The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Health & Fitness

December 29, 2012

Speaking of Health 2013: Healthy start to the New Year

MANKATO —

With 2013 upon us, it’s time to create your New Year’s resolutions, which might include tobacco cessation, stress reduction, increased fitness or a weight-loss goal. Please speak with your health care provider before changing your daily 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 health plan, also known as a wellness plan.

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

  1. 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 smaller-sized clothes.
  • Having energy to play with your children.
  • Reducing high blood pressure medication.
  1. Accept challenges and work on strategies. Many people will face challenges that could interfere with realizing established goals. Challenges might include a busy family life, work, school, medical issues or peer pressure to continue bad habits. It’s important to identify potential challenges and envision strategies to address them as part of an effective health plan.
  1. Set SMART goals. Goals will keep you focused on your health vision. Achieving goals produces a feeling of accomplishment that fuels your health journey.

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