“Don’t minimize the success that you experienced just because it didn’t have the typical trappings of a wellness success story! Inspiration and success take many forms.”

Hello MUS! I’m back from maternity leave, and as all of you working moms know, returning to work has been bittersweet. It’s been really hard to leave my 3-month-old baby during the day, but it also feels good to get back into the swing of things work-wise, especially with some exciting projects on the horizon for MUS Wellness in 2018.

One of the things that has made returning to work easier was being greeted by literally hundreds of success stories that were sent in while I was on leave. Reading your success stories is always motivational to me, both on a personal level, particularly since I have to redefine what wellness looks like to me as I balance new responsibilities in my life, and on a professional level, as the stories are a wonderful reminder as to why the Wellness program exists, and how great the people are who work for MUS.

Many of your stories are similar to Angela’s: stories of getting back into shape, losing weight, running marathons. We love these kinds of stories, and they are fun to post on our blog as they inspire others to take steps in a healthy direction (we hope!).

But I also read plenty of stories that had a different theme and tone, often starting with phrases such as, “I didn’t lose the weight I wanted to…” or “I had some major setbacks in 2017…” Many stories began with apologies, excuses (usually very valid), or admissions, but then without fail, all of them included at least one thing that was accomplished despite the obstacles or challenges.

Other stories opened with “It may not sound like much, but…” and went on to describe an awesome, but perhaps nontraditional success story. So, to all of you who submitted a story: Don’t minimize the success that you experienced just because it didn’t have the typical trappings of a wellness success story! Inspiration and success take many forms.

Here are a few examples we want to celebrate with you!

  • Work was stressful and exercise goals went by the wayside, but maintained a goal of not drinking soda and drinking more water, and no longer punished herself for a bad day of eating.
  • Struggled with back pain and other health concerns, so made a point to focus on mental health. Is now incorporating meditation, mindfulness, and acupuncture into her regular routine to help deal with physical and mental challenges.
  • Discovered coloring books as a great stress reliever.
  • Refinanced the house, paid off credit card debt, and put money away for savings.
  • Signed up to be a Wellness Champion as a way to re-commit to wellness goals.
  • Found a new church to improve spiritual health.
  • Started going to a counselor to work through long overdue issues.
  • Didn’t lose weight, but didn’t gain any either!
  • Actually decreased the amount of time spent running and training for long races, so that more time could be spent with family and catching up on sleep.
  • Got in the habit of brushing tongue along with teeth.
  • Then there was a plan member who I know to be a big runner and very physically active, so I was expecting his story to involve a race or setting a PR, but instead, his success of 2017 was taking the stairs at least once a day to his 6th floor office! Yes, that is absolutely a success!

Consider these examples as you set goals, resolutions, or intentions for 2018. Think outside the  box when defining what wellness success might look like to you this year. Is there an aspect of your health (physical, mental, spiritual, financial) that you’ve been ignoring? Maybe being realistic about your time & responsibilities, you know that exercising for an hour every day isn’t in the cards for you this year. Rather than getting discouraged, think about whether there’s a smaller, more manageable goal that you can actually achieve (keep it SMART), and remember that you define your own success!

Cristin

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