Thank you Paul for this great post on wellness. With the New Year coming up this is some great advice.

Via Paul Newell at Balanced Wellness:

I was listening to a Robert Kiosaki CD and he mentioned that adults should have a financial report card. Yeah, that’s right, a financial report card! Its actually a pretty creative way of assessing where you really are in your financial education.

From our elementary school days, we have always been graded on our understanding of course material and in some cases our application of what we’ve learned. As we go through high school and college, those grades mean the difference between going to an average/outstanding college, or getting into a secure, high-paying job. In those days we get programmed to focus on a grade instead of focusing on the actual learning experience and how it applies to all things.

Report cards have been established in our mindset as a measurement tool that can bring good and bad outcome. I was a B – C student so when my report card came home, I got that speech. You know the one; “you can do better and you need to apply yourself or you won’t get that good job.” If it the report card was good, then I was getting rewarded in some way, most likely ice cream at Do Me A Flavor (ice cream store in Summit, NJ).

So I decided to create a Wellness Report Card for people in school, work or even in retirement. Here’s how it works:

  1. Pick your five areas of wellness – what does wellness mean to YOU. The book Well-Being by Tom Rath writes that there are 5 main areas of wellness that contribute to our well-being; career, financial, social, community, physical. So to make the exercise easy let’s stick with those or you can use the five I chose: career, finances, community/charity, relationships, health.
  2. Define what your grading scale looks like and means – In order to get an A in your career category, what does that look like? Are you an entrepreneur, and Fortune 500 company executive? Are you making a certain amount, living/working in a specific area? If you got a C in finances, does that mean you’re living paycheck to paycheck? Determine your grading scale from A to F (“+” and “-” do count); and this takes thought so don’t rush through this part.
  3. Grade yourself – Now that you have a grading scale, what grades would you give yourself? Be honest!! No one else has to see this report card but you because its your responsibility. This is a very important snapshot of where you are right now. If you have poor grades its okay for now, but this will make you aware of areas that need improvement. If you earn, yes EARN, good grades then you’re rewarded with a happy, healthy and rewarding life and being.
  4. Scan the consequences – Now you have your five areas of wellness, you have a grading scale, and your grades; reflect on what the consequences are if those grades stay the same. For example, if you have a C in career, what happens if you stay in your current situation? Could lead to more stress, more work, less engagement, etc. What if you have a C in health, what happens if you stay your course? Would it lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, weight gain. Reflecting on the consequences will help with your next step.
  5. Take Action/Get a Plan – In school if you were getting poor grades or you wanted to get better in music or sports, what was your course of action? Did you practice or study more? Did you get help from a coach or tutor? Those tactics still apply, because to get better and accomplish anything you need repetition, and the help of others. Once you have a report card, craft a plan for the next 90 days before you reassess for your next report card. If you got a B in relationships, what can you do to improve to an A? Is it spending more time with family, or reconnecting with friends? I gave myself a C+ in that category because I want to connect with my family in Jamaica and get out to Colorado so see my friend Ward and his family. I have to book the trip to see them or have already made the visit before my next reassessment.

Do this exercise and be honest with yourself on where you are right now. There is no right or wrong or where you should be; its about where you are right now and figuring where do YOU want to go. I’ve always felt that everything we need to succeed is always within us, we just have to rediscover it. That requires honesty and accountability. Damn, I just sounded like my mother after one of my average report cards!! But for the first time I truly understand what she was talking about back then.

If you need some assistance with the exercise or have questions, reach out to me and we can go through this.

Be well and find your balance,

Robert Snyder
Mortgage Advisor
Jacob Dean Mortgage
Cell: 973.495.8925
Fax: 973.966.1063