According to the Hartwigs, these are the nine factors that are crucial to optimal health, and I wholly believe that this is accurate. After all, how can someone be as healthy as possible without adequate sleep? proper nutrition? spending time outdoors?
In the Day 0 email that I received after signing up for the Whole30 program, I was instructed to create goals based on no more than three of the nine factors. In order to do that, however, I had to first familiarize myself with what the nine factors were.
Obviously this is the primary factor targeted with Whole30: by omitting things like sugar, alcohol, grains, and other foods that quite possibly have negative affects, I will end unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal my digestive tract, and balance my immune system. By doing so, I will become healthier in so many ways.
This factor includes not only how much one sleeps but also how one sleeps. For instance, it is important to sleep for a certain number of hours but it is also important to sleep well during that time, spending the right amount of time in each phase. For more information (since I am definitely not super well-versed in this area), check out this article.
I appreciate that this factor does not necessarily always mean hard-core exercise or training. Rather, healthy movement also equates to low-intensity movement, natural movement (like carrying groceries, pushing a stroller, etc.), and even the absence of movement -- relaxation.
Fun & Play
This factor is also included under the umbrella of healthy movement, as it means playing Frisbee with one's dog, running around with one's children, etc.
Essentially all factors can cause stress in life: for example, if I am not over-exercising and not resting enough, my body will experience negative stress. This factor includes lifestyle modification, focused and expert consultations, and supplement interventions.
This factor emphasizes that we can only be truly healthy when we interact with others (in person, not just via social media) and have a positive support system, people who help with accountability, motivation, and inspiration.
Clearly, it is essential for us to spend time outdoors, whether it be walking around the lake, laying in the grass, or chasing kids through the neighborhood. It is important for acquisition of vitamin D, but I'm sure there are a bazillion other health benefits as well.
This factor includes a number of different things: spirituality, philanthropy, volunteerism, etc. Essentially, it is imperative to have goals for oneself that are not focused solely on one's profession, one's fitness, etc.
While often ignored or undervalued, this is a critical factor that basically means "moderation or self-restraint," knowing when to say when, when it's okay to do something not super healthy, knowing oneself and one's own habits and preferences.
Again, I was asked to create goals for no more than three of the aforementioned factors. Because I am a rebel, though, I created goals for four:
- Nutrition: I will eat only Whole30-compliant foods throughout the entire 30-day challenge.
- Healthy Movement: I will work out (either run, go to Farrell's, or do a Jillian Michaels DVD) at least three days per week. (A related goal is that I will NOT do anything to exacerbate my back injury, which likely means that I will not work out for a few more days.)
- Sleep: I will sleep at least seven hours -- from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. -- Sunday through Thursday.
- Personal Growth: I will read at least two books over the course of the 30-day program.
I truly believe that all four of these goals are attainable, an extremely important aspect of SMART goals.
In addition, I have strong self-efficacy (belief in one's ability to succeed in specific situations) in regards to all four goals. I commit to being successful, and therefore I will be successful.
As always, thank you all for helping me fulfill the sixth factor: socialization. I turn to all of you for support and accountability, and I cannot thank you enough.