In a recent meeting, I asked a team of colleagues to elaborate on what our organization’s tagline, “healthy way of life,” means to them. Their responses varied, but two common themes kept emerging: fitness and nutrition.
Yes, both of these are definitely elements of a healthy way of life — and yet it’s so much broader and bigger than that.
From my perspective, “healthy way of life” is a lens for examining every aspect of our lives, including our relationships, our health, our environment, and more. It’s a filter for honestly reflecting on whether our time, priorities, and choices are truly aligned with our values and passions.
With that in mind, here is what I think it means across several different areas:
Mindset. Move through your days with intention and purpose. Be present. Stop for a moment to get clear on your “why” — that driving force can influence all of your choices and actions and get you closer to those big dreams.
Health and well-being. Take care of yourself — physically, mentally, emotionally. Get plenty of sleep, manage your stress, practice self-care. Give yourself permission to rest and recover when you’re feeling worn down.
Be an active participant in your healthcare; be your own best advocate. Take vacations, disconnect from technology, connect with those you love.
Fitness. Move — it’s that simple. Ideally in ways that motivate you to do it, in some form or another, every single day. Exercise with an awareness of where you are right now and be willing to challenge yourself to reach for that next goal, whatever it is for you.
Nutrition. Eat mostly whole, fresh foods that nourish and satisfy you — and that you truly enjoy.
Notice how food makes you feel and how your body reacts. Hydrate, supplement, and optimize your nutrition in ways that support your unique body.
Relationships. Your connections with yourself and others are everything. Devote time to nurturing honest, sincere, courageous relationships with those you love. Find delight in one another.
Be kind and respectful — to yourself, to those who have differing viewpoints, to strangers; you can learn so much about and from others if you take the time to listen and ask questions. Seek commonality.
Reframe the perception of rivals — start seeing those competitors as people who are pushing you to be better.
Community. Connect to people and causes that do the most good. Together, you can discover new hobbies, advocate for a cause, and make a difference in your community and the world.
Career. Pursue work that you’re passionate about, that exhilarates you, and that allows you to contribute your best gifts. Think of it as finding the convergence of your interests and abilities.
Technology. Use devices mindfully, and set limits on how much time you spend on them each day. Notice when screen time is negatively affecting you, and instead find ways to use technology to your benefit.
Personal development. Learning is a lifelong pursuit. Pay attention to those internal desires to develop new skills or knowledge. Never stop expanding your horizons.
Environment. Earth is the one and only home we have. Take care of it through conscious daily choices, whether it’s avoiding plastic or choosing greener options when they’re available. Be a leader in making social responsibility the norm.
Remember that this is not only our home, but also that of future generations and other creatures. It’s our responsibility to make it a place where others can thrive for years to come.
These concepts are just a few of the many ways that the phrase “healthy way of life” can shape the direction of our lives. My hope is that my interpretation inspires you to reflect on what it means for you — so you can define and create your own unique version of it.