January 2014 Wellness Tip

Text Box: Surefire Strategies
Help Healthy Habits Stick



Surround yourself with support.


Ask friends and family for support. Setting up a supportive environment is another step toward success. “Think about the physical support you’ll need, like the right equipment for exercise, appropriate clothing and the right kinds of foods to have at home,” says Dr. Christine Hunter, a behavioral researcher and clinical psychologist at NIH. Remove items that might trip up your efforts. If you’re quitting smoking, throw away your ashtrays and lighters. To improve your nutrition, put unhealthy but tempting foods on a hard-to-reach shelf, or get rid of them.


Track your progress.


A journal or diary is one of the best tools for helping you stay focused and recover from slip-ups. “Self-monitoring or tracking seems to be critical for almost every sort of behavior change,” says Hunter. That includes jotting down the foods you eat, keeping an exercise diary or making a record of your sleeping patterns. Monitoring yourself might feel like a burden, but it’s one of the best predictors of successful change. “Think about how you can make tracking more convenient, so it fits naturally into your life,” Hunter says. For some people, that might be a pad of paper in a purse or pocket; for others, a mobile app or a computer program.


Reward yourself.


Give yourself a healthy treat when you’ve achieved a small goal or milestone.


Add variety.


Set realistic goals, develop an action plan and set it in motion. Keep things interesting by adding new activities or expanding your goals to make them more challenging.



Source: Wellness Council of America    www.welcoa.org