You are on page 1of 8

Lemoine 1

Sean Lemoine

Grace Apiafi

HED 044

1 October 2017

Personal Prescription

A long-standing human endeavor is to further understanding of the elements that

contribute to a healthful life and find ways to implement them into our own. In Richard Rumelt’s

Good Strategy/Bad Strategy, he makes the argument that good strategy has a logical structure,

which he calls the “kernel” (2011, p.7). He states, “The kernel of a strategy contains three

elements: a diagnosis, a guiding policy, and coherent action” (2011, p.7). In regards to improving

our health, we can apply these same principles of strategy by assessing our current lifestyle and

habits, identifying desired results, utilizing guiding principles to simplify the decision process,

and creating an action plan to maintain and improve our health by increasing the activities that

are beneficial and decreasing those that are harmful.

In 1977, a theory of wellness was created by Dr. Bill Hettler of the National Wellness

Institute that centered around the idea that wholeness in health could be broken down into six

specific categories and this could be used as a guideline for making lifestyle improvements

(washingtonblade.com). These six dimensions, physical health, social health, intellectual health,

emotional health, spiritual health, and environmental health, are interconnected and it is their

relationships to each other that makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts.

Utilizing the self-assessment found in Health; The Basics, The Mastering Health Edition

(Donatelle, Rebecca J. p 20-22), I was able to test my competencies in these six dimensions as

well as the seventh category of personal health promotion/disease prevention which is essentially
Lemoine 2

a subcategory of physical health. I had favorable results in six of the seven dimensions but was

able to find a curve in the scores and identify strengths and weaknesses.

The categories that I ranked the highest in were intellectual health, personal health

promotion and disease prevention, emotional health, and spiritual health.

Intellectual health, the dimension that is comprised of our efforts of “expanding your

knowledge, skills and abilities through ongoing personal growth and development” (Clarke.edu,

n.d.), is something that I focus on daily. I have a vested interest in continued learning and

developing a deeper understanding of things that I find interesting.

For personal health prevention and disease prevention, I scored high because I tend to

have a fairly careful and conservative approach to most lifestyle habits. Although the assessment

did not address this specifically, the greatest opportunity I have in this category is with smoking

as I have a tendency to smoke when I am stressed. When I was 20 years old, I began smoking.

What began as a social habit amongst friends, later became an addiction that I used primarily to

aid my ability to cope with social anxieties and depression when I was alone. I smoked until I

was 27 years old at which point I quit for the first time but have since had an on-and-off

relationship with it. Taking an honest look at my health, this is the most unhealthy activity that I

partake in. Evidence shows that 1 in 5 deaths in American adults is caused by smoking-related

illnesses (Donatelle, Rebecca J., p.8).

Emotional health is something that is important to me. In the last 10 years, I have taken

anger management classes, had sought help through years of personal therapy, and read

publications seeking an understanding of human psychology. Though I have a long history of

anxiety and depression, these things have increased my level of awareness in regards to my

emotions and have improved my ability to express them in nondestructive ways.
Lemoine 3

The spiritual dimension of health is about having a set of principles, beliefs, and core

values that help give meaning and purpose to an individual’s life (Affirmativhealth.com, 2017).

The incorporation of mindfulness meditation in my daily routine and delving into stoic

philosophy has made it much easier for me to live a “good life.” More-so than ever before, I find

that my primary focuses in life are to challenge myself to be more kind, patient, and honest.

Though I feel anger management and therapy created a solid emotional foundation to build upon,

I believe I have reaped the greatest rewards from mindfulness meditation and seeking to

understand my experiences in life by studying philosophy.

Conversely, the categories that I ranked the lowest in were social health, physical health,

and environmental health.

Social health presents a lot of opportunity for me to improve. I have always been an

introvert and this has caused me to seek fewer personal relationships than many others in my

social circle. Years ago, I was in an unhealthy long-term relationship with a girlfriend that ended

in an intense breakup. During the course of our relationship, she had become close with people

who had been my dearest friends, some since high school, and when the relationship ended, I

decided to end my friendships with our mutual acquaintances altogether. Since, I have found new

and healthy friendships but very few of them have ever reached the closeness I had previously

experienced with the people I had spent much of my adolescence with.

My physical health has always been an opportunity for me. My family has never been a

model for physical activity. Throughout my adult life, I have had periods of time where I have

made physical health a focus, whether that was through diet or exercise but, regardless of the

duration of time that I was consistent with either, I always ended up returning to a state that

lacked focus on physical health. One of the biggest benefits of my current job is that it requires
Lemoine 4

me to be on my feet and active for most of my workday and it makes up a large portion of my

daily activity.

Environmental health was the dimension that I scored the lowest on in my self-

assessment. “Environmental wellness is an awareness of the precarious state of the earth and the

effects of your daily habits on the physical environment” (defintionofwellness.com, n.d.). Since

taking the assessment, I have become increasingly aware of the things that I do on a daily basis

that often have the benefit of convenience but come with the cost of negatively impacting the

environment and my community.

Regardless of an individual’s current level of health or wellness, there are always

opportunities to maintain or improve one or more of the six dimensions of health. Again,

utilizing the results of a self-assessment gives us the advantage of quickly identifying the areas

we need to immediately focus on to make improvements.

In the area of physical health, as smoking is the most unhealthy activity that I do, I could

immediately reap rewards from reducing or quitting tobacco products and employing various

smoking cessation techniques.

