How to Start Your Wellness Journey in 5 Easy Steps
When first exploring how to start your wellness journey, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with differing advice and contrasting opinions. It doesn’t have to be so complicated!
Here are 5 steps to starting your own personal wellness journey – along with additional tips, tricks, essentials, resources, and reminders!
What is a Wellness Journey?
To start a wellness journey, it’s important to have a clear idea of what a wellness journey is and what it looks like for you.
As a whole, wellness can be defined as “the active pursuit of activities, choices, and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health“.
With that, a wellness journey can be used to describe the act of pursuing and developing habits, routines, and lifestyle choices that better your health.
The term “health” here can refer to many different areas: mental, physical, emotional, etc. We have different areas of life that are all incredibly important for our overall health.
Because of this wide range, a wellness journey is going to be slightly different for everybody.
For example, say you feel that your financial/career health is strong, but would like to focus more on mental health. This would mean that your wellness journey would be directed towards mental health habits/activities.
Everyone’s wellness journey will look different.
Even more so, your own wellness journey will likely shift over time.
Your goals and intentions may shift over time from when you first start this wellness journey.
With all of that said, at its core a wellness journey is simple.
A wellness journey is about pursuing health – inside and out.
A healthy, happy, and well-balanced life is the ultimate goal of starting a wellness journey.
Here’s how we can achieve that…
5 Steps to Start Your Wellness Journey
1. Identify Where You Are
Do you already have wellness habits in place? What things are you already doing that make you feel good?
On the other hand, do you have habits that you know are making you feel unwell? When you start a wellness journey, what do you think will have to change?
By being really honest with yourself and answering some of the questions above, you can get a really good idea of where you’re at right now. This is important for determining where you need to go.
When starting a wellness journey (or any new journey), it’s always a good idea to take a quick look at where you are starting from.
Chances are good you have some habits that actually don’t need to change! (Look at you!!)
For example, maybe you’re already really good about drinking your water or you have great self-care habits.
This is awesome!
With this information, you can better identify and pinpoint the places that DO need to change. Then, you can proceed with setting some goals for how you want to start your wellness journey.
2. Set Goals for Your Wellness Journey
Wellness goals can look very different depending on the person. We most often hear the term wellness in relation to physical health (drinking water, eating nutritious foods, etc.)… but wellness goes way beyond the physical body!
I highly recommend looking at each of the 7 areas of life and taking a deep dive into how each area looks for you.
Maybe your social/relational wellness needs some work… or maybe you notice that you feel unwell in your career. This is all super valuable information when setting wellness goals.
From here, you can set SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely) for your wellness journey.
Goal Ideas for Your Wellness Journey:
- Drink ‘X’ oz water/day
- Get outside daily
- No more than ‘X’ amount of time on social media everyday
- Attend one social even each week
- Journal every morning
- Meditate daily
- Unfollow negative accounts online
- Get 8+ hours of sleep/night
- Develop a skincare routine
- Develop a morning/night routine
- Make time for at least 5 minutes of self-care every day
- Focus on more foods that feel good to eat
- No work after (set specific time)
- Walk more
3. Develop Daily Wellness Habits
Habits – what you do consistently on an everyday basis – is where you are going to want to focus when you start a wellness journey. The day-to-day behaviors and habits are what make up your life. Shifting habits is what will cause great, lasting change.
Success is the product of daily habits, not once-in-a-lifetime transformations.JAMES CLEAR, ATOMIC HABITS
These habit changes don’t need to be extravagant or overwhelming. In fact, too many big changes may set you up for burnout. (We don’t want that!!)
Instead, improving your small everyday habits on a consistent basis is the best way to achieve long-term success.
Habits to Consider on Your Wellness Journey:
- Water intake
- Daily movement
- Nutrient intake
- Social media consumptionn
- Social life/behaviors
- Money habits
- Morning routine habits
- Making your bed
- Opening your blinds
- Night routine habits
- Mindfulness habits
- Organization habits
- Self-care habits
These are just a few of the MANY wellness habits you can focus on. Again, this will be entirely personal and individual.
Once you know where you’re at (wellness journey step 1) and have goals set (wellness journey step 2), you can really hone in on what habits are going to bring you closer to the life of wellness that you desire.
4. Keep Track of Your Wellness Journey
When we start a wellness journey, it’s very easy to lose sight of our progress and how far we’ve come. Tracking your progress along the way can help you stay motivated and appreciate how far you’ve come.
I highly recommend journaling on your wellness journey and using a habit tracker.
Habit trackers are a great tool for a wellness journey. I personally keep my habit tracker out on my desk with my planner. It’s a constant reminder of the habits I am working to adopt. Plus, it allows me to look back at the end of the week/month and see the progress I’ve made.
