and that’s often where people struggle to make any progress. And the way to do that is to take micro steps, and make small, baby changes.

The neuroscience is compelling. I follow a professor, B.J. Fogg from Stanford University, for instance. He’s got a phenomenal model. We can see that when we make lifestyle changes that are simple, really tiny, we’re more likely to put them in place. For a variety of reasons, like positive affirmation or reinforcement, dopamine that gets released. You also feel a sense of control, you feel good and you’re more likely to do it again. Consistency is more important than intensity. It’s better for you to walk for 10 minutes every morning than it is to go to the gym for one hour a week and overdo it.

When I give people permission to do that, and help take them through a process of how to create those small, realistic baby steps, I find they feel empowered. They say things like, “ I can do this. This isn’t going to take a lot of energy. In fact, it is going to be super easy.” Then you get buy-in.

Once you start doing it, it’s a journey. 

People look at me as if I’m the expert, but the more I do this work, the more I realise the wisdom is always in the room. There’s no one guru who has the answers. We all have an inner intelligence in our bodies, and if we tap into that, we’ll know what we need.

We’re overwhelmed and we keep thinking next week, next week, maybe next month. Then it’s a new year and we make the same resolutions: I’m going to quit smoking. I’m going to lose some weight. I’m going to start a meditation practice. I’m going to spend more time with my kids. We’re trying to do too much. We set ourselves up for failure rather than success.

A lot of what I teach is awareness and then choice. With awareness you can make different choices that potentially can give you different results, but it’s about taking those small steps, and doing them consistently, to set yourself up for success.

You can test yourself on the Wellculator™ for free on my website.


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