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 Wellness: Creating a Culture of Wellness 
 
James Strohecker(old) ©

Although there has been some positive movement at government and corporate levels, it is far more realistic that we will begin to see more support occurring on the grass roots community level—in churches, YMCAs, hospitals, employee wellness programs, yoga centers, and fitness centers—since the whole community can directly benefit from a higher level of health and wellness of its members.

The real focus of change, however, will need to be on the individual level, as the increasing level of motivation from upwardly spiraling health care costs and failures of our health care system will lead people to continue to take more and more responsibility for their own health and well-being.

Making a Long-Term Wellness Strategy
Medical insurance premiums continue to rise beyond the affordability of ordinary consumers, and today a family may spend $1,000 per month in health insurance. Over five years that equals $60,000, a sizeable investment with little to show for it. A good question to ask is this: What does this $60,000 buy me? Will my general level of health and well-being improve or diminish in 5 years? Am I basically buying emergency protection and still having to pay out-of-pocket for most medical services?

Here is a new idea. What if we were to create a five-year plan to improve our general level of health and well-being? If we explore this idea, it might look something like this:

Commit to Working with a Wellness Coach
Wellness coaching has made great strides in the last year and appears to be poised to play a prominent role in the new culture of wellness. A wellness coach will help you determine the areas of your lifestyle, attitudes and behaviors that you are most motivated to change, help you create a wellness action plan to create the necessary change, and then motivate you and keep you accountable for reaching your goals of increased health and well-being.

After you have worked with a coach and feel a level of comfort and compatibility, explore the idea of setting up a long-term coaching program. If you are ready to make an investment in your health, consider a five-year program for high-level health and well-being. The program may call for more intensive work at the beginning of each year (January–March) with two coaching sessions per month. After that time you may choose to have one session a month or one every six weeks. The idea is to create the framework that enables you to receive ongoing coaching to help you reach your health and wellness goals. (To find a wellness coach, contact wellness@healthy.net.)

Use an Online Wellness Program
Many wellness coaches are now working with the Wellness Inventory program, a whole person assessment program designed to help individuals gain personal insight into 12 dimensions of physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness in their life. The program offers guidance and tools to transform this new awareness into lasting changes in their lives through use of the personal wellness plan, my wellness journal, e-mail reminders, and the wellness resource centers. Working with a wellness coach who can keep you motivated and accountable for your agreements to reach your wellness goals amplifies the power and effectiveness of the Wellness Inventory many times over. (To experience the Wellness Inventory go to: www.WellPeople.com and enter the promo code “totalhealth.”)

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