Many workplace wellness programs provide a plethora of information and activities. That’s because the ultimate goal of any worthwhile workplace wellness program should be to help employees to embrace healthy lifestyles and lead the most fulfilling lives possible. For many people, arriving anywhere near optimal health involves having to make changes — often in several, if not all, of the areas of their lives. Eat better, move more, sleep longer, worry less, and the list goes on and on.
Although a workplace wellness program should provide an abundance of information in all health and wellness areas at any given time, this flood of good-intentioned help may be too much for many people to handle all at once.
A key component of your wellness messages should be to reinforce the idea of taking health and wellness improvements one change at a time, one step at a time.
Taking this approach…
- Helps employees to not get discouraged and give up completely on the idea of making changes should they slip up in one area.
- Allows employees to focus on just one thing and master it (make it a habit) before moving on to the next challenge.
- Provides that boost of self-confidence many people need when they succeed with a single goal. The victory can build their determination to take on additional changes.
You can reinforce the idea of “small improvements = BIG rewards” by:
- Including language at the end of tips/articles (included in a newsletter or email) such as, “Pick one change you can easily make and get started today.”
- Setting up a schedule of weekly mini-goals that employees can tackle. Break down the month into four weeks (The 1st through the 7th, the 8th through the 14th, the 15th through the 21st, and the 22nd through the 30th or 31st), and give employees an idea of something to work on that week.
If the habit sticks, great. If not, employees gave it a try for a week and can move on to the next week’s suggestion. You can provide the weekly goals in a newsletter, post the ideas in employee gathering areas, send the suggestions in an email, and/or include them on internal social media, etc.
Check out this weekly mini-goals example from the July HOPE Health Letter®:
Give new meaning to the word J-U-L-Y
Want to make some healthful lifestyle changes but don’t know where to start? Use the letters in the word JULY and get creative with weekly ideas that use those letters.
- J — Jul 1 – 7:
— Eliminate Junk food, or maybe Jump rope for five minutes each day.
- U — Jul 8 – 14:
— Take time to Update your financial picture/goals. It’s mid-year; how’s the budget doing? What do you want or need to start/accomplish during the second half of 2015?
- L — Jul 15 – 21:
— Learn a new skill or vow to actively Listen when other people are talking.
- Y — Jul 22 – 31:
— Give Yoga a try. Or how about adding low-fat Yogurt to your breakfast?
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