Step 4 of Your 7 Steps to Health & Happiness
This time we’ll talk about building your plan.
Step 4 – Building an Action Plan and Tracking Your Progress
If possible, work with a doctor or health coach to create easy-to-understand plans for reaching your health goals. Otherwise, seriously consider what you’ll need to do to achieve your long- and short-term health goals.
To reach your goals you need to see how you’re progressing. To do that, keep track in your journal of what you eat, how much you eat, how much and how often you exercise. When practical, every week jot down your current vital statistics, like we did in Step 2.
If your goal is to reduce your blood pressure 20 points it may not be practical to visit the doctor each week, but you can get an idea of how you’re doing with the free blood pressure testing machines that may drug stores have. Remember – be consistent with these machines. Use the same machine. Sit, breathe deep, relax, then test.
If your goal is to reduce your waistline, don’t measure yourself daily because that may lead to frustration, but measure your waist weekly on the same day of the week, at the same time, say, the first thing on Saturday morning, before you’ve eaten but after you’ve gone to the bathroom.
Make weekly and monthly monitoring one of your written goals and a part of your wellness journey. At the end of each month you’ll notice the solid foundation to a number of healthy new habits. You might begin to see how you’re being held back by unexpected obstacles like stress, a busy schedule, or temptation.
Use this monthly evaluation for problem solving and strategy planning, to help you better achieve your goals for the next month. This is your opportunity to re-evaluate your goals, setting them a bit higher, or more realistic, for the next month, based on what you’ve learned about yourself.