Setting Health Goals: Realistic Goals are Essential for Success – August 2012


Rock climbing is not for everyone but setting goals for your health is! Maybe you’ve recently been diagnosed with an illness or maybe you’ve just fallen into a rut. With a little thought and planning, you can set yourself on a course to change your lifestyle.

Change is a Challenge!

Even though change is hard, it is an important part of staying healthy. Think of it as a challenge, something to try, adjust, and try again. The best way to approach change is to set goals that are attainable. Think about what your goals are, what you wish to accomplish, and give yourself a timeline.

Not Just About Nutrition and Exercise

Setting health goals is not just about eating well and exercise. It’s about taking charge of your health and being a smart consumer of the myriad of medical services that the media wants you to know about. It’s your job to decide if you need what they are offering. If you are faced with serious illness, your goals will be different than if you are generally healthy. But the need to ask questions and gather information is the same. Remember you are in charge!

  • Start with a health exam. See the Steps Towards Prevention below.
  • Set realistic and simple goals. Planning to run a marathon next week is not realistic if you haven’t been training. So set goals that are possible so you stay positive. Start small and add more as you are successful.
  • Goals can be physical and mental. Your state of mind is directly linked to your physical health. Goals like managing stress and increasing energy are good examples.
  • Consider changes you can make to support your goals. Changing the time you eat meals could make it possible to eat healthier foods or to fit in exercise. A regular date with a friend for a walk or bike ride can be good motivation too. Maybe a gym membership?
  • Give each goal a timeline and try to stick to it. It’s okay to modify as you go if you discover a goal wasn’t realistic.
  • Keep a journal and record your progress, frustrations and improvements.
  • Talk about your goals with your healthcare provider, family and friends. The more they know about it, the better able they will be to offer encouragement.
  • Modify anything that doesn’t feel attainable. Adapt, change, but stay the course!
  • Add more goals to keep you on track and motivated.

Steps for Prevention

Though Benjamin Franklin was talking about fire prevention when he said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” it can certainly be applied to health. Taking steps for prevention can often protect you from developing serious medical concerns or stop existing issues from worsening.

The U.S. Prevention Taskforce developed recommendations for the prevention of serious illness and disease. Here is a short list of their recommendations:

  • Visit your healthcare provider every 1-2 years for a preventive checkup.
  • Women:  Have a PAP smear every 1-3 years between the ages of 21 and 65;  a mammogram every 1-2 years after age 40; and a lipid panel (blood test for cholesterol and other indicators) every 5 years after age 35.
  • Men: Have a lipid panel every 5 years after age 25.
  • Colonoscopy and a fecal occult blood tests are recommended for everyone every 10 years after age 50.
  • Glucose screening is recommended for adults over 45 with high blood pressure or cholesterol every 3 years.

Preventing health concerns is a great first start in setting new health goals, and can provide the opportunity to save time and money too. We hope you accept the challenge to set new health goals and be sure to let us know how we can support you!

For more information about Setting Health Goals, call your KnovaSolutions nurse or pharmacist. We’re available Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm. Call us at 800/355-0885.


Health goals come in all shapes and sizes depending upon your situation. Some ideas:

  • Find a primary care provider you feel comfortable with.
  • Organize your health information.
  • Learn something new.
  • Spend time doing something you enjoy with people you enjoy.


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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.


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