Whole Life Challenge and Well Being
From January 20 – March 2, 13 VITAL WorkLife employees participated in the Whole Life Challenge, which focuses on seven daily habits to improve our health and well being: nutrition, exercise, mobility, sleep, hydration, well being and reflection. For six weeks participants followed guidelines for each habit and reported daily on their progress.
One of the most rewarding aspects of the challenge was daily reflection, which allowed participants to get to know each other and give encouragement. Throughout the challenge, a few themes appeared regularly in the daily reflections.
Preparation/Planning is Key
This includes everything from meal planning to writing down workouts on the calendar. Planning out (and writing down) your healthy meals for the week allows you to do all of your grocery shopping in one trip and keeps you from straying from you list. Food prep like chopping vegetables also saves time when you’re in a hurry. In addition, always have healthy snacks ready to go for those moments when you’re suddenly hungry!
It helps to have accountability partner(s)
Doing the challenge with co-workers helped us stay motivated and accountable to keeping our healthy habits. The daily reflections were a great way to see each other’s progress, hear about the small victories and encourage each other.
Sleep, sleep, sleep!
It’s truly amazing what a difference getting enough sleep makes. Getting enough sleep helps us to be more productive, happier, sharpen our focus and maintain a healthy weight. By the end of the challenge, participants reported feeling more rested and even a lower resting heart rate!
Exercise does not have to mean going to the gym for two hours everyday
With work, kids, after school activities, family, school events and more, it is nearly impossible to set aside time for the gym. The key is to finding activities and things you enjoy doing to keep you moving! VITAL WorkLife participants got moving by shoveling, skiing, dancing around the house, going for walks, setting up at school events and even cleaning the house.
Everyone has good days and not so good days. There will be days you feel under the weather and need to take it easy, and there will be days you’ll just want a piece of chocolate. That’s okay! One of the great things about the Whole Life Challenge was we could share our struggles and talk about our off days without fear of judgement, and know our co-workers would be there with encouraging words to get us back on track!
Solutions Coordinator Kraig Smoley summarized the Whole Life Challenge best when he said,
“The Whole Life Challenge was a paradigm shift for me. Before the challenge I felt trapped in my behaviors and just accepted them as who I was. With the accountability of my peers, my knowledge gathering, pure determination and my penchant for competition, I succeeded.
I am more satisfied with what I gained versus what I lost in this challenge. What I lost was fantastic—pounds on the scale and inches off my waistline. However, this was just a positive side effect from what I gained – an incredible awareness of the choices I make for my health and well being, the confidence I need to succeed and most importantly, the friendships and bonding with my peers throughout the challenge.”
The spring Whole Life Challenge starts on April 14th. For more information, visit WholeLifeChallenge.com.
We Can Help
The Whole Life Challenge gave employees an opportunity to focus on improving many dimensions of their well being, including their physical, emotional, relational and spiritual well being. At VITAL WorkLife, we approach well being holistically, focusing on six unique dimensions of well being – physical, emotional, relational, professional, spiritual and financial/legal – which we call the VITAL WorkLife Wheel of Well Being. Every dimension is essential to your overall well being. If you feel one dimension, or several dimensions, are lagging behind or out of balance, we’re here to help. As part of your VITAL WorkLife benefit you can talk with a counselor or peer coach to help you develop a plan to get your Wheel of Well Being into balance or set you own pathway toward well being.