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Posts Tagged ‘goals’

Definition of nudge: to touch or push (someone or something) gently: to encourage (someone) to do something. ~Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

Setting health and wellness goals are common when we start a new year. Many of us make New Year Resolutions. For several years, I’ve encouraged people to set a resolution or goal and go for it. We’ve discussed ways to achieve your goal, as well as possible barriers and opportunities. Did you set a New Years’ Resolution? If so, how are you doing with that goal?

We are over the midpoint in the year and I’d like to encourage you to consider taking a small step (or two) to improve your health. If you are like me (and most of us) you are busy and health practices may take a backseat in our lives. I’d like to “nudge” you to get back on track with your wellness goals.

Not sure where to start? Is there an easy habit that you could add or change? Sometimes if we start with a simple change, the next wellness change is easier to make. We gain momentum as we start to feel better and our confidence increases. Here are some suggestions for easy changes to help you get started:

  • Enjoy water at meals – not only will you save money while eating out, this helps you get increase your daily water intake.
  • Add a veggie or fruit snack to your day. Pack a bag of carrots, an apple, banana or mini cucumber to enjoy as a snack break.
  • When ordering a salad, ask for your dressing on the side and dip your fork into your dressing. You will save calories and it may help you slow the pace of eating. When you are finished, look at the amount of dressing left over. Any surprises?
  • Take a walk at lunch. Start with 10 minutes. See if getting a quick walk in helps you feel refocused and energized. Add more time to your walk and see those benefits.
  • Set a timer (phone, watch, or computer) to get up and move every hour. See if this helps you stay energized throughout the day.
  • Pack a low-fat yogurt (watch the amount of sugar in your yogurt) to enjoy as a healthy snack. This will help you get the 3-a-day recommended servings of dairy.
  • Enjoy your pizza with extra veggies. If you love pepperoni on your pizza, make half veggie, half pepperoni and mix it up. We’ve transitioned to a veggie only pizza in our house.
  • Take a day and declare it “soda free”. Enjoy flavored water, tea, or other beverages. A few years ago, I made the decision that I wouldn’t drink pop anymore. It was a tough habit to break but sparkling water and tea helped me make this change.
  • Engage a friend for support. Tell a friend (email, text, in person, or on the phone) about your new health change and gain support. Stating the goal or change that you are making will help you stay accountable. It may even encourage them to make a change, too.

Still not sure where to start? Check out the new on-line tool on MyPlate.

In a few minutes, you will have a MyPlate Plan to help you find a Healthy Eating Style. I like that my plan told me how many cups of fruits and vegetables that I need each day.

Want a few more ideas of small changes you can make? Here are two links to help you get started:

30 MyPlate Steps to a Healthier You

Check out the ChooseMyPlate website and explore the Make Small Changes section.

You will find short video clips, comparisons, recipes and more. Just click on one of these sections:

Are you ready to enjoy a healthier lifestyle? Start with a small change, and “nudge” others to make one simple switch for better health.

Sources:

https://www.choosemyplate.gov/what-are-myplate-mywins

https://www.choosemyplate.gov/make-small-changes

https://food.unl.edu/30-myplate-steps-healthier-you

 

Written by: Michelle Treber, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Shannon Carter, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Fairfield County, carter.413@osu.edu

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Do you wonder why some people succeed or make it – either in the workplace or with sports – and others just don’t? Grit may be the answer. Grit is courage, resolve, or strength of character.

Gritty people:

  • Finish what they start.
  • Put forth twice as much effort.
  • Are optimistic.
  • Identify and fix their mistakes.
  • Set a goal and follow through with it.
  • Practice, practice, practice!!

Psychologist Angela Duckworth who does research on “Grit” or the blend of passion and persistence has written a number of books and articles on the subject. She says you can predict success by building “Grit”. To have grit you need to stick with goals for years and live life like a marathon, not a sprint!

As parents, teachers or mentors there are a few things to help others learn about and build their “Grit”:

  • Encourage reading books where the characters had to overcome a challenge.
  • Talk about times you personally had to work hard to achieve something. Share the times you didn’t end up succeeding, but learned a valuable lesson in the process.
  • Promote moving on from failures and not focusing on excuses.

Research on gritty individual’s shows that they are more successful – they graduate from school at a higher rate and hold onto their relationships. But a negative the researchers on grit found is that sometimes people stick with goals, ideas, or relationships that should be abandoned. It is hard for them to know when to move on or cut their losses. Sometimes they hold on to these goals so long they damage relationships or even lose money.

