Earlier this month we shared some aggregate results of our challenge survey question,

“If you could wave a magic wand and improve one specific aspect of your personal health and/or well-being, what would it be?”

Today, we wanted to delve beyond the surface for a few insights we’ve gleaned from this data, plus share some of our favorite responses.

For starters, we asked this question because it’s good for us as a Wellness Team to know the pulse of our population. But we thought it could also be a useful tool for our participants as well. Answering this question is a great starting point for driving change.

A few responses landed outside the realm of one’s control. We had a laugh at some of these tongue-in-cheek answers:

“[I would] be taller.”

“I wish I had a personal chef to make me healthy balanced meals all the time.”

or, our personal favorite:

“I’d be 30 years younger.”

Ah, yes…with a magic wand we could all be younger, taller, and be able to hire a personal chef. Take a deep breath and think about how nice that would be…

…one more second…

And now snap back to reality. The majority of the 1200+ responses given to this question did land within the realm, or locus, of our control. Here is a sampling of responses that cover many different perspectives of wellness:

“Less screen time.”

“Losing weight–without any effort :-)”

“Have all my bills paid off.”

“I would give myself permission to relax more.”

“[I would] improve relationships/friendships.”

“I would do some type of physical activity every day.”

“Put more time and effort into purchasing, prepping, and consuming healthy foods.”

“Get more sleep.”

Each one of these “wishes”, could also be viewed as a very specific and manageable goal. Each one offers its own set of challenges, and most likely obstacles. And of course, we all know that losing weight, or reaching any goal for that matter, does require some effort. Read over the list again. Which of these wishes/goals seem easy to you? Which ones would be difficult? Do any seem impossible?

Obviously, these wishes are a challenge for the individuals who wrote them, or they would’ve picked something else. Nevertheless, each of the specific goals listed here are manageable, and fall within the locus of our control. And because they fall under our control, there are actionable steps and behaviors that we can utilize and leverage to bring these goals within reach.

Whether you view your personal challenges in the area of health and wellness as manageable goals or dreamlike fantasies makes a big difference.  If you decide to make your desire a specific goal, at that moment your small, daily behaviors you chose to align with that goal effectively becomes your magic wand.

So, if you answered the “magic wand” question, whether in our survey or right now, and you want to go a step further, here is your homework:

  • Select at least one, but no more than three, specific behaviors that will bring your dream-goal closer to you each day, and then practice these behaviors daily.
  • Don’t give up. Be consistent.
  • Watch the magic happen.

One last insight.

We live in a world where we are inundated with information, and married to technology. Many of us don’t go for more than a few minutes at a time without checking the little screen we carry around with us wherever we go. So it was nice to read several responses to our question that had to do with presence. Therefore, we leave you with two magic wishes that were shared with us, that we want to share with everyone:

  • I would live in the moment more often.

  • Remember to be grateful.

Be Well.

MUS Wellness Team

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