guy jumping to signify self-improvement

How to Use the 8 Dimensions of Wellness to Make the Most of Self-Improvement Month

September is a month of firsts. Whether that’s the first day of school or the first day of fall, the whole month naturally brings renewed energy and a sense of freshness. Perhaps this is why September is National Self-Improvement Month.

white up arrows signify self improvement

September is the Perfect Time for Self-Improvement 

January’s New Year’s Resolutions are often drastic, focused on appearance, and unrealistic in the long term. By the time September rolls around, a healthy dose of realism has entered our consciousness. This means resolutions and goals can instead be focused on other areas of self-improvement and done in a way that’s achievable and long-lasting.

Use the Dimensions of Wellness to Get Started 

It can initially be daunting to figure out what exactly you want to focus on and how to go about doing it. So we did some of the work for you. Below are some ideas you can use for your own self-improvement using the dimensions of wellness. 

Depending on who you ask, there are between 6-8 different dimensions of wellness, which include: 

  • Physical 
  • Emotional 
  • Social 
  • Intellectual 
  • Spiritual
  • Occupational 
  • Financial 
  • Environmental 

These dimensions work synergistically. They play off one another and all of them make up your overall picture of health and wellbeing. The goal is not necessarily to focus on them all at the same time or even to give the same weight to each one of them. Rather, ensure they’re working together for you, rather than against you. 

boy on a ladder reaching towards the clouds to signify self improvement

Some Self-Improvement Ideas to Get the Ball Rolling 

In this case, look at self-improvement through the lens of these dimensions, which provide a much broader view of your health than you might think of initially. Take some time to read through the dimensions below and reflect more on the areas that resonate most with you. 

Physical 

Anything encompassing your physical body and health makes up this dimension. Start a new workout class, build in a breakfast routine to your morning, perfect your supplement routine, or schedule in routine medical appointments this month.

Emotional

Any actions surrounding your feelings, emotions, and values encompass this domain. Start a journal, engage in a stress-management routine such as meditation, or work toward self-acceptance. 

Social 

This dimension involves your community and relationships. Join a local community group, set time aside for weekly coffee dates with existing friends, or actively work on improving your social skills. 

Intellectual 

Maintain existing knowledge, learn new things, and engage your curiosity. Ideas here include: attend trivia nights or book clubs, take up a new hobby, or surround yourself with people who challenge your thoughts and ideas.  

Spiritual

Find purpose and meaning in your life. This may or may not involve organized religion. Spend time in nature, determine your core values, or establish a regular spiritual practice.

Occupational

Find and engage in work that brings you purpose, is consistent with your values, and helps your surrounding community. Start a project at work, a side hustle, or a volunteer routine that uses your unique skills and brings you joy.

Financial 

Establish routines that allow you to live well within your means and make informed financial decisions. Ideas to get you started: attend a financial seminar, create and stick to a budget, or set savings goals for the months ahead. 

Environmental 

Work to make your world and the planet at large a better place for yourself and others. Focus more on reducing, reusing, and recycling resources or engage in environmental activism.

girl raising her fist to signify her taking action on her self improvement

Make a Choice and Take Action 

Once you have honed in on a specific area, create a plan of action. This plan doesn’t have to be anything substantial, but more so an outline you can rely on to keep you accountable to your self-improvement goal. A few other tips that may be helpful:  

  • Break down your larger goal into smaller tasks that feel manageable and exciting 
  • Enlist a buddy for extra support and accountability 
  • Share your progress – this could be with your friends and family or simply by keeping track of your accomplishments on a piece of paper for your eyes only 

Improvement is a Year-Long Endeavor 

Remember, self-improvement does not have to happen just in September. These tips can be used year-round at a time that works best for you. Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind that self-improvement doesn’t mean you can’t be happy with the person you already are. It’s simply a way to learn something new and get out of your comfort zone. 

We wish you well on your self-improvement journey this month (and every month)! 

References: 

International Council on Active Aging. (n.d.). The Seven Dimensions Of Wellness. Retrieved September 19, 2019, from https://www.icaa.cc/activeagingandwellness/wellness.htm

Stoewen, D. L. (2017). Dimensions of wellness: Change your habits, change your life. The Canadian Veterinary Journal, 58(8), 861. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5508938/

University of Maryland. (n.d.). 8 Dimensions of Wellness | Live Well @ UMD. Retrieved September 9, 2019, from https://umwellness.wordpress.com/8-dimensions-of-wellness/

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