The desire for good health is universal and as the definition of health expands, the options to support it grow along with it. Consumers are looking for more holistic ways to support or improve their health, but it’s often hard to know where to start. Choosing the best wellness program for an individual starts with a few basic self-assessment questions.

Determine your goals

What do you want to accomplish? You may be in great health, poor health, or somewhere in between. Common wellness goals include losing weight, getting toned, sleeping better, and reducing stress. More frequently, however, individuals are recognizing the need for financial, emotional, and career wellbeing. If you need help knowing where to start, think about one thing that, if you changed it, would make you feel better. Know what single action is most likely to improve your quality of life and choose a program to support that.

Assess your schedule

Do you have a flexible schedule or a rigid one? Are you in control of how you spend your time or is it dictated by someone else? Knowing how much you are able to set and follow a daily schedule is important to choose the best wellness program for you. If you don’t know from day to day what will come your way, you should choose a program that’s available on demand to fit your availability. If you have a more consistent daily routine, a more structured program may work for you. Honestly assess how much time you are willing and able to commit to a new wellness program before making your choice. 

Know the cost

What are you willing to do (or not do) to accomplish your goals? The cost here is not financial. It’s about the trade-off. Precision Nutrition highlights the cost of getting fit if peak physical health is your goal in this infographic. Getting uber-fit takes time and sacrifice. Even if you’re not looking for a fitness model physique, you will have to make some swaps to improve your health. You will have to change what you eat, how you spend your time, or who you hang out with. The best wellness program for you is one that matches your willingness to change some patterns in your life. 

Build your team 

Who’s going to support your wellness efforts? Even the best wellness programs for an individual can be sabotaged by self or others without a strong support system. Finding support through other program participants or friends and family will keep you accountable to your goals and daily habits. Some wellness programs have community support built into their program while others are self-directed. Know if this is an important feature for you and if so, look for one with an active community. If this is of lesser importance, make sure you have at least one friend or family member in your corner to keep you committed to your health pursuits. 

Consider ease of use

How user-friendly is the technology? This question will determine the likelihood of you engaged in the wellness program of your choice. The best wellness program for you will match your comfort level with technology and provide a seamless user experience. If you choose an app that’s hard to log into and hard to navigate, you will give up quickly. Choose an app with great usability (check reviews!) and efficient customer support if needed. Some wellness programs provide a “video game” type experience with competition and levels for users to beat, while others are primarily for education and tracking. Know which you prefer. 

Ultimately, the best wellness program for an individual comes down to determining your goals, assessing your schedule, knowing the cost, building your team, and considering ease of use. Let us know what else you look for in selecting the best wellness program!