5. Be Flexible
Give yourself grace and be flexible when you start a wellness journey.
Adopting new habits and changing your lifestyle is no small task. In fact, it takes a ton of work and dedication. (You can do it though!)
This means that it’s super important to be kind to yourself through the process. Sticking to a routine and being dedicated is great… but don’t allow it to consume you and take a negative toll on your life. That defeats the whole purpose of your wellness journey!
Give yourself grace and leave room for mistakes. Be flexible and adaptable.
Life happens. I’m can almost guarantee that you will “mess up” on your wellness journey (probably many times!). This does not mean failure. You’re human.
To be honest, even an established wellness lifestyle is not structured and routine 24/7. It’s all about balance. Some days may be filled with more “wellness habits” than others.
That’s the whole point of wellness… to be able to live a life of happiness, spontaneity, and adventure. A rigid and strict lifestyle is not a wellness lifestyle.
With all that, don’t be too hard on yourself. Treat yourself with kindness, compassion, and self-care always.
Top Wellness Journey Essentials
When starting a wellness journey, having the right tools and resources to help you is essential. Whether it be a good Podcast, an inspiring book, or a reflective journal, having the proper wellness journey essentials will be crucial for guiding you through the process.
Best Podcasts for Your Wellness Journey
Wellness podcasts are one of the most essential tools on my own wellness journey. Every time I go for a walk (nearly daily!), I thoughtfully choose a podcast that will inspire, motivate, encourage, or teach.
Listening to wellness podcasts is one of the simplest ways to incorporate wellness into your everyday life.
They are convenient and easy. Pop in an earbud while you walk, turn them on in the car, or play them out loud while you clean your house.
Here are some of my favorites.
Mental Wellness Podcasts
These podcasts focus on self-care, motivation, self-improvement, inspiration, routine, healthy habits, and overall mental wellness.
- The Happiness Lab with Laurie Santos
- Mood with Lauren Elizabeth
- SHE with Jordan Lee Dooley
- Manifest with Tori DeSimone
- We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle (My #1!!)
- Not Your Typical with Katelynn Nolan
- The Skinny Confidential Him & Her Podcast
Physical Wellness Podcasts
While some of the above podcasts touch on physical wellness, these podcasts are specifically about physical wellness – food, exercise, nutrition, etc. Don’t worry – these podcasts all take an anti-diet approach to health. You’re safe here!
- DEATS with Deanna
- Find Food Freedom with Sam Previte
- What the Actual Fork? with Sam Previte and Jenna Werner
- Take the Cake with Kate Noel
- The Dear Body Podcast with Jessi Jean
- The Socieaty Podcast with Colleen Christensen
All of these podcasts have been a part of my own health, healing, happiness, and wellness journey. What podcasts do you love? Leave me a comment below!
Best Books for Your Wellness Journey
The first thing I did to start my wellness journey was investing in some wellness books. Whether it be about self-discovery, self-improvement, mindset, etc., these books are my absolute favorites for a journey to wellness.
These are the top 10 books I’d recommend to anyone looking to start a wellness journey.
1. Untamed by Glennon Doyle
Untamed is my #1 favorite book for anything related to personal growth. I cannot say enough about this book or Glennon Doyle. She’s an incredible author and exceptional human being. I just got her Untamed journal to go with the book and I’m excited to work through it.
2. Atomic Habits by James Clear
Atomic Habits is probably the #1 book I’d recommend for starting a wellness journey specifically. Since habits play such a huge role in this venture, it’s important you know how to work to change your bad habits and develop positive habits This book is a life-changer.
3. Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch
Intuitive Eating was a game-changer for me. After recovering from years of disordered eating and dieting, the concept of Intuitive Eating changed my life. Learning about true intuitive eating (it’s not just “eat whatever whenever”) is essential for starting a wellness journey, especially if you don’t already have a good relationship with food. I recommend this book to everyone!
4. Unf*ck Yourself by Gary Bishop
Uf*ck Yourself is a super popular and well-loved book – for good reason! Gary Bishop has gone on to write multiple more books of a similar fashion. However, I can only speak to Unf*ck Yourself… and it is good! It’s all about getting out of your own way in order to build the life you want for yourself.
5. Mark Manson Books
I couldn’t choose between Manson’s two most popular books, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck and Everything Is F*cked. Both of these books are a great mix of humor and humility, teaching you how to let go of things that don’t serve you and the art of caring less.
6. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
The Four Agreements is a must-read for anyone looking to release self-limiting beliefs and overcome mindsets that hold them back. To be honest, all of Don Miguel Ruiz’s books are gold in my eyes. Toltec wisdom is something that I love and reading his books has been life-changing for me. (The Mastery of Love is my #1 favorite!)
7. Good Vibes, Good Life by Vex King
Anyone that’s read my blog before knows that I am ALL about self-love. I believe that loving yourself is an essential part of a happy, fulfilling life. Good Vibes, Good Life is about practicing and cultivating self-love to transform your life for the better. King does a great job of sharing his personal story in a way that inspires others. Love this book!
8. The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer
The Untethered Soul is a classic book about mental wellness and inner work. This book is all about how to free yourself from the constraints that hold you back from your highest potential. Whether it be self-limiting beliefs or external restraints, The Untethered Soul is a guide to freedom from all things that hold you back.
9. Anti Diet by Christy Harrison
As someone very against diet culture and the effects it has, Anti Diet is a book that I love and respect. So many of us (myself included) have been caught up in the hold of diet culture, wasting time, money, energy, health, and happiness. If you are wanting to start a wellness journey, learning about why diets don’t work and why you should be anti-diet can be very helpful. Don’t lose yourself in diet culture!
10. Stop Overthinking by Nick Trenton
Overthinking is something that holds so many of us back. As a chronic overthinker myself, this book was eye-opening to just how much overthinking limits my happiness in everyday life. Stop Overthinking is intended to call out negative thought patterns, recognize how they negatively impact your life and help guide you forward into a life free of overthinking
5 Important Reminders for Your Wellnenss Journey
Now that you know the best tips, steps, and essentials for starting a wellness journey, you’re almost ready to get started on your own journey. Along the way, it’s important to keep these 5 things in mind.
1. Your Wellness Journey is Unique
Comparison is the thief of joy. Comparing your journey to someone else’s will not serve you in any way.
There are lots of pictures and videos online from others sharing their own wellness journey (for example, the TikTok “That Girl” trend). These videos can be inspiring, motivating, or fun to watch, but comparison can creep up quickly.
Your journey won’t look like theirs – and it shouldn’t!
Don’t compare yourselves to those around you or the people you see online. Your life is unique, your goals are unique, your wellness journey is unique. Stay true to yourself. It’s okay if that looks a bit different than what’s trending online.
2. Have a Strong ‘Why’
When you start a wellness journey, motivation is often high and it’s normal to feel the desire to give it your ALL. This is great!
But, if we’re honest, this motivation will dwindle over time. Motivation is great for getting started, but having a really strong “why” is what will keep you going.
Ask yourself: why do you want to start a wellness journey?
What will this add to your life? What are you hoping to achieve?
Having a clear reason for pursuing wellness will carry you through any waning in motivation or energy. A “why” gives your purpose – it’s important to have a strong one.
3. Consistency Over Perfection
Your wellness habits are not going to be 100% “perfect” 100% of the time. This just isn’t realistic and, honestly, is no way to live.
Perfectionism can be detrimental to your wellness journey.
In any circumstance, perfectionism can leave you feeling defeated. Drop the unrealistic expectations of perfection. Free yourself from those pressures.
Instead, focus on consistency.
Are you living your life in a way that overall aligns with your goals? If so, you’re doing great. Keep at it.
4. Give Yourself Grace
Again, perfection is an unrealistic expectation. Expecting perfection of yourself (in any area of life) is likely going to do more harm than good.
Instead, practice giving yourself grace. Be kind to yourself. Grant yourself permission to be human.
Ironically, dropping the perfectionism around starting a wellness journey is one of the best decisions you can make for your wellness journey. Take the pressure off and allow yourself space to learn and grow.
Unnecessary added pressure will only add stress to your life and hinder your wellness journey. Be flexible, be kind, and give yourself grace.
5. Mental Health First
Mental health is the priority – always. Without our mental health, our wellness journey will never be successful. Our mental health is at the root of everything we do.
Be sure to take care of yourself when you start a wellness journey. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in developing new wellness habits that we feel overwhelmed and stressed by the change.
If this is happening, remind yourself that mental health is the #1 priority.
Changing habits, developing routines, and starting a wellness journey are all intended to improve your mental health. If, at any point, it is doing the opposite, you should readjust.
Practice lots of self-care. Whether it be a 5-minute self-care activity or a full day of self-care, make it a priority to show yourself love and kindness at all times.
How will you start your wellness journey?
Now that you have all the tools, tips, and tricks for starting a wellness journey, where will you begin?
What wellness goals do you have? Which wellness journey essential will you explore first? What wellness habits do you hope to pick up?
Let me know in the comments! I love to chat about all things wellness!
Take care of yourself,