Recently, several women have asked me about the meaning of well-being. Well-being is another way of describing a positive quality of life, or a thriving life — where life satisfaction is evaluated by optimal mental and physical health, a sense of meaning or purpose, and positive feeling and functioning, rather than just money, status and advancement. In short, well-being is your ability to feel good and function effectively — physically, mentally, emotionally and socially.
The good news is that this definition provides for a more expansive, personalized way to assess the habits necessary to thrive. And well-being has multiple benefits for your health, job, family and finances. The bad news is that it’s not always easy to figure out where to begin when seeking to improve well-being — however, this journey is not nearly as challenging as trudging through life feeling unfulfilled.
With that in mind, here are some intentions you can set to help increase your well-being:
Be reflective. Widen the lens through which you view yourself, your work and your impact. Free of judgment, evaluate where you are personally and professionally. Recognize and value the gift of awareness, for it allows you to practice gratitude and see missteps as opportunities for growth from insights gained.
Be real. Connect and understand your true self, unmasked and authentic. Choose to let go of the pressure to be someone you are not, and be fully seen — your thoughts, emotions and needs. Thinking and acting from a genuine place promotes acceptance, self-love and grace.
Be mindful. Look inward for what is guiding your thoughts, decisions and actions. Consider that your assumptions and beliefs may be limiting your perspective and are worth challenging and modifying. Recognizing that there are other viewpoints keeps you from letting your own assumptions dictate and limit your actions and behaviors.
Be open. Move beyond your own ideas and experiences. Use creativity as a catalyst for change, to find answers to the unknown, and to stay open to new possibilities. Giving yourself permission to dream big(ger) and cast your net wider, individually and in partnership with others, lets you find better, more well designed and worthwhile solutions.
Be willing. Take steps to begin, and set learning as your priority. Rather than letting fear and doubt hold you back, see new situations as opportunities to gain new knowledge and development. Focusing on learning deepens your understanding, loosens your need for perfection, and helps you to adapt more readily.
Be connected. Accept that you’ll also need partners or even backup along the way. Engaging in social connection and relationships is crucial for people wanting to make a positive change. Getting support, accountability, encouragement and feedback from a community promotes progress and facilitates momentum.
Intentions can guide your direction and commitment in a way that feels different from setting goals and action plans. If you’re looking to increase your well-being for more balance and congruence in your life and work — and are feeling stuck or reluctant — intentions will help you define more than what you need to DO to accomplish your goal(s); they will also connect you to who you need to BE in the moment.
What else? What are your thoughts on ways to increase well-being? I’d love to hear from you.