6Ws of Wellness
By: Peggy Willms
(Originally posted in BizCatalyst360 05/12/2023)
(4 min read)
What are the 6Ws of Wellness? The 6W framework (who, what, why, where, when, and how) was initially used by journalists. However, the process eventually dripped into the corporate environment, used to hire employees or when designing a project or process. Using the 6Ws of Wellness will assist you in finding harmony in your health, wellness, and wellbeing.
Grab a coffee, sit back, and let’s see if your Wellness Wagon is on track.
We have been setting goals since time began. We just didn’t call it that, and we certainly didn’t dissect them using the 6Ws. We just take off running when we should sit, crawl, and walk first. Most goals fall through the cracks due to insufficient clarity and planning.
Likely, you are not the only one involved in setting or accomplishing your goals. Who will support you other than YOU as you work toward getting healthier, wealthier, and wiser? Be specific…who…family, friends, co-workers, organizations, and other experts such as physicians, trainers, nutritionists, counselors, etc. Who might watch the kids when you train for that half marathon at the gym? Who will help you prepare meals for the family if you have different eating plans? WHO? The onus ultimately rests with you. No more blaming a nutritionist, trainer, or doctor. No more pointing fingers. You can do it, but you don’t have to do it all alone. Take responsibility for building your own tribe.
When establishing goals, most of us know the “what.” The end game. “I want to lose 20 pounds…paint the house…get a new job.” Goals give us direction and purpose, but being clear and concise with you what is a gamechanger. Is your goal to improve your last lab results, spend time on self-awareness or creativity, repair a relationship with your father, or decrease your blood pressure, blood sugar, or cholesterol? WHAT is your focus? Oh, and don’t go too big. Baby steps matter.
How many times have you needed a do-over? How many years in a row has your New Year’s Resolution been the exact same? I had a client once who joked (funny, not funny), “I have lost the same 50 pounds 20 times, so I have lost and gained 1000 pounds. According to Inc.com, over 40% of Americans set a New Year’s Resolution, and 91% give up. On average, resolutions fall apart within four-six weeks.
Being healthy and happy transcends beyond how long you sleep, how many veggies you eat, and your Nautilus program at the gym. First, you must peel back the onion!
In my experience, my clients struggle the most to answer this part of the 6Ws. Why chase a goal if you are unclear about why you are doing it? Dig deeper by asking yourself why, why, why… You may have heard the process described as “peeling back the onion.” Why do I want to lose weight? Because I have no energy and nothing fits! Why do I want more energy? So I can play on the floor with my grandchildren! Why do you want to have fun with them? Because my grandparents were unhealthy and never played with us! Explore deeper and deeper until you find a reason so personal that you can grab onto it on those tough days when you want to give up. Action steps build momentum, and when you connect to a deeper WHY, the momentum takes on a life of its own. Soooo exciting.
They say wherever you go, you are. Focusing on your health and wellness goes everywhere with you: home, work, restaurants, stores, gym, doctor’s, etc. This is why you need to be on your toes. There are opportunities around every corner to make healthy or unhealthy choices as you focus on your goals. How can you be prepared wherever you go?
You have the power to assess where you are at any given time. And you get to decide when to do something. No one can make you do what you don’t want to do. Creating strategies that work for you personally is where the secret sauce lies. “When” can work a few ways. Planning…when will you take action to get healthier? When will you walk? When will you go to sleep? When will you shop for groceries? When will you do your chores? Every action you take and when you it matters. Use a calendar to help you plan. Think of it as “meetings” with yourself. We have no problem blocking out time to take the kids to the doctor or a board meeting. But schedule an hour for yoga…whoa!
HOW: The how is the most ambiguous and frustrating, but if you keep experimenting, gathering data, and assessing your outcomes, you will keep moving forward. Utilizing medical reports and lab results might help you determine why and how. Meeting with health and wellness experts can help you create a physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and financial plan to map out your how. How will you get there? Tracking can be motivational. Data can encourage you to keep pushing forward. Many people use vision boards to keep them focused. Others track their progress on Excel worksheets, smartwatches, nutrition and meditation apps, body measurements, and more can help you stay on track.
Your willingness to dive in and discover where you are and where you want to go is exciting. The 6Ws of Wellness is one way to keep you focused and on track. Work through your goals and see what you come up with.
Whenever you feel you are falling off track, you are likely missing one of the 6Ws. Don’t you love it when you have control, and things seem to “happen” on their own?
Improving your life is not a quick fix. But, as long as you remain focused, diligent, and consistently take action, you will see improvements. You could even see improvements as soon as today.
It is time to take responsibility for the role we have in your own wellness. We have learned from our past. Haven’t we? If so, why do we keep repeating the same mistakes? Let’s figure it out and own it.
There is no magic pill when it comes to health, wellness, and wellbeing. But I know you can do it.
You go, you.