The first step to healthy change: Defining Your Ecosystem

Remember studying ecosystems in biology class? An ecosystem is a community of living, breathing, moving parts that all contribute to the state of the whole.

You’re an ecosystem. Every piece of your life is living, breathing, moving, changing, growing, dying– all the time! Unfortunately, we’ve been taught that if we just keep our food and exercise in check then we’ll be ‘healthy.’ We’ve been led to believe that financial wealth is the fastest way to ‘happy.’. Even worse, no one has ever acknowledged that our healthy affects our happy, and vise-versa.

Everything you ingest is metabolized within you, and affects you. Food is literal– you eat it, you digest it, your body takes what it wants, leaves what it doesn’t, you feel a certain way after having ingested this food.

But what about conversations? What about movies? What about social media, self-talk, your environment, the products you put on your skin, the chemicals you inhale? They all count too.

Consider this:

  • You watch something horrific on the news and you feel fearful and sad for the rest of the afternoon.
  • You read an inspirational book and suddenly you’re motivated and excited to kick some butt.
  • You go to lunch with a friend that’s constantly complaining and you leave feeling down, less enthusiastic about your life.
  • You drink coffee and mistake the jitters for anxiety– you feel nervous and insecure as you give a presentation at work.


Point is.. *everything* that goes in the bod affects your quality of life.

Before you can decide what to tweak, add, or remove– you have to know what you’re working with.

Take a look at the graph below– in the center is your health and happiness, the two most important things to maintain for your ecosystem.


Each leg coming off of the center represents an area of your life that contributes to that health and happiness. What contributes to yours? Some obvious categories are physical health, mental/emotional health, relationships (to yourself, to others), self-esteem (your subjective evaluation of your worth), and job.

What about passions/hobbies? What about spirituality? What about community?

Create a graph like the one you see above and spend 15 minutes putting the whole of your life to paper. I promise– it’s the biggest, most essential first step to truly feeling like a rockstar in your everyday.

Tory DubeComment