It’s that time again when we reflect on the past year, look forward to the unknown and maybe make plans for the coming year. I recently heard that New Year's resolutions are a thing of the past. We all have experienced a sense of failure when they prove too hard to keep or the goals were too unattainable in the first place.

At the Senior Activity Center, we are learning that changes we make in our lives are an ongoing effort to become the people we want to be. Overall wellness and well-being cannot be achieved by a quick fix or passively waiting for something to occur but rather requires active awareness, acceptance and commitment.

Full quality of life comes from living life to the fullest, being self-directed, developing positivity and an acceptance that we are constantly evolving.

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Kerri Robertson, who designs the Wellness programming at the Activity Center, bases her work on the Eight Domains of Wellness developed by Dr. Peggy Swarbrick, director of the Wellness Institute at Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey. The eight domains model is widely accepted and used across the country.

We are excited to announce that in 2018 the Gertrude and Olivia Andersen Grant has once again funded a yearlong program of education featuring the eight domains of wellness. Many of us aspire to achieve “Wellness,” but what does this vague term refer to? It is “being in good physical and mental health.” It is not the absence of illness or stress. You can still strive for wellness even if you are experiencing challenges in your life.

We will begin the cycle of Wellness information with a session on Financial Health. Kirsten Lemus of Thrivent Financial will present on how to achieve satisfaction with our current and future financial situations. Her passion and practical tips for preventing identity theft gives one confidence, a sense of empowerment and reduces stress.

The other seven dimensions are:

  • Emotional - Coping effectively with life and creating satisfying relationships.
  • Environmental - Good health by occupying pleasant, stimulating environments that support well-being.
  • Intellectual - Recognizing creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills.
  • Occupational - Personal satisfaction and enrichment from one’s work.
  • Physical - Recognizing the need for physical activity, healthy foods and sleep.
  • Social - Developing a sense of connection, belonging, and a well-developed support system.
  • Spiritual - Expanding a sense of purpose and meaning in life.

What works about this perspective on wellness is that there is no one way or right way or quick fix. It is an individual approach. For some it may mean keeping physical activity at the same level but working on getting better sleep. It allows you to reflect on your own values and helps you feel the benefits of new habits and encourages you to stay on track, especially if you have the support of others.

So throw away those resolutions but plan to attend the Eight Domains of Wellness Seminars! The sessions are $20, include a lunch and your money is returned upon attendance. Call 920-459-3290 for dates and times.

Wendy Schmitz is a Moxie columnist and Sheboygan Senior Activity Center supervisor.

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