So what should we do – work towards “Grit” or “know when to fold”? By learning to reward yourself for the pleasure of the experience of achieving the goal you are working towards, not just the final result we can make our perseverance a good thing. Break our long-term goals down into a number of steps that can be check off along the way – and then feeling success in achieving those short-term goals.

If you want to learn more about “Grit”:

  • Watch Angela’s TED Talk on grit at http://go.osu.edu/grit.
  • Read or listen to one of the many books on grit that are available for purchase or from your library for free.
  • Search “Grit” in the Daily Good – an online portal that shares stories and quotes about goodness.
  • Check out the Bowling Green State University Counseling Center “Grit”
  • Or if you like sports I find that many of the stories on The Players’ Tribune (an online platform giving stories from athletes to us the fans) display the grit it takes for them to succeed.

I’m sure many of us have stories of the “Grit” it took us to succeed in something. I would love to hear your story or find out about the places you get your inspiration from – comment on this article to let us know what keeps you going and inspires you.

Writer: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County.

Reviewers: Kathy Goins, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Clark County.

Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County.

 

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2017-loading-pic

While ringing in the New Year, many of us also resolve to make THIS the year that we finally realize our goals. Unfortunately, many of us find ourselves off the resolution wagon before January has ended. Every year people say they are going to exercise more, be healthier, quit smoking, get organized, lose weight, manage money, etc. By the time February rolls around, those ambitions have gone by the wayside. Well, FEAR NOT! Using some scientifically proven steps, lasting change is achievable.

Researchers have identified distinct stages of change that people who are able to achieve success progress through. The Transtheoretical Model (TTM) was developed in the late 1970’s by James O. Prochaska, PhD and Carlo C. DiClemente, PhD, when they contrasted the experiences of people who were able to quit smoking on their own, versus those who needed additional treatment. People quit smoking when they were ready to quit. The TTM operates on the assumption that people do not change behaviors quickly and decisively. Rather, change in behavior, especially habitual behavior, occurs continuously through a cyclical process.1

The Transtheoretical Model

  • Pre-contemplation: Someone may realize there is a problem and they may be thinking about changing it, but they have not yet made a commitment to do anything about it. People can be stuck in this phase for many years.
  • Contemplation: Someone plans to make some changes in the relatively near future. They have started to think about the good and bad things associated with making these changes.
  • Preparation: Someone is going to take action soon. They may start taking small steps toward the change.
  • Action: Someone has recently started making some changes in their behavior to make progress toward their goal.
  • Maintenance: Someone has been continuing with the behavior changes for a period of time and they plan to stick with them.
  • Termination: Someone no longer has any desire to revert back to their previous behaviors. Most people don’t get to this point, so it is often not part of many programs.

changePeople do not succeed in achieving their New Year’s resolutions or other goals because they are unaware of these stages. In addition to this, the professionals people seek for help, may also be unaware of what stage of change the someone is actually in. They assume since a person has come to them asking for help, that they are in the action phase, when this may not be accurate. Consider whether the stage of change that you are in right now is appropriate for the expectations you may have set on January 1st. If not, adjust your timeline and your goals accordingly.

So, if achieving your goal weight, exercising more, eating better, quitting smoking, managing finances, or whatever has slipped by the wayside, you can still be successful in 2017!

Author: Misty Harmon, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Perry County, harmon.416@osu.edu

Reviewer: Amanda Bohlen, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University, Washington County.

Sources:

Boston University School of Public Health http://sphweb.bumc.bu.edu/otlt/MPH-Modules/SB/BehavioralChangeTheories/BehavioralChangeTheories6.html

Research Gate https://www.researchgate.net/publication/285796052_Applying_the_Stages_of_Change

SAGE Journals http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.4278/ajhp.140627-QUAL-304

Medline Plus https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_162833.html

Medline Plus https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_162820.html

Harvard Business School http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/5-new-year-s-resolutions-you-can-keep-with-the-help-of-behavioral-science-research

Case Western Reserve University http://www.centerforebp.case.edu/stories/stages-of-change-co-creator-carlo-diclemente-discusses-practical-applications-of-his-transtheoretical-model-for-health-wellness-and-recovery

University of California, San Francisco https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2016/12/405201/scientific-reasons-keeping-your-new-years-resolutions

