Life Fitness Planning: Becoming Fit and Healthy in All Aspects of Your Life

Improving your life fitness and overall health and wellness will improve your life dramatically. You'll be happier, healthier, and more successful in life, love, relationships, and career.

Generally, when people talk about fitness they are only talking about physical fitness. Sometimes they might be referring to mental (brain) fitness. Rarely, if ever, are they talking about your overall health and wellness.

This article examines the key elements of life fitness, laying out critical strategies and providing expert tips for improving your overall fitness.

The Elements of Life Fitness

Life fitness involves physical fitness, brain fitness, emotional fitness, relationship fitness, spiritual fitness, and career fitness.

Physical Fitness

Physical fitness deals with how well you take care of -- and maintain -- your body. You should understand (but not obsess over) your body mass index (BMI) and strive to be near normal based on your height and weight. You should eat nutritional meals and snacks (without added sugars, seed oils, bad carbs, etc.) and exercise for at least 30 minutes daily. Becoming physically fit is an essential ingredient to living a longer and healthier life. (See our article on body image wellness.)

Seek a doctor's advice before making any changes to your diet or adding exercise.

Need a fitness plan to get more physically fit?

  • Purge your pantry of junk foods, white rice and flour, sugars, and other unhealthy and over-processed foods and ingredients. (See our complete list of items to purge from your pantry.)

  • Drink more water. Follow the rule of thumb that says people should drink 8-10 glasses of water daily.

  • If you are overweight, find a diet and lifestyle plan that works for you to slowly lose the weight you need to lose. Set realistic goals (such as losing no more than about 2 pounds per week) and focus on successes. Don't get overwhelmed if you feel your goals are impossible to reach -- even small steps, when added together, can go a long distance over time. (Read more in our dieting do's and don'ts.)

  • Incorporate more fruits, vegetables, and healthy, real foods into your diet -- while reducing or eliminating foods with added sugars and other addictive substances. Strive for locally-raised foods, organic foods, and pasture-raised meats. Avoid all industrially produced fruits, vegetables, and meats.

  • Use more herbs and spices when cooking -- and cut back on the salt intake.

  • Take a daily multivitamin and consider other nutritional supplements that we are often lacking.

  • Start or expand an exercise routine that focuses on some daily aerobic workouts, mixed with resistance training. Ideally, find at least an hour a day to get the greatest benefits, but try to reach -- at a minimum -- no less than 30 minutes. (Remember that you can complete 3 10-minute mini-workouts and get the same results as the full 30-minute workout.) Start slowly, but continue to find more time to add to your workouts. If you struggle with exercise, please read this article.

  • Incorporate exercise -- especially walking -- into your daily routine. Because walking has the least impact and cost and the greatest benefits, it's the exercise that most people can start immediately (after getting your doctor's approval). Walk to work or school or when running errands. Take the stairs rather than the elevator. Park farther from your destination and walk the difference. Stroll through the mall or park during your lunch break. (Find more walking tips here.)

Brain Fitness

Brain fitness is all about exercising your brain to maintain and strengthen your brain functions. It's never too early nor too late to start training your brain to think more clearly and learn and retain new information. Part of brain fitness involves physical fitness, so if you are already watching your physical fitness, now is the time to pay more attention to your brain fitness. Maintaining your brain fitness will help ensure your quality of life as you get older.

Need a fitness plan for your brain?

  • Start by getting enough sleep. Your brain needs time to process and recharge, part of what it does while you are sleeping. While everyone requires different amounts, most experts suggest about 7 to 8 hours per night. (Find more sleep tips here.)

  • Eat better... including real foods that are especially good for the brain. Read more about healthy brain foods.

  • Challenge yourself with word games, puzzles, and other types of brain teasers.

  • Socialize and have stimulating conversations with other people. Even better if those conversations can be uplifting and have humorous elements.

  • Stimulate your senses. Stimulating your senses exercises your brain, so seek out activities that allow you to use your senses to experience new things -- to see, touch, smell, taste, and feel.

