Wellness Program: 12 Months to Better Health and Happiness
12 Months to Better Health and Happiness
Welcome to 12 Months of Wellness. We hope you enjoy our monthly themes to promote a healthy lifestyle.
What is wellness?
No matter what your current health status is, you can move toward a higher level of wellness.
Wellness is a choice—a decision you make to move toward optimal health.
Wellness is a way of life—a lifestyle you design to achieve your highest potential for well-being.
Wellness is a process—a developing awareness that an end point does not exist, but that health and happiness are possible in each moment, here and now.
Wellness is the integration of body, mind, and spirit—the appreciation that everything you do, think, feel, and believe has an impact on your state of health and the health of the world.
Wellness is the loving acceptance of yourself.
Wellness is an ongoing lifestyle, which requires taking responsibility and making healthy choices, promoting individual well-being through a balance in all aspects of life.
Suggested monthly themes
|January||Prevent Premature Aging|
|February||Heart Health Month|
|March||National Nutrition Month|
|April||National Humor MonthStress Awareness Month|
|May||National Physical Fitness and Sports Month|
|June||National Safety Month|
|August||Admit You Are Happy Month|
|October||Fall Into Fitness Month|
|December||Celebrating the Uniqueness of the Holidays Healthfully|
Simply sign at the dotted line to indicate that you commit to making this year a healthy one by making conscious efforts to adopt one or more components of wellness into your lifestyle. Refer to the next section, 7 Components of Wellness and Tips, as a guide for ideas to get you started. Many other options are available to increase your wellness in these areas as well. Everything you add to your routine to increase your level of wellness gets one check for that day on the calendar.
þ= Wellness Behavior Check
- Set up a personal goal and reward system, giving yourself a prize if you accomplish your goal
- Here is an example of setting goals and rewards:
- If I get 10 checks in January, I will get those new shoes that I want
- If I get 365 checks this year, I will take a vacation
I hereby acknowledge that I will commit to this wellness program, making a conscious effort to increase my overall wellness in one or more of the components listed in the 7 Components of Wellness and Tips section.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”—Lao Tzu
7 components of wellness and tips
1. Social wellness:
- Schedule a game night
- Watch a funny movie with friends
- Join an organization
- Do not gossip and become a good listener
2. Environmental wellness:
- Fix something that is broken
- Plant a tree
- Donate blood
- Donate food or clothes
3. Vocational or occupational wellness:
- Pursue continuing education opportunities
- Reflect on your career goals and aspirations each year
4. Spiritual wellness:
- Develop a life philosophy and live by it
- Practice compassion and acceptance
5. Emotional wellness:
- Smile as many times as you can in a day
- Adopt an attitude of optimism
6. Intellectual wellness:
- Learn a new language
- Take a workshop or course for a new skill or hobby
7. Physical wellness:
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Aim for 25-35 grams (g) of fiber/day
- Aim for five servings of fruits and vegetables/day
- Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week
- Wear your seat belt
- Get preventative exams
How to stay on track to reach your goals
Rewards create a feeling of doing something you want to do, not just what you are forcing yourself to do. Even the smallest reward can work wonders as you travel from milestone to milestone.
Tips to help you set up a good rewards system
- Set appropriate awards based on level of accomplishments
- Make the reward meaningful to you
- Choose two to three options from the list or come up with a few rewards on your own
- Try to avoid using food as a reward
- Plan to celebrate your success:
- Involve other people or celebrate alone
- Just make sure the celebration is special for you
- Remember to focus on building a habit, not just figuring out how to get the reward
The following are some sample rewards:
- Find time to do a favorite activity
- Schedule a vacation or plan a weekend getaway
- Take a day off and treat yourself to a special activity
- Put $1 in a jar every time you meet a goal—treat yourself to something special when you have accumulated $50
- Create a scrapbook, where you can keep mementos from your accomplishments
- Go to a movie or buy a new book
- Subscribe to a magazine you always wanted to receive
- Enjoy some time outdoors
- Buy something for your hobby (ie, car, garden, music, collections, holidays)
- Celebrate 100% days—if you reach 100% of your goals that day, choose two rewards
- Pay someone to do your yard work or cleaning for the week
Set up your personal rewards system
If I get _____ checks in 1 week, I will ____________________________________.
