Fresh Views

Z is for Zest

Zest for life in Sedona, Arizona

Individuals are always stronger when they have their successes and strengths clearly in mind.

~ Don Clifton, founder of CliftonStrengths

The letter “Z” is said to be used in less than 1% of words – the least frequently used letter in the English language. While not planned, it seems fitting that “Z”, the last letter of the alphabet, should close out our last post in the “A to Z series” on solution-focused words to live by and use in practice (find the start of the series here if you missed it).  And we’ve identified the perfect “Z” word to pull it all together….

Z is for Zest!

We’re not talking about the zest of a lemon or lime, or Zest soap from back in the day!  We’re talking about the zest that signifies an energizing excitement or feeling of energy and joy. Zest is related to physical and psychological wellness. Those with zest are excited to get up in the morning.

Bringing zest to your solution-focused practice can boost a client/patient’s morale, promote personal development, and play a role in just being kind to others. You can also help them realize, cultivate, and activate this strength.

4 ways to bring more zest

1- Adopt a “progress not perfection” mindset.  A “progress, not perfection” mindset can help us lean into the realistic and practical, and acknowledge, accept and enjoy things…even if they aren’t perfect. It encourages focus on smaller achievements…instead of focusing solely on the end goal. It allows getting things done in a quality manner without fixating on an ideal outcome that might not necessarily happen (read more here). The feeling of moving ahead and making progress boosts zest.

2 – Switch up your perspective by reframing.  One example of reframing is viewing a problem differently by turning it into a challenge, looking at it from different angles, reimagining the situation, and identifying potential solutions. Reframing is a simple and impactful tool to use in taking a solution-focused approach to life with your clients (or in your own life). Learn more about the power of reframing here and here.

3- Make the most of your time. Guilty as charged of often spending too much time scrolling through social media, news outlets, funny cat videos, and life hacks! Do you ever find clients/patients, or yourself, in a similar situation? What if those 2-3 hours a day of mindless scrolling were spent working towards something you are passionate about, building zest!
4- Spend time in nature. Encourage clients/patients to get outside to cultivate zest. Whether taking a walk, or just taking in the great outdoors, studies show that simply being in nature boosts energy. Check out our blog on the benefits of being in nature.

Thanks for coming along in our A to Z journey towards solution-focused thinking. We’ve enjoyed identifying creative ways to re-frame our thinking in our day-to-day lives and our work through this series.

Cultivating zest as a strength creates opportunity for your clients/patients to thrive!

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Deb is employed by Dexcom, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

Tami is employed by the University of Kentucky HealthCare Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.