The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Health & Fitness

December 18, 2013

Speaking of Health: Planning a healthy start to 2014

Set goals, make a plan to get healthy

With 2014 edging nearer, it’s time to create your New Year’s resolutions, which might include tobacco cessation, stress reduction, increased fitness or a weight-loss goal. Remember to speak with your primary health care provider before significantly changing your daily health and fitness routine, especially if you have chronic health issues.

Secret to success

New Year’s resolutions are easy to make, but not so easy to achieve. The key to success lies in developing a structured health plan, also known as a wellness plan. The health plan will outline:

• Where you’re headed.

• Why you want to get there.

• What challenges you may face along the way.

• How you plan to work through the challenges.

1. Create a health vision. It’s critical to clearly visualize your goals. The first step is to create a health vision, which is a powerful, broad statement that describes who you want to be once you have met those goals. Think about a healthy future and what that might look like to you. Convert those thoughts into a short, clear statement – your health vision.

While there are many ways to write a health vision, one popular format is: “I want ______, so that ________.” Examples include:

• “I want to lose weight, so that I have more energy to enjoy life.”

• “I want to be physically fit, so that I am no longer out of breath.”

• “I want to have better balance between work and my personal life, so that I have more quality time for myself and for my family.”

2. Identify your motivators. After you compose a health vision that you feel confident you can attain, determine which motivators will drive your desire to make those changes. Some common motivators are:

• Buying clothes in smaller sizes.

• Having energy to play with your children.

• Watching your grandchildren grow up.

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