Another way to improve would be incorporating stretching into something that is

performed daily as well as adding routine exercise such as weight training or cardiovascular

training to aid in slowing down the aging process. “The benefits of exercise were summarized

early in the 1090s by cooper (1982), nationally known for his research in revolutionizing u.s.

residents’ exercise habits with his aerobics program specifically designed to strengthen the heart

and lungs. Exercise according to cooper contributes to our well-being through such benefits as

the following: more personal energy, greater ability to handle domestic and job-related stress,

less depression and “free-floating” anxiety, fewer physical complaints, better self-image and
Lemoine 5

more self-confidence, bones of greater strength, slowing of the aging process, more restful sleep,

and better concentration at work and greater perseverance in all daily tasks.” (p. 143 Witmer, J.

M., & Sweeney, T. J. (1992).

In regards to nutrition, I have been making a conscious effort to not only take a daily

multivitamin but to also increase the amount of fruits and vegetables that I consume. One way to

improve my nutrition would be to ensure that I am getting a serving of fruit and or vegetables

with each of my meals because the benefits of vitamins are not equal to the benefits of eating

whole foods.

Within the social health dimension, any concerted effort to increase the quality of time

spent and improve the relationships I have with others would be immediately beneficial. My

personality and life experiences make me trend towards being more solitary. A specific example

of something that often keeps me from participating in social gatherings is my aversion to novel

and uncomfortable experiences; I often decline invitations because of this. I could accept more

invitations from my friends, family, and acquaintances, which would most likely increase my

confidence by going beyond my comfort zone and satisfy my desire to learn and experience new

things.

Improving the dimension of environmental health simply takes making small changes

and increasing my level of awareness of how my actions affect the community and environment

I live in. In the past few weeks, I have stopped running the water when I am brushing my teeth or

washing produce or dishes. I have also began using fewer paper products when preparing meals.

It is important to sustain a healthy lifestyle because, overtime, our health is the

culmination of everything we have and have not done throughout our entire lives, as well as
Lemoine 6

other aspects that are influenced by age, genetics, and other factors beyond our personal control

(affirmativhealth.com).

In an effort to create a real plan for improving my health, I think it is important to resort

to tools that can help me be successful. “Approximately 45% of Americans usually make at least

one New Year’s resolution. However, more than half of these people forfeit their resolutions

within six weeks and only 8% are successful in achieving their resolution by year end”

(affirmativhealth.com). Years ago, the company that I work for utilized SMART goals and I

found them to be beneficial. SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, results-

focused, and time-bound (hr.virginia.edu). As this helped me in the past, I am going to use them

again in the hopes that they increase the likeliness of being successful.

My first goal is to see a general practitioner and get both a physical and blood test by

Friday, December 1, 2017. It has been years since my last physical and it would be beneficial to

know my current metrics. I have also had a few concerns regarding my health that I continue to

not address and it would be beneficial to address them with a trained professional.

Along the same lines, my second goal is to see a dentist by Friday, December 1, 2017. It

has been nearly a year since my last visit. I know that oral health has a direct correlation with

physical health and that is why it is important for me to schedule an appointment for both a

cleaning and to get an up-to-date assessment.

My third goal is to create a weight training routine by Saturday, October 14, 2017, to be

performed three times a week, is approximately 45 minutes in duration, and focuses on multi-

joint lifts. I know firsthand the benefits of regular exercise but, after incurring a mild injury with

prolonged soreness, I have not returned back to the gym in over two months. I will also utilize
Lemoine 7

one of two iPhone apps that helped me achieve success with increasing my physical strength

previously.

My fourth goal is to reduce the average amount of cigarettes I smoke per day by 50% by

Wednesday, November 1, 2017. I understand that the ultimate goal should be to stop smoking

and quit but I am not ready to do that at this point in my life due to some emotionally distracting

events. On Monday, October 2, 2017, I will begin tracking how much I smoke per day using an

app on my phone. Currently, I do not keep track of how much I smoke but actually seeing a

number will help me be more mindful of the times when I smoke out of habit and when I

actually smoke due to a nicotine craving. On November 1, 2017, I will reevaluate quitting.

My fifth goal is to organize one group outing per month with my friends. I regularly

spend time with my family but I make less of an effort to spend time with my friends; it is

something that I choose not to do. I think this can improve my relationships with others, help me

get out of my comfort zone, and may improve my self-confidence and diminish anxiety that I

feel in certain social situations.

Making any changes in our lives often takes a small step to initiate momentum. The small

action of taking a self-assessment of my health led to identifying strengths and weaknesses,

identifying key areas of opportunity, goal-setting, and creating an action plan. Although I set out

to write this for someone else, surprising to me, I have benefited from it the most.

References

Dimensions of Wellness. (n.d.). Retrieved September 19, 2017, from

http://definitionofwellness.com

Donatelle, R. J. (2016). Health: the basics (12th ed.). NY, NY: Pearson Education.

Hardy, M. L., PhD. (2017, January 2). Are we the sum of our parts? Six Dimensions of Wellness Interact

to Create the Whole You. Retrieved September 19, 2017, from https://affirmativhealth.com
Lemoine 8

Norris, K. M. (2010, June 10). Finding balance: 6 dimensions of wellness.

Retrieved October 1, 2017, from http://www.washingtonblade.com/2010/06/10/finding-

balance-6-dimensions-of-wellness/

Rumelt, R. P. (2017). Good strategy, bad strategy: the difference and why it matters.

London: Profile Books.

Six Dimensions of Wellness. (n.d.). Retrieved September 19, 2017, from http://www.clark.edu

Witmer, J. M., & Sweeney, T. J. (1992). A holistic model for wellness and prevention over the

life span. Journal of Counseling and Development : JCD, 71(2), 140. Retrieved from

https:// login.ezp.pasadena.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/

docview219044215?

Writing S.M.A.R.T. Goals. (n.d.). Retrieved October 1, 2017, from http://www.hr.virginia.edu/

uploads/documents/media/Writing_SMART_Goals.pdf