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27 Dec 2022

young lady writing on a notepad while sitting on a couch

What does it mean to ‘be well’? Is it simply being happy? Staying healthy? Or getting through every day without worry? There isn’t one answer, as a state of well-being can be subjective. What one person considers as their ideal state of well-being can be very different from another. This is because all of us have different personalities, goals and aspirations.


To be considered ‘well’, it is crucial for you to start with some planning on your own – understand what matters most to you and achieve balance in these dimensions of well-being: emotional/mental, intellectual, physical, social and spiritual. This will lead to a good mix of happiness and life satisfaction in your day-to-day life.


So as you set your goals for the new year, don’t forget about taking care of your well-being. These are some steps to set yourself up for a great year ahead:

Mental/Emotional well-being – to feel, think and act in ways that impact you in a positive manner

Be grateful for what you have, no matter how small

Whether you had the best time of your life in the past year, or one of the worst, be grateful for what you have. You will find that gratitude can be a game changer, as it has a compounding effect on the good feelings inside you. Studies have also shown that beyond improving mental health, it can also help you become happier and more resilient.


As the saying goes - cherish the little things in life. Affirm the good things that have happened to you, no matter how small. You might notice how many things you have been taking for granted, like people around you, a nice warm cup of coffee or a nice compliment that you received. Think of three things that you are grateful for each day and commit to writing them down. Seeing your thoughts on paper helps to solidify them and nudges you towards taking action.

Social well-being – to build healthy and strong relationships with others

Appreciate your family and team

Make the effort to recognise the people that bring the best out of you and show them appreciation. 


Everyone needs emotional support, in the form of loved ones or friends. If you don’t have that strong support system yet, it’s time to surround yourself with people who are good for you.


This also applies to the workplace – that means building good work relationships. You spend a huge portion of your time at work, so it will be to your benefit to be in a working environment that you enjoy.


Learn more on how to establish positive habits at work

Spiritual well-being – to connect with something greater than yourself 

Care for others

Spiritual wellness does not necessarily just mean being in touch with your spiritual self. Meditation and yoga may work for some, pursuing your passions for others, but a good practice to adopt in general is to do something for the greater good of your community.

Volunteer for a cause that you feel strongly for or engage with your community organisation to find out what they need help with. 

Physical well-being – to be in good health and carry out daily activities without being hindered by physical limitations or health conditions

Get moving

Speaking of new challenges, begin exercising! One of the most common new year resolutions that people make is to lose weight and get fit. But this is also the resolution that falls to the wayside as the year progresses. It’s often because they go too fast and kill off any motivation they might originally have.

The key is to start small with achievable goals, especially if you have not been physically active. Good habits always take root with a small but regular routine. To help you on your way, learn how to level up your physical wellness in 3 easy steps.

Schedule a health screening

Just as you kick-start your physical fitness journey, keep up the maintenance of your body by scheduling a health screening. Regular health screening helps to you understand your current health condition and lowers the risk of serious ailments in the future.


Read more about the health screenings options that are available to you

Intellectual well-being – to use your intellectual abilities and find ways to expand your knowledge and skills

Find your purpose

Above all, is it truly living if you find nothing you do in life meaningful? Identifying and being in pursuit of your purpose will lead to a sense of fulfilment and motivate you every day for the rest of your life.


No matter what phase of life you’re at, it is important to take the time to discover what matters to you and to learn what keeps you going every single day. If you need some inspiration to get started, hear from our “Ready for Life” Digital Festival 2022 experts as they share why purpose is important and how to plan for it.

Set new challenges

What better time then, to kick-start this process for the new year ahead? You don’t have to go all out - small moves can go a long way in helping you establish good habits. But therein lies your first challenge, which is to just take the first step.


For most of us, the thought of making our passions our full-time job will no doubt have crossed your mind before. A CPF member Richard did just that by moving from a job in the corporate world to becoming a full-time nature volunteer. He began by making small steps and building good habits – including building up a good financial foundation with his CPF savings.

Financial well-being – to meet current financial obligations without duress and be financially secure in the future

Financial well-being is another vital component in your overall well-being, as good financial health has positive effects on your mental and physical health, and your relationships.

It ties everything together by allowing you to pursue your purpose and sustain your well-being. 


Aim to start the year with a clean bill of financial health, so that you’ll be able to focus on the other areas of well-being. What better way to begin than with your CPF? As a strong foundation for your life milestones and future retirement, an easy first move is to make small regular top-ups into your CPF accounts, allowing your money to grow thanks to the power of compound interest.


Follow CPF staff Hidayat as he charts the path towards financial fitness, and how he makes the most of his CPF savings to get him started:

4 steps towards financial fitness - prepare for necessities, watch your step, keep track and set your destination

While this list can serve as an overall guide, you should tailor it towards your own needs and preferences with an eye towards your goals and ambitions for the year. You will realise the common theme throughout is to start small. 

 No matter what you do, the key is in finding the right balance. 

Break your goals down to small, attainable ones and adjust them accordingly as the year goes on. It’s better to set small goals than doing too much too soon and losing your motivation.

Wishing you a very ‘well’ new year!

Information accurate of as of date of publication.