  • Read. Whether online or offline, whether fiction or nonfiction, whether for work or for pleasure, reading is one of the best exercises for the brain.

  • Work on your life's purpose and mission. If you have one, periodically review it to see if you are still on course to achieve your goals. Read more on finding your life's purpose.

  • Strive for a positive attitude. Negativity is toxic to your body and brain, so you must work at improving your outlook and attitude, which is covered in the Emotion Fitness section of this article.

  • Find more tips, advice, and resources in our article, How's Your Brain Fitness? 10 Exercise Tips for a Healthy and Fit Brain.

Emotional Fitness

Emotional fitness is all about improving your emotional and mental health and well-being. It's about dealing with life's challenges in a positive and healthy way. Most of us carry emotional baggage from our childhoods and past (or current) relationships, but it's how we deal with the baggage and move forward that's most important. Being emotionally fit is extremely important because it enables us to live at peace with ourselves.

Need a fitness plan for your emotions and emotional well-being?

  • Seek healing from past trauma. Many of us suffer from past traumas, often without being aware of it. Others are aware and sadly are being over-medicated with prescriptions that barely manage symptoms -- but do nothing for actual healing. Learn about the potential for true healing.

  • Focus on the positive. Negativity is an internal poison that slowly eats away at you, lowering your resistance, and leading to mental and physical illness. It's not always easy, but strive to see the good rather than the bad. If you feel you are clinically depressed, seek out professional help for counseling and perhaps medication that can relieve you of the symptoms. Learn tips for positivity.

  • Follow the Golden Rule. You can't have emotional fitness if you are cutting down other people or treating others unfairly. Call it God, karma, conscience, or the universe -- but something will always limit your emotional fitness if you are not treating others as you would like to be treated. Reach out and make peace with the people around you. (See also Relationship Fitness.)

  • Perform random acts of kindness. Nothing gives a big boost to emotional fitness like performing random acts of kindness on others. Learn more in this article on kindness. Some ideas: bring in healthy snacks for your office or for the teachers at your child's school; pay the tolls of several people behind you; offer your umbrella to someone without one on a rainy day. You get the idea... do something unexpected to brighten and/or unburden someone's day.

  • Volunteer to help others in need. Few of us escape at least some period in our lives when we are down on our luck -- fired from our jobs, reeling from a broken relationship, suffering from the loss of a loved one, living (barely) paycheck to paycheck. Volunteering is not only a chance to help someone who is in a very bad place and needs assistance to survive, but it's an uplifting experience that is wonderful for your emotional fitness.

  • Rise above it. There's injustice in the world -- and all around us. Someone else at work gets the promotion over you, someone keys your car at the Wal-Mart parking lot, a neighbor snubs you because you forget to bring in your trash cans, and so forth. We take these emotional hits -- large and small -- daily, but it's how you deal with them that matters the most. Whether you call it turning the other cheek or rising above the pettiness, it's something you must do for your emotional health. Set the example rather than trying to even the score.

  • Enhance and grow your emotional intelligence. Your emotional intelligence (EI) relates to your ability to recognize and understand your emotions -- and the emotions of others, to use your emotions to enhance your thinking, and to utilize your emotions to promote emotional and intellectual growth. Your emotions are always in play, so it becomes more a question of how you recognize and harness those emotions into your decision-making -- and the better you can do so, the higher your EI. You can enhance your EI by recognizing bad responses and behaviors to emotional stimuli (such as always avoiding uncomfortable encounters by running away from the issue) with good responses and behaviors (such as facing your fears, embracing the encounter, and moving beyond the problem).

  • Practice positive self-talk and other forms of encouragement. If you tend to have negative or irrational thoughts and beliefs about the things happening in your life, you can change your outlook -- even change what happens to you in the future -- by changing your those negative and irrational thoughts using positive self-talk and affirmations. By removing the "yes, buts" and the "should haves" and other self-defeating thoughts and replacing them with short, easy-to-remember, and positive affirmations ("With each day, I am becoming more healthy and fit"), you will be on your way to improving your emotional fitness. (See our article on affirmations and mantras for nourishing your mind.)

