10 Tips for Starting a Wellness Program Today

It’s never too late to begin your journey in wellness! Here are 10 steps you can take today to get started.

1. Write out your goals and desires. What’s your wellness vision? Where do you envision yourself three to five years from now? Set three-month and weekly goals based on your wellness vision. Goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Action-based, Realistic and Time-oriented.

2. Ask what, when and how. Make a list of the hurdles that keep getting in your way of living a life of wellness. Then determine which ones are true obstacles – things that you need to work around or find solutions to. And the excuses – ‘nuf said!

3. Have a plan. Rarely, if ever, is any major task or project accomplished without a plan in place. Lay out a plan for accomplishing your goals, as well as solutions for overcoming the hurdles. This is your game plan – it should be flexible, but have fortitude, fun, but not “fluff.” And make it active. Include specific steps you will take to reach your goals.

4. Start a journal. Your goals, desires, barriers, obstacles, excuses, solutions and plan should all be a part of your journal. Make your journal yours. Set it up so it’s easy to use so that you will use it. Include space to just let your thoughts flow. Use it to let out your feelings, vent, rejoice, or celebrate. You’ll be amazed at how freeing it is!

5. Begin your journey where you’re standing now. Where are you right now, this moment, on your journey? Accept where you are and where you need to be and begin the steps necessary to bridge that gap. If, however, you find that old issues keep popping up, preventing you from reaching your goals, you may need to seek counseling. Sometimes the only way to move forward is to first go backward.

6. Take one step at a time. What happens when a builder forgets an important step in building a house? Or a chef leaves out an important ingredient in a recipe? Doesn’t work so well, does it? It’s the same thing with your life. You must take certain steps in order to reach a place of wellbeing—and make it fit your lifestyle.

7. Learn from your setbacks. Making mistakes and experiencing failure is all a part of being human and living. Rather than getting down on yourself, take that setback and turn it into something positive – something you can use to reach your goals. Sometimes life is indeed two steps forward, one step back!

8. Spend some time “cleaning house.” This is intended to be both literal and figurative. When our homes are a cluttered mess, it’s impossible to function well. Ditto for our schedules. Create a list of your activities and decide which ones aren’t contributing to your overall purpose in life. “De-fluff” that schedule and concentrate on those activities that bring meaning to your life, and ultimately to others!

9. Stop comparing yourself to others. We’re bombarded by images of “perfect” bodies every day. It’s easy to get caught up in all of it and feel as though we’ll never measure up – and chances are, we won’t. Let’s get real! These images are results of computer imagery, great lighting, professional make-up artists, self-starvation, plastic surgery and really good genes. Stop comparing yourself to a fantasy and just be the best you that you can be.

10. Reward yourself. It’s OK to feel good about yourself! And it’s OK, and beneficial, to reward yourself for your accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem. A meal at your favorite restaurant, a date at the movies, a new outfit, a bubble bath… whatever you wouldn’t normally take the time to do, as long as it contributes to your wellbeing, is a great reward!

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Member Comments

Good information! Report
Thank you for the article! I woke up this morning with the intention of losing weight and feeling good about myself. I finally told God I give up and cannot do this on my own.In 2005 I joined a very small inclusive website called Spark People. The motivation and assistance led me to lose nearly 100 pounds! Loss of a Mom and a job, as well as annual major surgeries fed into my need to stress eat. In the past 5 years I have gained nearly 30 pounds back and I am miserable. But with God and your help, I am starting the program I completed 13 years ago and it is time to lose the weight and feel good again. Thank you for the jump start. It actually came Wednesday in a Happy Birthday email from Spark People. God knew right where to start and who to bring into my life: YOU!!! Report
I need to get some things in order and this article made me realize just how much. Report
Great article Report
Even though the article is dated, the advice is good. I have such good intentions to journal, start and then it falls by the wayside. I commit to journaling for the next 5 days. Report
This was written in 2004, the so called "Journey" theme is wearing thin by now......because most of us keep packing and repacking, and thinking we shouldn't be happy until we finally "arrive".......bu
t are weary of the trip. Report
Parents (not televisions) should talk to children during dinnertime. Report
A lot of important considerations. Report
Interesting step by step guide to do something I keep putting off. The only thing I seem to excel in is procrastination. Report
I liked this article and think it's really encouraging, especially for people who are just starting...or who, like me, keep restarting. It's never too late and having a good plan is essential. I have just one bone to pick: food as a reward has generally been frowned upon, especially here on SP. Suggesting someone go out to their favorite restaurant as a reward for making strides toward healthier lifestyle? I don't now about that one. Report
This message spoke to me this morning as I am, once again, beginning a wellness program.
Determined to stick to it and need all the encouragement I can find! Spark People have helped before I drifted back to old ways. so now, I begin again to try to succeed with weight loss. No easy path except diet and exercise but when successful, the feeling is euphoric!. Today is yet another Day One. All of my photos are before pictures!! I want a decent AFTER picture! Report
Thank you for reminding me how important these little steps are. Report
I don't think much of me but I do love the ones around me and they motivate me. Report
I need to stop comparing myself to other, like it is my only self worth. It sets me back every time .Thank for the blog Report
great information! Report


About The Author

Carrie Myers Smith
Carrie Myers Smith
Carrie Carrie is an ACSM-certified personal trainer with a bachelor's degree in exercise science and health education. Her work has appeared in Shape, Fitness, Cooking Light and Energy for Women.
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