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Holistic Approach

The holistic approach to self improvement is about improving all areas of our lives.  The idea is identify where we are at in each area and to try to improve that area. The variations of how what the areas of our lives are, but the core areas are mental, physical, social, spiritual, and emotional.

Please note that each of these areas are not independent of the other areas. For instance, through social interaction we will learn more about ourselves, the people we are interacting with, and the world around us (mental), we may hug, kiss, or shake hands (physical), there are sure to be smiles, frowns, or other emotional responses.  Another example is that physical exercise can not only help our bodies, but can improve our cognitive abilities, help us maintain a level emotional outlook, and even make us more attractive to the opposite sex.

The key to using the holistic approach is to identify for yourself how you are doing in each area, decide if there are areas that you want to improve and to set goals.  No one area should dominate the other areas.  The ideal is to have balance between all of the areas.  Many people will meditate over each area to help focus and visualize success. 


  • Is your thinking as clear and as sharp as you would like? 
  • What would you like to learn about? 
  • Are you stimulating your mind with new knowledge and new experiences? 
  • Are you reading something new or developing a new skill?


  • How is your nutrition? Are you eating good, nutritious food?
  • Are you exercising to improve your strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular conditioning?
  • Are you getting enough sleep?  Are you sleeping 7-8 hours per night and getting good quality sleep?
  • Are you healthy?  This is not just about the absence of disease, but is your health contributing to your overall well-being.
  • If you have medical issues, are you taking care of them?
  • How is your environment?  Is it clean?  Healthy?  Inspiring?  Do you feel safe?


  • Social goals will vary depending upon your stage of life.
  • At any age, are you giving and receiving love freely?
  • Are you allowing yourself to have enough quality and quantity of time with your family and friends?
  • Are you meeting new people or do you want to meet people who are different from you?
  • If you are single, are you dating and spending time (outside of work) with other people?


  • Spiritual goals will vary depending upon your own personal religious beliefs.  For most religions, your goals will be about are you loving God and and are you demonstrating love to other people.
  • Spirituality is about how we feel and behave towards ourselves, God, our neighbors, and the world around us.


  • Are your controlling your emotions or are your emotions controlling you?
  • Do you laugh many times a day?
  • Do you feel many emotions?
  • How are you handling stress?
  • Do you feel loved?
  • Are you holding on to emotional pain or are you able to let it go? 

Sometimes other areas are added to the core five areas of life. It is helpful to set goals in these areas as well, though these areas are generally offshoots of two or more of the core areas.


  • Are your behaviors in alignment with your goals in life? Such as, if your goal is write the next great novel, are you writing every day or watching TV for hours instead?
  • Are your behaviors in alignment with your beliefs?


  • Do you have a plan for managing your finances?
  • What are your plans for living within your means, cutting costs, and saving money?
  • Do you allow money issues to effect other areas of your life?

“It is no sin to be poor, but it is no great honor either.” - the character of Tevye in the musical Fiddler on the Roof


  • Are you doing work that is meaningful to you?  Or is it just a paycheck?
  • Is your paycheck fair compensation for the service you are providing?
  • What are your career goals and what are you doing to accomplish them?


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