WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — For individuals who made a new year’s resolution to lose weight, quit smoking or start up an exercise routine, the Civilian Health Promotions Services at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base can help keep individuals on track as they work to reach their goals.
Sarah Baker, CHPS health promotion coordinator, said the first step is to accept where you are and take ownership of your current health behaviors you have while forming a plan to improve them.
“It is not a quick fix, it is more like the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady wins the race,” Baker said. “So choosing just one or two specific things to focus on is going to be much more successful for actual lifestyle changes rather than changing everything at once.”
Regardless of what your health goals are, Baker has a few steps you can take to improve your chance of success.
Create SMART goals. The more generic and broad your goals are the more likely they won’t get accomplished. Be specific when defining what it is you want to do and when. So instead of just “I want to start exercising more” try “I will go to the gym before work this week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and ride the bike for 30 minutes plus lift free weights for 20 minutes.”
— S – Specific
— M – Measureable
— A – Attainable
— R – Relevant
— T – Time based
— Be sure your goals include those that are behaviors not outcomes. Examples: I want to lose weight (outcome) versus I want to eat five fruits and vegetables every day this week (behavior). Align your short term goals up with your long term goal.
— Write your goals down.
— Tell a friend or recruit a buddy to join in.
— Allow for setbacks and plan for what you will do in order to get back to your goals. Be flexible because things will come up so learn to adjust as well.
— Reward success (new tennis shoes or workout clothes, favorite tea, a new book or gadget).
— Be open-minded. We are creatures of habit and it is hard to change habits we have had for years, but it can be done. You may have to get out of your comfort zone.
Baker said the CHPS office can provide guidance and tools to help build a strong foundation of health and wellness that can carry you throughout the year.
For more information on services CHPS offers, contact the Wright-Patterson team at 937-904-9359 or CHPSWrightPatterson@foh.hhs.gov. You can also visit the CHPS website at AFMCwellness.com for a complete calendar of events.
Story courtesy of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.