KnovaSolutions Member Center Login KnovaSolutions Member Center Login
Making Healthful Changes This Year — January 2020

Making Healthful Changes This Year — January 2020


Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

How to Start SMART…and Recover When You Slip

Are you planning on making healthful changes this year? Research shows that those who set SMART goals are more successful than those who just have a general idea that they want to get healthy.

In 1981, a corporate planning consultant named George Doran wrote a paper in Management Review called There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management goals and objectives. Doran is thought to be the first to put pen to paper to describe this goal-setting technique. Whether in business or our personal lives, setting goals focuses our efforts and reminds us what we want to get done, like making healthful changes!

Talking SMART

If you’ve decided to make healthful changes but aren’t sure how to get started, it’s time to talk SMART goal setting:

Specific: identify a specific area for improvement.

Measurable: set measurable criteria to gauge progress.

Achievable: set achievable goals, those that are ambitious but not impossible.

Relevant: make your goal meaningful to you (not set by someone else).

Time-bound: decide when you will achieve your goal, a time that is realistic but not so far off that you feel you can postpone.

Setting Up for Success

It’s hard work making healthful changes. Setting a goal like “get healthy” is too general since there are numerous ways to get healthy. Try to break the idea of getting healthy into manageable pieces. Your goal could focus on anything that affects your sense of well-being, such as diet, physical activity, weight loss, sleep, stress reduction, job success and relationships.

Do you want to start exercising, quit smoking, lose weight, improve sleep, lower your blood pressure or cholesterol? Pick one goal to focus your energies on.

Using the following sentences as a template can jump start your SMART goal setting: I will (insert your goal here) by (ways you intend to achieve the goal). I will know I’m making progress because (your method of measuring the goal) by (time frame you specified).

Example 1: I will lose 10 pounds by walking 30 minutes five days a week. I will know I am making progress because I will lose one pound a week for 10 weeks.

Example 2: I will improve my work-life balance by getting home from work by 6 pm. I will know I am making progress because I will be home to have dinner with my family at least four nights a week over the next two weeks.

With your main goal clearly defined, you can set smaller, but related goals, to keep yourself motivated. Think of these smaller goals as mini challenges to keep it interesting. For best success, set one mini challenge at a time, and when you’ve achieved it, set a new one. Take example 1, the goal is weight loss by walking five days a week. What smaller, short-term challenge would support that goal? Here are two possibilities: replace soda with water this week or eat at least one serving of fruits and/or vegetables at every meal for two weeks.

Need more practical examples of smaller goals? Try drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day; setting a regular sleep and waking time and stick to it every day, even on the weekends; starting each day with a to-do list and get the most important things done first; and asking for help when you know you need it. You set the time limits. What other ways can you think of to support your health goals?

Your SMART Goal Notebook

Snag a grocery store spiral notebook, or even a leftover one from your child’s science class. Start brainstorming about your goals. Jot down anything you want to change. Take a big goal like “get healthy” and break it down into manageable parts. Write the letters S M A R T in a column and fill in your details. Check out the SMART goal template examples and draft yours. Need help? Contact your KnovaSolutions clinician. S/he can help you get started. And stay on track!

Use your notebook to record any small victories, those ways that you managed to stick to your goals. You can also write about your challenges. Getting the difficulties off your chest can get them out of your mind.

SMART Goals

Specific: identify a specific area for improvement.

Measurable: set measurable criteria to gauge progress.

Achievable: set achievable goals, those that are ambitious but not impossible.

Relevant: make your goal meaningful to you (not set by someone else).

Time-bound: decide when you will achieve your goal, a time that is realistic but not so far off that you feel you can postpone.

Be Flexible and Kind Too

Set goals that feel right for you. Setting, and achieving, short-term goals helps to build confidence, and can contribute to developing good health habits. Avoid the temptation to set too many goals. Start with one or two goals. Add a new goal once you’ve completed, and achieved, the previous one.

Being willing to make changes to your goals along the way can make it more likely you will be successful. For example, if you’ve set an unrealistic goal or someone else’s goal for you, hit reset. Or maybe you set a goal too easy that you feel you can slack off or don’t feel motivated; that’s another sign it’s time to reevaluate. You can change your goals at any time to make them SMARTer.

Since we mentioned motivation, some strategies can help you stay motivated to change. Telling friends, family or other supportive people about your goal can help you keep true to it. They will notice progress along the way and you can ask them for support at challenging times. Other tricks? Place photos or other reminders in your workspace or on the bathroom mirror that will signal your brain that things have changed. If you’re wanting to get better sleep, you might set a picture of yourself sleeping peacefully near the TV as a reminder of those screen-time limits you’ve set. Some find that writing about their mini successes and hard moments in their SMART notebook (see box) helps them move successfully from one week to the next. You may find some additional tips in our newsletter on resilience.

