Welcome to the first SNAP of the year! Hope you all had a fantastic Christmas break as I certainly did. During that time off, I was reflecting on what I want my wellbeing framework for 2024 to look like. Now, personally, I don’t believe in resolutions – it’s not new year, new me, it’s very much the same old me! But I do think it’s good for us to refresh our approach to wellbeing, and this month is as good a time as any to do it. So, here’s what I’m going to do to ensure my efforts are best spent…
What is a wellbeing framework?
A wellbeing framework is a structure we can use to assess and enhance different aspects of wellbeing. By evaluating these components, such as physical, mental and emotional health and social relationships, the framework helps to guide our decision-making process and resource allocation to improve overall quality of life.
My wellbeing framework is built around strength, health, energy, mood and motivation. And I’ve been thinking about what one, two, or maybe three small actions I’ll take to improve in each of those key areas. You’ve likely heard me talk before about the aggregation of marginal gains: and how the little things add up to have a big impact over time. A good example of this was when my Apple Fitness app told me I was burning 31 calories less a day compared to the previous year. You might think that’s nothing, but that’s approximately 11,315 calories less a year. Generally speaking, a pound of fat contains 3,500 calories. Therefore, you could argue that a 31-calorie reduction might lead to around 3 pounds of extra fat gained in a year.
Getting more out of doing less
Another key thing I want to use my wellbeing framework for is to get more from doing less. And I don’t mean through the latest productivity hacks or artificial intelligence. It’s not about apps that can help you get more done, but rather a very simple idea. And it’s this – where do you want your energy to be going? Because energy comes from one place within the body. Think of it like a jar, with all of the mental, emotional, physical energy that you draw upon inside it. There isn’t one energy jar for your endeavours at work, another jar for the gym, and another for the emotional stuff you might be dealing with. Which is why it’s really important to think about how you’re spending that energy; that precious resource. And, what’s more, how are you going to replenish it?
Investing in energy
So, with that in mind, how can our wellbeing framework help us to get more from doing less? How can we maximise outcome by minimising input? I’m considering this in a few different areas – social relationships being one. For example, what are the relationships that I really want to invest in? And am I giving those my everything? There’s a handful of relationships I want to put my energy into as an ongoing focus. Social connection is the next frontier of wellbeing, particularly in the age of AI. My latest keynote, BOND, is all about the many benefits of fostering strong relationships both professionally and personally, and in terms of mental and physical health.
Of course, my wellbeing framework needs to include work. I’d really like to spend more time in leisure and less time working if possible. That’s not because I’m lazy, but if I can find a way to achieve my desired outcome from doing a little less, isn’t that a good thing? And then there’s fitness. A lot of us spend a good chunk of time on our fitness, but are we getting the most out of each workout? So, I’m looking to do fewer minutes of exercise per week, but be more intentional about what I’m doing; maintain a high level of focus; and then harness the power of rest and recovery to get the maximum benefits.
Building your own wellbeing framework
So there’s a handful of things to get you thinking about what your wellbeing framework might look like. And I want you to start by thinking about where you’re putting your energy. How are you replenishing it, and is that the very best use of it? Because when you prioritise the things that are actually worth it, you’re sure to see increased rewards.