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/behavior.htm

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Sometimes you need to find ways to sneak activity into your daily life! Below are some tips that might just help you be successful.
Get everyone on board—sometimes it is tough to get the kids to change their lifestyle, but the example Mom and Dad set can go a long way toward adjusting the mindset of the other family members. Any process is easier when you have a support system.
Sometimes the basics are the best, focus on those traditional moves that use your own body weight. Exercises like squats and pushups can often work just as well as expensive machines or workouts.
Make errands counts—park far from your destination so that you and the kids have to walk. Take the stairs rather than the elevator as often as you can.
Do what you love—find activities that your whole family enjoys. Maybe dodge ball or kickball, hiking or bike rides. If everyone likes the activity it is easier to fit it into your schedule.
Modeling behavior—when Mom or Dad has objectives or goals that they set out to achieve the kids will learn from this. It will teach and motivate them to want to do the same.
Make a smart trade or swap—three or four times a week swap an after dinner family walk in place of that dessert.
Set goals—everyone needs a measuring stick for progress. By setting goals the family can be focused on the mission at hand.
Switch things up—hitting a plateau can happen during your fitness mission. Try FITT (frequency, intensity, type or time of routine) – change one of the 4 areas of fitness for an improved you! Your body adjusts to the fitness you have chosen. By changing it up some you can often get beyond the plateau and start seeing progress again.
I hope some of these help as you start on your fall fitness course. Remember it takes about 21 days to break or form a habit, so start one of these healthy habits today!
Author: Liz Smith, Family and Consumer Science Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension.
Reviewed by: Lisa Barlage, Family & Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension.
Source: nih.gov/health/public/health/obesity/wecan/get-active

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Feeling Down and Out….

If you or someone you care about are depressed it is important to take action to combat the issue. Therapy and medication are used to control depression but changes to behavior or lifestyle can be beneficial too. Physical activity, healthy diet, and lifestyle — can be effective natural depression treatments.
“Lifestyle changes are a very important part of treatment,” says Ian A. Cook, MD. Dr. Cook is the director of the Depression Research Program at the University of California Los Angeles. Dr. Cook recommends six natural ways to fight depression. Routine is very important too. Without routine one day can bleed into next and you can feel a sense of loss of control.
1. Exercise. Study after study has found that physical activity can boost mood. Recommendations of at least one half hour several times per week are noted. The type of exercise you use as a natural depression treatment doesn’t seem to matter. Your physician may have recommendations on a certain type of aerobic exercise needed for your health, such as to help your heart, but the benefit of moving is what seems to be needed for depression. Music or reading while exercising may have a positive effect on your mood too.
2. Diet. Although there is no special diet recommended for depression, a healthy diet is really the key.
“Nutrition is an important element in your effort to help treat your depression,” Dr. MacKinnon, John Hopkins Associate Professor of Psychiatry, says. “Healing from depression is a physiological process, just like healing from a physical injury and without good nutrition medications for depression can’t work as effectively.”
Some medication used to treat depression can lead to weight gain, so working with your health care professional may be helpful too.
3. Sleep. Sometimes those with depression sleep too much and often insomnia is a problem with those suffering from depression. No matter which one is occurring, taking actions to correct it is important.
Try to make your lifestyle more sleep friendly. Healthy sleep tips include: Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, avoid too many or napping too long, and take all the distractions out of your bedroom — no computer and no TV.
4. Goals. Realistic goals are important for depression treatment. Accomplishing these realistic goals make you feel good about yourself. You have succeeded! You can then add extra additional realistic goals as you improve. You may have to get help from a therapist, friends or family to set priorities and break things up into reasonable amounts.
5. Responsibilities. A natural inclination when depressed is to give up all your responsibilities at home and at work. This can be more damaging. Having a sense of accomplishment is really important; just like staying active has really big benefits. Likewise know when you are pushing too hard. Maybe rather than full time work or school, part time might be better for a period of time, or consider volunteering. Giving to others can be a great way to feel better!
6. Relaxation. You have to make this happen. This doesn’t happen on its own. Plan a lunch, dinner or coffee date with a friend or meet them at the gym. What a great way to reconnect and relax.  

Depression is not something to be ignored. Even with the springtime weather approaching depression still takes its toll on people. Coping techniques and awareness of ways to improve it are important! Do it for yourself or those you care about now.

Source: Griffin, R., Recognizing the Symptoms of Depression, WebMD, 3/20/12.
Author: Liz Smith, FCS Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension

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