As hard as you try, you may hit a wall and slip up. A work party poses too many sweet temptations, you miss a whole week of workouts, or you binge watch a show into the wee hours. Whatever got you off track, don’t beat yourself up! No, you are not a failure, and yes, you can get right back up on the horse. Start anew today by reviewing your SMART goals. You can return to making healthful changes!

We’d like to help you make healthful changes this year. If you don’t know where to start, your KnovaSolutions clinician can help you draft your SMART goal(s). We’ll also check back with you regularly to see how you are doing. Give KnovaSolutions a call at 800/355-0885. We’re available Monday to Friday, 8 am to 8 pm, Mountain Time.

Click here to view/download the full newsletter. We encourage you to leave a comment or question below and a KnovaSolutions nurse or pharmacist will reply.

The information contained in this newsletter is for general, educational purposes. It should not be considered a replacement for consultation with your healthcare provider.  If you have concerns about your health, please contact your healthcare provider.Call us today, we’re here to help!


Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail
Getting In-Network Care After Hours — December 2019

Getting In-Network Care After Hours — December 2019


Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Plus, Healthcare Tips When Traveling

The holidays are here, it’s cold and flu season, and you’re leaving town to visit family. What happens if you or a family member gets sick at night, at home or away?

Assuming you are reading this when you don’t have immediate needs for medical care, you probably have time to plan for off-hour medical situations. That’s right, with a little bit of research, you can be better prepared to make decisions about seeking the most cost-effective option for the situation.

Continue Reading
Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail
Pass the Tissues! — November 2019

Pass the Tissues! — November 2019


Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

How to Tell the Difference Between a Cold, the Flu and Allergies

It’s that season again. When you first start to feel lousy, it’s sometimes hard to know whether it’s a cold, the flu or allergies acting up. Knowing the difference may help you pick the best treatment. All three ailments affect the respiratory system and can make it harder to breathe.

Continue Reading
Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail
Be Your Best Self After 50 — October 2019

Be Your Best Self After 50 — October 2019


Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

What Changes Are Happening Inside You?

Being 50 or older can be a fulfilling time of life. You are more experienced and wiser. You have a broader view of the world and may be able to take challenges in stride more effectively. If you’ve raised children, they are likely on their feet, or getting there. You may even be enjoying grandchildren or having more time to pursue your interests.

Continue Reading
Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail
Believing You Can Cope — September 2019

Believing You Can Cope — September 2019


Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Is Half the Battle When Facing Life’s Challenges

In the children’s story, The Little Engine that Could, the little engine agrees to pull a long, broken-down train over a high mountain after larger, more powerful engines refuse. “I think I can, I think I can,” said the little engine. And when it’s successfully coming down the other side, he said, “I thought I could, I thought I could.”

Continue Reading
Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail
Turning Food Into Energy — August 2019

Turning Food Into Energy — August 2019


Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Keeping Your Digestive System Healthy

Do you ever wonder how the blueberries or chicken you eat get broken down into fuel for the body? The digestive system is made up of organs that each have different roles in processing proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and liquids. Each organ works to break food into smaller parts and move nutrients to where they can be absorbed. Spoiler: the next section describes the digestion process; skip if you don’t want the details!

Continue Reading
Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail
Work-Life Integration — July 2019

Work-Life Integration — July 2019


Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

A 21st Century Take on Work-Life Balance

The concept of work-life balance was introduced in the 1970’s as baby boomers struggled to balance their careers, families, friends and hobbies with staying healthy. The idea is to ‘balance’ your work with your private life. Work-life balance means focusing on your job when at work and making time outside of work to enjoy family and friends, as well as engage in other activities you enjoy.

Continue Reading
Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail
Medication Benefits and Risks — June 2019

Medication Benefits and Risks — June 2019


Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Do the Benefits Outweigh the Risks?

Taking medicine is part of a daily routine for many people. Prescription and over-the-counter (OTC)medications treat disease and improve health in many ways. Lowering cholesterol, fighting infection, controlling blood sugar levels, reducing pain—these are just some of the helpful effects. Along with the benefits of feeling better and getting well, medicines also pose the risk of unwanted side effects or unexpected adverse events.

Continue Reading
Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail
Food for Thought — May 2019

Food for Thought — May 2019


Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Healthy Food and Other Ways to Feed Your Brain

Our brains never rest. They hold down a highly specialized 24/7 job. As one of our largest and most complex organs, the brain contains more than 100 billion nerves that communicate through synapses, or connections, to control thinking, breathing, memory, sleep, hearing, digestion, feelings, heart rate, and so much more. Think of your brain as your body’s command center; it controls everything! Weighing just 3 pounds, the brain has a hefty job.