If I get _____ checks in 1 month, I will ___________________________________.
If I get _____ checks in 1 year, I will _____________________________________.
Make your list of rewards here:
12 Months of Wellness
January: Prevent Premature Aging
January Wellness Activity
January total: __________________
Did you know?
You can control the following lifestyle behaviors to prevent premature aging:
- Alcohol use
- Excess stress
- Insufficient physical exercise
- Poor eating habits
- Sun exposure
February: Heart Health Month
February Wellness Activity
February total: _________________
Happy Valentine’s Day
If you are trying to manage your weight, ask your loved one for nonfood alternatives if you exchange gifts. Here are some ideas:
- Teddy bear
Save 40 calories by eating one box of sugar-free Sweethearts® vs one box of the regular ones.
March: National Nutrition Month
March Wellness Activity
March total: _________________
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day also is celebrated in March.
Food labels made simple
Know what is in your shopping cart:
April: National Humor Month and
Stress Awareness Month
April Wellness Activity
April total: _________________
Administrative Professionals’ Day is in April.
Did you know?
- Preschoolers laugh about 300 times/day, while adults laugh only 15 times/day on average, so:
- Make a commitment to lowering your stress
- Focus on the solutions, not on the problems
- Manage the source of your stress
- Learn to manage your priorities, using your time carefully and focusing on your top priorities
- Add laughter to your life by watching funny movies, reading comics or funny books, and spending time with people who make you laugh
May: National Physical Fitness and Sports Month
May Wellness Activity
May total: _________________
National Nurses’ Week is in May
Adults and older adults (65 years of age and older) need at least:
- 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (ie, brisk walking) every week
- Muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days/week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms)
Benefits of physical activity
- Fights fatigue, anxiety, and depression
- Improves everyday function, such as work productivity, along with endurance, strength, and stamina to perform daily tasks without using as much energy
- Improves blood cholesterol, heart function, brain function, and sex life
- Lowers blood pressure
- Speeds up healing
- Helps you age slower and live longer
Exercise is medicine. Live longer by staying active.
Reference and recommended reading
How much physical activity do you need? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site. www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/index.html. Updated August 25, 2014. Accessed October 13, 2014.
June: National Safety Month
June Wellness Activity
June total: _________________
Did you know?
- More than 117,000 people die each year in America from accidents
- The majority of these accidents are car accidents
- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1 in 50 drivers are involved in a traffic crash each year
- It is estimated that 50% of all motor vehicle deaths were preventable if the person had worn a seat belt
Buckle up—it is the law! Tickets for not wearing a seat belt vary by state, but run as high as $100 in some states.
Reference and recommended reading
Driving safely is living safely. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Web site. http://www.nhtsa.gov/Driving+Safety. Accessed October 9, 2014.
July: Anti-Boredom Month
July Wellness Activity
July total: _________________
What to do when you are bored?
- Have an electron fight:
- Drag your feet across the floor and pick up all the electrons (works well when dragging your feet on carpet while wearing socks)
- Hold out your finger and shock someone
- Go for a walk—nothing is more fun than some physical activity
- Argue politics with a fern or plant
- Search for new and exciting healthy recipes to try
- Use vinegar or bleach to clean things at home
- Roll change you have collected—stop by the bank to get some free coin wrappers
- Put the music on and dance around your house
- Learn sign language or another new skill
- Write a story
- Read a good book
- Organize your life:
- Go through all of those piles of papers and get rid of things that you do not need
- Remember to recycle—even recycle this paper when you are done reading it
- Write a letter to a friend or family member
August: Admit You Are Happy Month
August Wellness Activity
August total: _________________
Write down five happy things that happened to you this month:
September: Self-Improvement Month
September Wellness Activity
September total: _________________
How to set professional goals
- What are my top three professional weaknesses?
- Is training available to help me develop these weaknesses into strengths?