  • See the humor in life, and laugh with others. For centuries, philosophers, physicians, and others have postulated that laughter contributes to improving people's health and spirits. Laughter, as the saying goes, is the best medicine. Laughter can reduce pressure and anxiety, chase away fears, cut through tension in stressful moments, and put a group of people at ease. See our article on the healing benefits of laughter.

  • Strive for a balance between your actual life and time spent on social media. Too many times we are overly influenced by social media. Learn how to balance your screen time.

Relationship Fitness

While related to emotional fitness, relationship fitness deals less with the emotional component and more with the building and maintaining of healthy relationships with other people -- strengthening the key elements of solid and satisfying relationships. Developing our relationship fitness helps bring and keep significant people into our lives -- which we so desperately need as the social animals that we are.

Need a fitness plan for your relationships?

  • Being there for people. Good relationships are partnerships, with each person committed to the other. Work on strengthening all your relationships so that you are both giving and receiving an equal amount of time, energy, emotion, etc. Learn about the dangers of loneliness.

  • Building connections. While it's perfectly fine to have the same circle of friends, it's also good to forge and build new relationships -- assuming you have the time and emotional ability to do so. Remember that not all relationships have to be of the same type, with most people having relationships that range from casual acquaintances to close friends and partners.

  • Admitting mistakes (and taking responsibility). One of the best ways to strengthen any relationship is to admit when you are wrong and take responsibility when you mess up. Even if you think you're both at fault, be the bigger person and admit that you were wrong -- and your relationships will flourish.

  • Keeping it real. Honesty -- and a commitment to honest and open communication -- is the cornerstone of any healthy relationship. Ever notice that couple in the restaurant who eat their entire meal in silence? You don't want that, right? Talk about your problems and insecurities -- voice the thoughts in your head -- and be open and honest with your friends and partner.

  • Drop the guilt and blame. Guilt trips might have worked for your mother, but they are not the way to forge strong relationships. If you have to guilt someone into doing something for you, just how long do you think that relationship is going to last? Drop the negativity, guilt, and blame game and instead ask for help when you need it -- and offer your help when you feel others need it.

  • Listen. There are times when we all need to vent our fears, frustrations, or anger. We don't seek advice -- we just want someone to listen to us, to hear us. It's especially hard for extroverts (because we love hearing ourselves talk), but one of the best ways to build relationships is to simply be there for people and non-judgmentally listen to their stories -- offering support, but not advice (unless they request it).

  • Understand the importance of having the right relationships as a tool for healing. We need supportive people in our lives. Learn more in this article.

Spiritual Fitness

Spiritual fitness deals with our belief that there is something bigger than ourselves, and that there are certain ideals, principles, and laws we should be following to live better lives -- for ourselves and those around us. Note that spirituality can be tied to a certain religion, but in my mind, spirituality is deeper than religion. Spiritual fitness should be about examining your life and examining if you are living by some of the universal truths of love, kindness, and appreciation.

Need a fitness plan for strengthening or reawakening your spirituality?

  • Commune with nature. Walking in a forest, sitting in a garden, climbing to a top of a mountain -- for me, there is nothing greater in terms of spirituality than being connected with nature. Plus, there are many other mental and physical benefits of being in nature. Learn more about the healing powers of nature.

  • Do your research. Spend time researching various religions -- including specific types within each -- and listen and think on what you read... and see if one calls to you to dig deeper.

  • Attend a worship service -- or two or three. The church I currently attend has two elements I crave. First, the worship services are almost completely sermon and interpreting scripture. Second, the message is always about love... loving God and loving each other. If you're lucky, and keep experimenting, perhaps you will find a house of worship that speaks to you.