Continue Reading
Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail
Is Breaking News Breaking You? — February 2019

Is Breaking News Breaking You? — February 2019


Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

How to Stay Informed while Minimizing Stress

Almost two-thirds of all Americans say that the daily news causes them stress, according to an American Psychological Association (APA) survey. Feeling anxious, depressed, hopeless, irritable and worn out are some of the symptoms of “headline stress disorder,” a phrase coined by psychologist Steven Stosny.

Continue Reading
Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail
Managing Your Weight — January 2019

Managing Your Weight — January 2019


Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

For a Healthy Body and Mind

Carrying excess weight takes a toll on every part of the body. It affects walking, breathing, sleeping and mood, and can have a negative impact on quality of life. Being overweight can also increase the risk of developing serious medical conditions. The risk might rise from the stress the heart and joints suffer from carrying extra pounds. Or it may be due to complex changes in hormones and metabolism (how the body uses calories and fat).

Continue Reading
Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail
Over-the-Counter Medications — December 2018

Over-the-Counter Medications — December 2018

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Taking These (and Supplements) Safely

Over-the-counter medications (OTC) are easy to find at the store. They offer relief from common health problems like stuffy noses, seasonal allergies and achy muscles. They also can help prevent problems like constipation and nausea. You may feel empowered to solve a health issue without having to see your primary care provider for advice or a prescription.
Continue Reading

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail
Complementing Your Medical Care — October 2018

Complementing Your Medical Care — October 2018

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

With Approaches That Benefit Your Health

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), more than 30 percent of adults use healthcare approaches developed outside of mainstream western medicine. These approaches are called complementary and alternative —terms that are often used interchangeably. However, it is important to note that they are different.

Continue Reading

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail
Calcium and Vitamin D — September 2018

Calcium and Vitamin D — September 2018

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Essential Nutrients that Work Hand-in-Hand

No matter our age, our bodies need calcium and vitamin D. Calcium is essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth, as well as other important functions. However, without enough vitamin D, calcium can’t be absorbed by the body. What happens then? The body draws from calcium stored in the bones, which weakens them and can lead to osteoporosis, a condition where bones become fragile, brittle and prone to breaks. Maintaining calcium and vitamin D levels in a healthy range over your lifetime can help prevent the risks of weak bones, teeth and other potential issues.

Continue Reading

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail
Common Medical Conditions — August 2018

Common Medical Conditions — August 2018

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Can They Be Prevented or Reversed?

Heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other chronic diseases are the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S. One in two adults has a chronic disease and one in four has two or more, according to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

When it comes to our health, there are things we can’t control and those that we can try to influence. We can’t change our genetic makeup, gender, race or age—some of the factors that can make us more likely to develop a chronic medical condition. However, many health conditions are caused by lifestyle factors that we do have some ability to manage—our diet, exercise, stress management, weight and smoking habits.

Continue Reading

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail
Ah, Summertime! — July 2018

Ah, Summertime! — July 2018

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

How to Enjoy It While Staying Safe

Picnics, roasting marshmallows, swimming, camping, fishing—you name it—these are the treasures of summer. With longer days and schools closed, summer often means vacation time. But even if your summer doesn’t include a vacation, you’ve likely shed some layers and are spending more time outdoors. Being outside is a great way to reboot and revive the mind. To make the most of this more relaxed season, remember to take a few precautions to keep you and your family safe.

Continue Reading

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail
Working Smart — June 2018

Working Smart — June 2018

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Finding Your Way to Workplace Wellness

Fulltime workers spend, on average, more than one-third of their day, five days per week at their place of work. We rely heavily on the fruits of our labor: skills, confidence, camaraderie, and most importantly, an income. Since our work life is so important to our livelihood, it makes sense to work smart. Workplace health and wellness includes activities and policies designed to promote the well-being of employees, support health behavior in the workplace, and decrease the risks of injuries. Employees can experience greater job satisfaction by making some key adjustments in the workplace.

Continue Reading

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail
The Path to Emotional Wellness — May 2018

The Path to Emotional Wellness — May 2018

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

How to Improve Your Resiliency

Your mental health and wellness affects practically every aspect of your life—how you think, feel and act at home and work, with family, friends, colleagues and the general public. People who are emotionally healthy tend to go about their day with a sense of purpose. They engage in enjoyable activities and balance them with their work and family life. They have fulfilling relationships and have a positive outlook.

Continue Reading

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail
Why It’s Important to Have a PCP — April 2018

Why It’s Important to Have a PCP — April 2018

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

And What to Do When Your PCP Isn’t Available

Your primary care provider (PCP) is that professional you see every year or so for preventive screening or more often if you are managing ongoing health concerns. S/he’s also the one you call when you get sick or develop concerning new symptoms. But, what if your PCP isn’t available? Your options depend upon the circumstances.

Wait, Back Up!

Continue Reading

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Copyright © 2020 HCMS Group LLC.

All rights reserved.