- Do I dread doing a particular task? Is training available to help build skills in this area to increase my motivation?
Areas to develop:
- Has my annual performance review identified an area that I need to develop?
- Can I get support from my company or organization (either financial or time off) in order to take classes?
Certifications or other credentials:
- Are certificates or other credentials available that would help me to advance in my standing (financially or in a role) within the company or organization?
October: Fall Into Fitness Month
October Wellness Activity
October total: _________________
Tips to keep your family fit:
- Park farther away from you destination
- Get off the bus one stop earlier, so that you walk extra steps
- Set a goal for 1 or more days a week, such as taking the stairs vs the elevator or entering the building from a door that is farther away
- Go for a short walk after dinner
- Plan your weekend to include one activity/day
- Pace back and forth while on the telephone
- Schedule 20 to 60 minutes of activity time outdoors before watching television
- Clear an area in the family room or living room for dancing, a game of Twister®, or a friendly Wii® competition
- Do family exercises using weights (soup cans or water bottles)
- Stretch during favorite TV shows
- Play one active video game for every sedentary one
November: Recycling Month
November Wellness Activity
November total: _________________
Did you know?
- A full bathtub requires about 70 gallons of water, while taking a 5-minute shower uses only 10 to 25 gallons
- Letting your faucet run for 5 minutes uses about as much energy as having a 60-watt lightbulb on for 14 hours
- If every household replaced its most frequently used incandescent lightbulbs with compact fluorescent lamps, we would cut electricity use for lighting in half
- If you need to warm up or defrost small amounts of food, use a microwave instead of the stove to save energy—microwaves use approximately 50% less energy than conventional ovens
- Each of us uses approximately one 100-foot-tall Douglas fir tree in paper and wood products each year
- Recycling 1 ton of paper saves 17 mature trees, 7000 gallons of water, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, 2 barrels of oil, and 4100 kilowatt-hours of electricity, which is enough energy to power the average American home for 5 months
Reference and recommended reading
Recycling links. Oberlin College Facilities Operations Web site. http://www.oberlin.edu/recycle/facts.html. Accessed October 13, 2014.
December: Celebrating the Uniqueness of the Holidays Healthfully
December Wellness Activity
December total: _________________
Holiday recipe modifications:
- Switching from whole milk to skim milk saves you 60 calories and 8 g of fat
- Switching from evaporated milk (whole) to evaporated milk (skim) saves you 191 calories and 24 g of fat for 12 ounces (oz)
- Switching from heavy cream in recipes to fat-free butter spread will save you 600 calories and 80 g of fat for every 1 cup
- Switching from butter or margarine to fat-free butter spread will save you 95 calories and 10 g of fat/tablespoon
- Switching from regular cream cheese to lite or fat-free cream cheese will save you 40-70 calories/oz and 5-10 g of fat/oz
- Switching from regular ground beef to 93% lean ground turkey or 92% lean ground beef will save you 180 calories and 22 g of fat/4 oz
- Reducing oil in recipes will save you approximately 110 calories and 13 g of fat for every tablespoon used—use unsweetened applesauce to replace half the oil
Reference and recommended reading
Food search. CalorieKing® Web site. www.calorieking.com. Accessed October 13, 2014.
Motivational quotes to keep you going
“What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. Make it a GREAT one!”—Unknown
“Some people make things happen. Some watch things happen. While others wonder what has happened.”—John Newbern
“A competitive world offers two possibilities. You can lose. Or, if you want to win, you can change.”—L. C. Thurow
“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”—Albert Einstein
“Attack every problem with enthusiasm, as if your survival depended on it.”—Unknown
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”—Norman Vincent Peale
“Quitters never win, and winners never quit.”—Unknown
“Your future depends on many things, but mostly you.”—Frank Tyger
The year at a glance
How many times did you improve your wellness?
|Month||Wellness Activities Completed|
Congratulations for participating in 12 Months of Wellness!
Happy New Year!
Contributed by Shawna Gornick-Ilagan, MS, RD, CWPC
Updated by Nutrition411.com staff
Review Date 10/14