Put Health Goals into Action

Having health-related goals is one thing.

Being able to follow through with them is another.

To help my patients put health goals into action, I encourage them to think about the steps they can take up front to set themselves up for success.

Here are 3 STEPS YOU CAN STAR TAKING TODAY to improve your eating, physical activity, sleep and stress:

1-Make Healthy Foods More Visible at Home

We all have our good intentions to eat healthier foods.

But it can be hard to choose a piece of fruit over the chocolate cake when both are on your kitchen counter.

Taking control of some of those tempting food cues that surround you at home can be helpful.

Here are some ways to do so:

  • Keep tempting treats out of sight on a high shelf in opaque containers or even in another less accessible room like the laundry room.
  • Clear counters of snack foods and sweet treats and replace them with a fruit bowl.
  • Remove candy dishes from your living areas.
  • In the refrigerator, move produce from the crisper drawer to the eye-level shelf, and move less healthful foods to the crisper drawer.
  • When saving leftovers, wrap healthier foods in the clear wrap so they’re visible and move the less healthy foods to the back of the cabinet or refrigerator.

2-Schedule In Your Physical Activity Time

Important meetings and appointments most likely make it into your weekly calendar.

So why not also schedule exercise-related activities in your calendar, such as an exercise class, circuit training time in a fitness club, a sporting event like a pickleball game or a personal trainer session.

But what if you’re someone who doesn’t have planned exercise times and prefer to build physical activity into your daily schedule?

Consider scheduling in your NON-EXERCISE physical activity also.

Examples may include:

  • Take dog on longer walk before and after work.
  • Walk outside for 20 minutes with work colleague after lunch.
  • Walk 20 minute with spouse after dinner.
  • Walk around field with friend at son’s soccer practice.

If you schedule it in, you’ll be more likely to follow through.

A few minutes here and there really do add up to better health.

3-Use Apps to Improve Sleep and Stress

Poor sleep and a high stress level can both quickly derail your healthy lifestyle efforts.

Insufficient sleep is a risk factor for several medical problems, including heart disease and diabetes.

And a high stress level can lead you to seek unhealthy behaviors like drinking too much alcohol, choosing unhealthy foods or being sedentary.

Apps can help to nudge healthier habits.

To improve sleep, consider putting a ‘white noise’ app on your phone.

Using one of these apps or a sound machine is one of the sleep hygiene tips that many individuals find helpful.

And to cope better with stress, you can try one of the many meditation apps.

Using a meditation app, like Headspace, Calm or Relax and Rest – even for just a few minutes in the midst of a hectic day can help you feel more centered.

I hope these 3 tips give you more ideas to make a healthier lifestyle easier to follow.


Robert Kushner, MD

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1 Comment

  1. Ana on April 16, 2024 at 12:09 pm

    Something I really appreciated about your book was the explanation of process vs outcome goals. It’s something that has been on my mind a lot lately. I’m personally way more motivated by process goals — even if they lead to achieving long term outcomes.

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