  • Love yourself. Perhaps no greater blockage to spiritual fitness exists than when we do not love ourselves. None of us is perfect; we all have our faults and foibles... so, accept who you are and love yourself. Doing so will open many doors, including greater spirituality.

  • Share love with others. Love is a wonderful thing, and while it's important to love yourself, you need to share that love -- and generosity -- with others. The more you give of yourself, the greater your spiritual fitness will increase.

  • See our article about growing your spirituality.

Career Fitness

Career fitness is about having a sense of purpose and working in a job and career field that you love. It's about being inspired and enjoying what you do. It's about finding and living your life's work, your life's calling, your career passion. Developing your career fitness plays a vital role in your overall health and well-being because for many of us, our work defines us. For the rest of us, it's because we spend more time working (and at work) than anything else in life.

Need a fitness plan for your career?

  • Develop a personal mission statement. Taking the time to create a mission statement can help you identify your core values and beliefs. Writing a personal mission statement offers the opportunity to establish what's important to you -- in life and in a career. And if you are at a career crossroads, it can help enable you to chart a new course for your career.

  • Stop hating Mondays. If you are unhappy in your job or career, take action to change your career, change your life. When you are unhappy at work, it often spreads to other parts of your life -- in a kind of negative domino effect. If it is the job or employer, find a new one as quickly as you can. If it is the career, conduct some self-analysis and self-assessment and find a new career that's best for you.

  • Take stock of your situation. Spend a weekend evaluating where you stand in your career. What's your value in your current career at your current level? What's your value if you want to change careers? Can you list all your key accomplishments from the past 10 years? Do you have a strategy for finding a new career or job? What about for getting that next promotion? Have you built a solid career brand (reputation) within your company -- and industry? How do people see you and your work?

  • Update your resume and LinkedIn profile. If a recruiter called you today about a job opening, would you be able to submit your resume? When was the last time you updated it? If you're not currently job-hunting, your resume should be no more than a few weeks out of date, but if you're job-hunting, it has to be ready at a moment's notice. Focus on identifying your key accomplishments from each of your last couple of jobs (including your current one). Use action verbs and keyword phrases to describe those accomplishments on your resume. Keep a running list of current projects and accomplishments. If writing a resume is something you can't do, seek the help of a professional resume writer.

  • Stay current with training, education, and certifications. You never know when you may be in the market for a new job, so even if you don't need to stay current for your present position, continue with your training and/or certifications to increase your marketability. If you want to increase your marketability, research what skills are in the most demand -- or expected to be most in demand in the near future -- and obtain the training or education you need to learn them.

  • Develop and grow your network of contacts. Whether you are changing jobs or careers -- or even starting your own business or freelancing -- the most important tool for finding job leads or other assistance is the people you know... your circle of friends, family, colleagues, and other contacts. You should regularly keep in touch with your contacts, while continually trying to meet new people and grow your list. Spend time networking in traditional ways (conferences, meetings, and events) as well as online through social networking sites (such as Facebook and LinkedIn).

Final Thoughts on Getting Your Life Into Shape

Get your entire life back in shape so that you'll live longer and be happier and more successful. To get your life in shape, tackle these key elements of life fitness. Like anything that is worth doing, it may take some time to get completely back into shape, but once you do, your life will improve dramatically.

You'll be happier, healthier, and more successful in life, love, and relationships.

Dr. Randall Hansen is an advocate, educator, mentor, ethicist, and thought-leader... helping the world heal from past trauma. He is founder and CEO of, a network of empowering and transformative Websites, including

He is the author of the groundbreaking Triumph Over Trauma: Psychedelic Medicines are Helping People Heal Their Trauma, Change Their Lives, and Grow Their Spirituality and the well-received HEAL! Wholeistic Practices to Help Clear Your Trauma, Heal Yourself, and Live Your Best Life.

Dr. Hansen's focus and advocacy center around true healing ... healing that results in being able to live an authentic life filled with peace, joy, love. Learn more by visiting his personal Website, You can also check out Dr. Randall Hansen on LinkedIn.