BY KEISHA JOHNSON
Daily we engage in routine activities that make up our week, month and year.
Some of us make and follow an intentional plan. Others of us are just winging it day-to-day.
Whatever our approach, all of us are inescapably on an active path: to survive or meet our basic needs or strengthen our abilities to increase our advantage to self-actualize, to prosper and to live ‘a quality life’.
The outcomes we experience in large part depend on the decisions, choices and actions we take day-to-day. Whether we succeed or fall short in this journey, the desire to live ‘a quality life’ or enjoy well-being is intrinsically human.
For each of us, the priority order of what is necessary to enjoy that ideal ‘quality of life’ is unique. Continuous research indicates that personal well-being a.k.a quality of life in our Western context, generally includes a combination of: career or job satisfaction, good social relationships, good health, financial security and community engagement.
At the national level, the Canadian Index on Well-being measures a broader range of indicators that includes, “community vitality, democratic engagement, education, environment, healthy populations, leisure and culture, living standards, and time use.”
Whatever the measures for well-being, it stands to reason why your personal world is in bliss when the relationships you value most are thriving, when you’ve contributed to your community and made a difference or made the transition from debt to financial security or when you begin to enjoy the work that you do on a daily basis.
Life in those moments is good! We smile more, hope more and relax more because we’ve hit the sweet spot and we are at peace!
Naturally, as we experience satisfaction in each of the dimensions of well-being, our priorities may shift. This makes the endeavour to attain and maintain our desired ‘quality of life’ a continuous pursuit throughout our life time.
To personally master this ongoing cycle, requires intentionally of decisions and actions. It starts with bridging the information gap and learning the essentials of what best to do, how and when (wisdom).
To gauge how you are doing presently, candidly answer, “How effective are the actions and decisions I am making daily, in moving me toward ‘the quality life’ I desire?”
If you are not a 100% sure, reflect on what you’ve accomplished in the last week, month, quarter or year. Then match the results against what you wanted or even imagined to accomplish. Is there a gap? Are you on target or have you surprised yourself and achieved more?
Where you have an information gap, Google makes it convenient to bridge that quickly. Where you lack wisdom on how best to apply the information, give yourself a break and connect with others with the experience that you lack so that they can guide you accordingly.
If you haven’t already, start a journal: Describe your ideal quality life. Clarify what it takes to get it and break this down into specific goals you’ll strive towards over time.
Most importantly, make a list of the tasks you’ll undertake daily to incrementally fulfill those goals. Implement them and check them weekly to see how you are doing.
Share your plan with an accountability partner who will encourage and challenge you along the way. Celebrate when you hit the mark and re-asses your efforts when you don’t. But keep at it.
Throughout the month of October, we will focus on well-being and spotlight key components of this complex issue that affects our personal and collective quality of life. I invite you to also listen to Living the Dream in Canada radio show on carib101.com Wednesdays 1-2 pm during the month as we connect you with professionals for practical tips and insights that you can implement immediately to help you manage and accelerate your progress in your daily endeavour to live a quality life.