Twelve years ago Tom Rath and Jim Harter of the Gallup organization published a book titled Well-Being: The Five Essential Elements. It’s still relevant today. Their premise is that our well-being – our satisfactory condition of existence or the state of our health, happiness, and prosperity – is related to how we are doing and how we feel about how we are doing in five key areas of our lives: Career, Social, Financial, Physical, and Community. From Rath and Harter’s perspective, how your well-being is in one area can impact your well-being in other areas.
At NewDirection Coaching we focus on the “well-being” of our clients and readers. We’ll talk about how you can improve in these areas, as well as the glue that holds them all together, at least for us and probably for many of you, Spiritual well-being.
Let’s start with Gallup’s definitions and then we’ll leave you with a little assessment.
*Career well-being “is about how you occupy your time or simply liking what you do every day.” Are you happy in your job? Are you passionate about the results you produce? Are you adding value to others or the people and company you serve?
*Social well-being “is about having strong relationships and love in your life.” Are you happy in your relationships with family and friends? Do you feel and give unconditional love to one or more persons in your life?
*Financial well-being “is about effectively managing your economic life.” Do you live within your means? Are you managing your finances in a way that you can give, save, and live without stress? Do you have a plan to provide for your needs well into the future?
*Physical well-being “is about having good health and enough energy to get things done on a daily basis.” Are you eating healthy? Exercising enough? Getting enough sleep? Managing stress appropriately?
*Community well-being “is about the sense of engagement you have with the area where you live.” Are you participating in community and civic activities so that you feel connected to others? This could be through your children’s sports, arts, or civic organizations. It could be through serving at your church or other non-profit / charitable organization. Are you giving of your time, talent, and resources to help others or a particular cause in your community?
Spiritual well-being is about how strong and how important your faith is in driving what you do every day. Do you spend time in prayer and meditation daily, seeking wisdom for decisions and actions you are considering? Are you focused on truth, mercy, and grace in all the situations you face each day?
Now for the assessment:
Rate your well-being in each of the six categories, on a 0 to 10 scale, with 0 being not at all satisfied in an area, and 10 being completely satisfied in an area. Be honest. This will give you an idea on what areas of your well-being you want to concentrate on improving. Lower numbers imply something needs to change in those areas. Here is a key concept, this is about you improving or changing, heading in a new direction if you will, not about others changing.
The next step is to set some goals for what, why and how to improve.
Are you ready to start improving your well-being? Let’s do this!
*Definitions taken from Well Being: The Five Essential Elements, Tom Rath and Jim Harter, Gallup Press, New York, 2010.