Monday, January 12, 2009

Choose to Live 100 Years

"The difficulty of life is in the choice." George Moore

"Statistics are no substitution for judgment." Henry Clay

It is difficult to fathom that man once lived to be hundreds of years old. The oldest living person in the U.S. died recently at 115 years of age. Was it luck? Was it modern medicine? Why is it now such a challenge to live long, productive lives? Well, I believe that it has everything to do with the choices that we make in shaping our lifestyles. I believe that statistics are a direct result of judgment.

In a previous post, I offered to you the six dimensions of wellness. These are the areas of life that must be maintained and balanced to ensure an overall sense of good health and well-being. Here they are again: mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, psychological, and occupational. The degree to which we are considered "well" is a direct result of the choices that we make in each of these six areas of our lives. One key aspect in achieving balance comes through understanding that no one dimension operates independently of another. For example, students cannot focus solely on their coursework at the expense of proper diet, exercise, social outings with friends and family, proper rest, and/or meditation. Every dimension feeds the others.

At the start of the new year, many of us made resolutions to set new goals and/or to address some deficiency in our lives. We are almost two weeks in now--are you progressing? Ninety days later, our efforts may dissipate: If we choose to settle back into comfortable routines laden with tasks that don't necessarily fit with our plans we will lose sight of the big picture. How does this happen? We fail to be present in the moment. Many of the decisions that we make are mindless. We do what we have always done without studying the impact. We don't take a personal inventory of our activities and then actively find ways to correct imbalances. Many of us don't know how to assess ourselves, but where do we start?

I took an online assessment this morning called "The Living to 100 Life Expectancy Calculator" by Thomas Perls, M.D., M.P.H. that measures the wellness dimensions in some detail. It will only take about 10 minutes to complete the survey and you will be provided with a projected age calculation with personalized feedback and tips to add more years to your life. (See you own physician for a complete health assessment.) Overall, you will come away with some action plans that will help you make more informed decisions about how will live your life. According to my assessment, I could make 8 simple changes that could make it possible for me to live to see 101 years old! Think that you can live 100 years? I challenge you to make the choice today!

More next time...

1 comment:

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