By the Chebucto Community Health Team
We get lots of information on changes we could make to be healthier. Yet, most of us still don’t make changes. Why? It’s because making healthy choices is hard work. Just think about it; we don’t need to get off the couch to change the TV channel or answer the phone! Healthy eating takes time and is expensive. Our fast-paced stressful lives leave little time for good self care. Most people set health goals that are too big. How realistic is it to say that I will go to the gym daily for an hour? What happens when I can’t meet my goal? Many of us will give up on exercise all together! The key is to set small achievable goals. You should feel 70% confident that you can meet your goal every week. Once you have met your goal and it starts to feel easy, you can always slowly increase your goal. Research shows that smaller achievable goals result in long term success.
What should my health goal look like? You need a goal that is important to you and is something you feel ready to change. It should be an action! What you are going to do, when you are going to do it and how you are going to do it. Be specific, be realistic and make sure you can measure it. A busy parent might choose a goal for 20 minutes of alone time twice a week.
Plan for what is going to stop you! If your goal is to walk for 15 minutes twice a week, what happens when the weather is bad – could you use a walking video? What if you are tired that day – would a walking buddy help motivate you? There will be challenges, so you need a plan to help you stay on track.
Slip ups. We are all human. We should expect to slip up occasionally. If you do not meet your goal this week, forgive yourself and get back on track. It will not make any difference to your goal overall. Do not let a slip up frustrate you into giving up on achieving your goal. Support Find people and situations in your life that support you and your goal. One can be your local Community Health Team! Community Health Teams offer FREE programs and services. To find out more visit www.communityhealthteams.ca or call 902-460-4560.