Let’s talk about wellness. We hear the term bandied about a lot, but how do we go about achieving it? It’s often the small changes which make a big difference, and they filter down throughout all aspects of life.
To lead a fulfilled life, you need to invest time in you, and what better point to start than now, when we have plenty of time on our hands.
First, to achieve it, we must understand what wellness is.
By definition, wellness is an ongoing process of forming healthy habits and making deliberate choices that lead towards a state of holistic health and wellbeing.
The seven dimensions of wellness
We typically think of our health and wellness only relates to our physical health. But there’s more! Achieving wellness is about creating a balance between all seven of the wellness dimensions.
This involves looking within and being able to acknowledge and constructively express your feelings. Positively accepting your emotions and talking about them can help improve your emotional health.
Recognising your impact on the planet and making a conscious effort to give as much as you take. Small acts such as recycling and reducing overall consumption can provoke positive feelings of accomplishment and wellness.
Having an open and active mind. Learning new skills and continually challenging your thinking helps boost your intellectual wellness.
Finding purpose in a career where you feel your skills are valued. Continually developing your skills and forming a healthy work/life balance, provides greater occupational wellness.
Focussing on your health and fitness goals, including getting the nutrition you need and participating in regular physical activity, as well as any other pursuits that aim to boost your overall physical health.
The goal is to build and nurture healthy relationships with friends and family. To help you achieve social wellness, you should prioritise the relationships that add value to your life.
The ultimate goal is to find your purpose in life. We explored this in more detail in a previous blog on the Japanese concept of ikigai. The occasional break from the noise of everyday life will help refocus your mind so you can prioritise your values and goals.
Achieving financial wellness
Research suggests that finding a balance between the dimensions above is the key to leading a more satisfying and fulfilling life.
The Office for National Statistics found that average ratings of happiness in the UK fell by 1.1% between April 2019 and March 2020. Which is unsurprising as in the lead-up to the Pandemic. Those concerned about the Pandemic ranked finances as one of their biggest concerns, with 5.3million people worrying about this most.
And this is where financial planning plays a role. To achieve financial wellness, you need a plan to make the most of your money, manage it well and put it to good use.
Wellness is an ongoing pursuit, and it requires work. As financial planners, we build a complete picture, looking at your priorities, concerns and goals, as well as your financial situation. The outcome – your bespoke plan – will detail steps to help you work towards financial wellness and enhance your overall health and wellbeing.
Six top tips to help improve your financial wellness
1. Understand your financial position
To be able to feel confident and secure in your financial position, you need to know what you have. Here’s our financial planning checklist to get you started.
2. Normalise talking about money
Once you know what you have, you’re in a powerful position to be able to make smart financial decisions that will put you on better footing. Knowing where you stand is the first step to having healthy conversations about money and what you can do to improve your situation.
3. Set goals
Setting goals gives your finances a purpose. Once you’ve established your goals and financial position, you can assess whether these goals are within reach and how you can go about bringing them forward.
More to the point, understanding your financial situation in the context of how close it brings you to achieving your goals, brings your money to life. Your money will now have purpose and meaning, and it’s not just a number on a balance sheet.
4. Develop a savings strategy
It’s all well and good to accumulate money, but do you have a strategy? Creating a savings strategy that attributes different pockets of savings and investments to specific life goals not only gives your finances a sense of direction and purpose, but it also serves as great motivation to keep you track to achieve these goals.
5. Plan for all eventualities
We’ve all seen how events outside of our control can impact on our sense of security. Although you can never predict the future, what you can do is make sure that your finances are wearing the right protective gear. A lot of our work is centred around making your goals a reality. But before that, we start by making sure that your plan is robust and has appropriate safety nets in place to catch you if you fall.
6. Speak to a professional financial planner
Time is precious so you’ll want to spend it doing the things you enjoy most. Seeking professional financial planning guidance allows you to live the life you want, knowing you can comfortably afford to do so.
Our job is to help you determine how much is enough for you to live comfortably for the rest of your life. To do this, we carefully craft a plan bespoke to you by following the six steps of financial planning.
Other practical tips
For your overall wellness:
- Use a gratitude book to practise being thankful for the simpler joys in life.
- Get into the habit of making goals across all aspects of your life.
- Keep a hobby that challenges your mind, or pick up something completely new and exciting.
And, of course, if you have any questions or would like to discuss your finances or an existing financial plan, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and speak to one of our professional financial planners.