Friday, March 13, 2015

The Essential Four Steps to a Healthier You

by Claudia Wallace, RN, BSN, Certified Wellness Coach

Have you always wanted to eat healthier, maintain a long-term exercise routine , have more energy, or lose the winter pounds? If you answered “yes” then it’s time to shift gears by taking the next step.   Commit to change towards a healthier and maybe happier you. One of my clients has lost over 80lbs since working together and taking the steps below; literally, he took up dancing. It’s not only the weight he has lost but the new confidence and joy he has found by taking the next step and reaching his goals.

Know Your Core Values
The first step towards successful change is to connect our long-term goals with our core values.  Why is a healthy life, focused on wellness, important to you?  When we truly believe  in and value our goals we are much more likely to achieve them as opposed to just doing what we’re told is best. Do you want to lose the extra pounds to feel better about yourself, to prevent chronic diseases or to have more energy to do the activities you enjoy? It is important for success to spend some time thinking and even writing down what brings joy into your life and what makes you thrive. Knowing your values in life will inspire you to reach your potential or long-term goals.

Set SMART Goals
Now that you have defined your long-term goals and connected them to your individual motivators, it’s time to set weekly short-term goals. It’s important to set SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measureable, Action oriented, Realistic and Timely. If your goal is to work out three times a week you want to be specific on what action you are going to do, where, what day and time and for how long you are going to do it. It’s important to start with small steps to build up confidence through early successes.  For example, if you are new to exercise you might want to start with a walking routine. 

Create a Plan
Plan for success by writing down your workouts in your calendar like you would any other important appointment. Use a digital reminder or sticky note, whatever works best for you personally as an additional aid for success. Sharing your goals with somebody you trust will make you more accountable for your goals. Inviting a friend or partner to join you for support and company will also make you more likely to be successful. Think ahead about any potential obstacles you might encounter and make specific plans on how to overcome them. If you are often too tired or busy in the evening to visit your gym, try getting up earlier for a morning workout.

Celebrate YOU!
Last but not least, believe in yourself and your ability to be successful with your goals. Many studies have shown that we are much more likely to be successful with any goal setting if we also feel worthy of change. Give yourself as much encouragement and support as you would give a good friend. Plan for potential setbacks and see them as learning opportunities. Celebrate early successes by rewarding yourself with something special. One of my favorite quotes is by Henry Ford “Whether you believe you can or whether you believe you can’t; you are right”.

About Claudia:

Mrs. Wallace is a Registered Nurse (Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Univ. of Massachusetts, Boston) and Wellcoaches™ certified wellness coach. She is CEO and founder of Horizon Wellness Coaching of Ponte Vedra Beach. In addition to her own clients, she has served as wellness coach to underprivileged patients at the Sulzbacher Beaches Clinic in Jacksonville Beach. 

Mrs. Wallace coaches individuals to lead healthier, happier lives through prevention and management of chronic diseases, such as obesity, hypertension and Type 2 Diabetes. In her coaching, she uses a holistic approach addressing nutrition, physical activity, stress reduction, self-compassion and sleep. Claudia also offers monthly wellness workshops for the community partnering with different health care providers and health oriented businesses.

The UNF Division of Continuing Education is committed to helping everyone reach their health and fitness goals. Visit our website to see all of the classes available for registration.