Introducing The Wellbeing Experiment

man's jogging shoesIf I learned one thing in 2013, it’s that wellbeing is fundamental to everything.

If you’re new to the blog, you can read the back story here.

But the short version is that, some months into last year, a professional tsunami hit me.

Instead of panicking, setting a ton of new goals for myself like I’d have done in the past, and getting into hyper-marketing mode, I intuited it was time for something different. But that something was far from clear.

In the meantime, and to stay in action, I figured that to be as true to myself as I could be, I would identify a small number of core habits that I would practice daily, and I would do these in addition to turning up and doing my personal coaching work as best as I could.

They were things like writing every day; drinking two litres of water a day; having no more than two coffees; getting to bed by 10pm…

The more I did this and kept my agreements with myself, the better I felt and indeed the better life felt.

Fast forward nine months or so and the achievements are:

  • A real sense of peace and happiness
  • My energy and enthusiasm for work and life at an all-time high
  • A full coaching practice
  • A book in the throes of being written

These last two things seemed somehow to figure themselves out. I lost a sense of having to “try hard” at things and so life feels more effortless.

There were times of course when I failed miserably. And times when my energy was rock bottom. But I think because I was holding an intention around wellbeing, I knew these things would pass, and I stuck with it and saw it through.

I’ve decided to take a similar approach during 2014, indeed to amp it up, and make more visible what I’m up to, and I wondered if you’d like to join me?

In fact, I want to run 2014 a bit like an experiment. The question is: “What becomes possible for my life when I make wellbeing my first priority?”

What becomes possible for my happiness?

What become possible for my health?

And, to cut to the real chase: what becomes possible for my work and business?

I know that it flies in the face of the whole work ethic that’s so pervasive in our culture – and in us – but my gut tells me that, the more I focus on wellbeing, the more I’m going to thrive.

Gallup Employee Engagement Research

I was already thinking this way, but reading the latest Gallup results on employee engagement put even more fire in my belly.

(I don’t like the whole “engagement” thing, by the way. But that’s for another day.)

Gallup has started looking at wellbeing, because they found that people who are engaged and happier in their jobs are generally in better health, and have healthier habits, than employees who are less engaged.

That made me wonder what comes first: happiness and productivity at work or wellbeing. My bet is the latter is the key.

Either way, here’s the shocker:

Only 22% of the workforce is engaged and thriving.

That’s less than one quarter.

Meaning that three quarters of people are at a minimum not engaged, and struggle with wellbeing. Granted, these are US numbers and don’t take account of the UK or other countries. But, still, as an indicator, that’s pretty awful. Right?

Now, the thing is employee engagement reports are often pointed at managers and HR folks.

But let’s not wait around for them to tell us how to live healthy lives.

Be the change

You matter. That’s a key point I really took to heart for myself last year.

(And, conversely, that the universe is so freakin’ big and amazing that I don’t. And that was liberating. But that’s for another day too!)

Life is short and even in scenarios where it appears that you have none, you always have choice.

I don’t want give more of the same advice that you’ll find in most January editions of magazines and papers and stuff. I do want share something that’s real.

So, to say it again, I’m curious: “What becomes possible for my life when I make wellbeing my first priority?”

What becomes possible for yours?

What are the challenges of putting our wellbeing first?

What works and what doesn’t?

What trade-offs do we have to make, if any?

What things do we fail at?

How do we – do we? – pick ourselves back up?

Are you game?

My sense is to choose a theme each month over the course of the year and talk about it. We could make the rest of January, and February be about food and diet. March could be mindfulness or meditation. April could be relationships…

You get the idea.

So, before I launch in, let me know if this would work for you. What would you want from this? What would you love for me to write about here?

Share your thoughts in the comments, and let’s get on with thriving in 2014.

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  1. What a wonderful idea, I am looking forward to see how this is going to unfold! For me wellbeing is like keeping your balance, its inherently part of us. That being said, I really struggle keeping my sense of wellbeing, it feels like fighting against the tide. The thing that is missing out there, is not the ‘how to’, are the stories of how people navigated through it and what they’ve learned, their ‘a-ha’ moments. I’d love to hear some of those!
    Bri´s last blog post ..Commitment and winter holidays

    • Christine says:

      Thanks Bri. You’re absolutely right – there’s no end of advice on the “how to”, but that doesn’t always mean it’s easy. I think what I’d like to do is catch some people (on balance!) winning at this and interview them. It would be wonderful to hear their experiences.


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