Improve Your Health

Five Steps to Improve Your Health in 2018

About The Author

Kathryn Menard-Rothe

Manager, Wellness Works

Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin

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Looking for a fresh start? The New Year provides an opportunity for you to take stock of your prior year and decide how you want the upcoming year to shake out. It’s a great time to take a look at your health and what you can do to improve it.

There are several different approaches to improving your health. You may opt to focus on things such as weight loss, improving nutrition, exercising more or quitting smoking. Or, you may decide this will be the year to find a primary care physician or get caught up on preventive health screening.

One thing we can all benefit from is improving basic self-care. People tend to get caught up in health trends, but one of the best things you can do for your health is to take care of yourself. This means getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise and being grateful about what’s good in your life. These are great starting points for areas to work on in the upcoming year.

Many times, people know what they need to do to improve their health but need someone to provide direction and support as they work toward their goal. Working with a health care provider or health coach can help you determine a realistic goal – and then break that goal into smaller, achievable pieces. He or she can also help you adjust your strategy as you get closer to your goal. For example, as you approach your goal weight, you may need to tweak a few things to lose those final few pounds.

To achieve nearly any type of health goal, try the following strategies:

  • Set a SMART goal – These are goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and completed within a certain time frame. For example, setting a goal to exercise 30 minutes a day, three days a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday beginning January 1, 2018.
  • Create a support system – Having someone to report to can help you stay accountable with your progress toward your goal. This can be a loved one, friend or health coach.
  • Remove obstacles – Even with the best-laid plans, unexpected circumstances and events may pop up. For example, Wisconsin winter weather may be an obstacle to exercising 30 minutes a day, three days a week. The key is to have a backup plan already in place. If it’s too cold to do your 30-minute walk outside, you could opt to walk at the local mall instead.
  • Avoid all or nothing thinking – Every day is a new day to make a conscious decision to work toward your goal. Even if you experience a setback one day, remember you start the next one with a clean slate.
  • Celebrate success – When you meet your goal – and all the smaller goals along the way – you need to celebrate your success. It might be a new pair of athletic shoes or seeing a new movie. Small rewards will help you stay motivated over time.

To aid your health journey, the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin website provides a wealth of health information including healthy recipes, blogs, videos and community education events and classes to help people stay on top of their health, year round.

To learn more about how you can get healthier in 2018, reach out to your health insurance provider.

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