Healthy Habit Challenge: Optional journaling activity

Topic Progress:

Your BONUS Healthy Habit Challenge is a journaling activity.  This will help you to find out what healthy habits you do NOW and what healthy habits you want to ADD or DO MORE OFTEN.

Where am I now?  List your current healthy habits.

These are “strengths” you can use to help you meet your weekly goals.  Examples: I eat a healthy breakfast most mornings, walk with a neighbor 3x/week, and spend most Sundays playing catch with my dog in the park.

Where do I want to be?  List what you’d like to do more often?  Example:  Eat fewer meals out. 

Why do I want to do this more often?  That is to say, what is your WHY?  Example:  I will save money each week and it may be easier to make healthy choices when I plan my meals ahead of time.

Look for immediate rewards:

  • Social
  • Lifted mood
  • Energy
  • Fun
  • Focus

Why?

These are the types of rewards that create the motivation to do the work needed to change your habits. Many of us use future health outcomes to drive us to start a program and this may be effective, initially, but what research shows is that “health” isn’t the best motivator for sustainable change.  Surprised?  We were too but then we thought about how our everyday busy lives take over to drive our actions.  The thought of future benefits get pushed aside in favor of rewards we can experience now.

What can I do about it?

Tie an immediate reward to the habit you want to develop.  Sure, eating less meals out may also help with blood pressure goals months down the road, but you may be more likely to take the extra time to plan and pack lunches when you notice the extra money in your wallet at the end of the week.  Depending on what you typically eat when out and the choices you pack for lunch, you may see improvements in your energy and digestion within days.  See how it works?   We live in the now and that’s OK. Use this knowledge about behavior change to improve your well being today!

References

  1. gov (2008, Oct 28). The Secretary’s Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2020. Retrieved from https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/about/advisory/Reports
  2. Seger, PhD., MPH, Michelle. (2017). White Paper: Health Promoters Should Stop Promoting Health: New Science for Behavioral Sustainability. Retrieved from https://michellesegar.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/MS_B2B_2017-4.pdf

Handout

Electronic Journal [PDF]