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Personal Wellness w/ Quality Tools

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There’s a specific feeling you get when you receive the email that your session was approved for a conference, in particular the World Conference on Quality & Improvement. While I attend this year with partial tail between legs as I was only one point away from Fellow this year, I relish in the idea that I’ll be helping out with the new SR Technical Community booth and of course Pro QC’s activities.

This year, I received word that my “After 5” session was approved, which means I’ll have some flexibility for interaction and more time to really dig into the process. I’m super excited about this. It also just so happens to complement the Quality in the First Person article I’ve got coming out in April’s Quality Progress. Nice touch, I thought.

So, the idea for connecting personal wellness and quality has roots in my own journey of successes and failures in this regard.  I’m lucky continuous improvement is a common thread in quality, because I certainly continue to work on my wellness plan. I’ve also done some research and spoken on quality of life as it relates to productivity and can say without hesitation that personal wellness and quality of life are not inseparable.

I guess what I want to share at WCQI is the connection to the tools that I’ve found. And, because I’m comfortable with the tools and trust the tools, I’m finding these are more effective than the methods I’ve tried in the past.

I’m working on the presentation materials. My goal is to quickly come to the same page on what personal wellness is and then assess our individual current needs. From that, we can develop personalized wellness plans that take advantage of those beautiful quality tools.

So, what do I think personal wellness is? What is it?

What it isn’t limited to is fitness and nutrition. I hear that a lot, but it’s more than that. Personal wellness includes vocational, spiritual, emotional, social and intellectual considerations as well.  Wellness is commonly defined as “the state or condition of being in good physical and mental health.”

How do you assess your own current personal wellness needs?

Good question. I like to good old Likert rating scale. Example:

For the majority of the time, I get the recommended amount of sleep.

Strongly Agree  —  Agree —  Neutral — Disagree  —  Strong Disagree 

I would consider myself active and would say I usually meet or exceed 10,000 steps per day.

Strongly Agree  —  Agree —  Neutral — Disagree  —  Strong Disagree 

I’m wrapping up an assessment tool that I’ll be sharing at WCQI!

Another idea… Conduct a 5 Why analysis.  Example:

  • Who can I be? Dream big.
  • What is my purpose? You need a mission statement. After all, you’re You, Inc. 
  • When do I want to make this happen? Be realistic. Start small and plan big.
  • Where do I start? Get organized. 
  • Why am I doing this? The real reason… the sustainable one.
  • How much time can I really dedicate to reaching my personal wellness goals? Be realistic. Set a real schedule.

I always have to throw out personal SWOT analysis out there. It’s probably my signature “go to” at this point, along with PDCA. I can’t help but utilize these for everything. For personal wellness, it’s a great way to identify opportunities for when you can make specific wellness actions happen.

Based on your assessment, identify 1 or 2 SMART goals. What’s a SMART goal:

Specific (Significant), Measurable (Meaningful), Achievable (Action-Oriented), Relevant (Rewarding) and Time-B0und (Great template here) 

So, how does it all work?

As quality professionals, we know we have to Plan > Do > Check > Act (See…). We need to make it fun and get that data we love.  Use technology, get old school with a pen and paper, or whatever.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Gantt Chart – Organize your steps to action so you can monitor your progress. What do you want to accomplish this year? Plan it out month by month.
  • Fitbit (or similar) – Get in those 10,000 steps. Make it competitive.
  • Smartwatch – Data galore as you can track your sleep, blood pressure, steps, etc.
  • Apps – There are a number of free meditation apps worth checking out, nutrition database apps, etc. Replace Facebook time with meditation and stand back as you watch the zen take over.
  • Excel – The old favorite. Why not record your weight and your exercise? You can get some pretty cool pie charts and bar graphs from that stuff.
  • Calendar Notifications – Set those notifications. Are you being mindful? Have you walked around in a while?
  • Walking meetings, anyone? Consider things you can do at work. If you’re in management what things can you do to impact your team in a positive way?

I’m excited for May and have a lot to add here… Good times.

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