Be Proactive in Health Management
Today, I’m working on edits for my upcoming book on managing chronic illness. Reading through what I’ve written, one main theme seems to stand out. And that is be Proactive in your efforts to manage your health. Don’t sit back and wait for health to happen to you. Take action, MAKE it happen.
In the classes I teach, and in the book I’m writing, I teach people about things every person can do to improve their health. Some of these methods are simple, and others more complicated, but the one thing they have in common is that they’re actions a person can take to improve their health situation.
But, before you can use any natural health protocols, the first thing you need to do to is define your goal. Sure, want to be healthy, but what does that mean for you? What does health mean to you? Do you want to be pain free, do you want to lose 50 pounds, or are you hoping to lower your blood pressure?
Step 1 in any plan is to know your goal. Evaluate WHAT you want to do, WHY you want to do it, and WHEN you want to have it accomplished. Choose ONE small goal to work on. One common reason for failure is that the goal is simply too big to be addressed by a simple plan. Don’t try to lose 150 lbs, run 1 mile, and lower your blood pressure. Sure, you want to do all those things, but you can’t work on all of them at once. It’s just too much. Set your goal small.
Step 2 is search for the resources and information you need to formulate the best plan. For some, that might mean a visit to your physician. But, for others it means reading about your goal in several different sources. Use books from your library, books you find on-line, health related websites, and the words of regular people. You might find that more people are successful in lowering blood pressure with lifestyle changes instead of using the medications your doctor will offer. Keep a list of the resources you used, in case you want to go back and read them again.
Step 3. Develop a plan. Understand step-by-step what you need to do in order to achieve your goal. Write the steps down so you have them for reference. Know how you will handle it when things get hard.
Step 4. Follow your plan. If step one is to start eliminating sugar from your diet, then don’t make excuses. Substitute the sugar in your morning coffee with stevia. Don’t like stevia? Then try a splash of cream (yes, real, whole fat cream) in your coffee instead, or see if you like Bulletproof Coffee. Sure, the new habit will take time to get used to. That’s why you broke your actions into steps, to make them easier to get used to. If you don’t follow your plan, you have no one to blame but yourself if nothing changes.
Step 5. Perform an honest evaluation of your progress without allowing yourself to make excuses for failure. If after three weeks you see that you’re eating more sugar than you did when you started, you’re obviously doing something wrong. Re-evaluate your actions and daily choices and make changes accordingly. Don’t rationalize your past choices. You ate three donuts on Thursday. Don’t blame the co-worker who brought them in. Realize that it was YOUR choice to eat them. You could have said “No, thanks.” If the co-worker gets offended over that, well, that’s HER problem, not yours. Your responsibility is to yourself and your family.
Does this sound harsh? It’s not meant to, but the truth of the matter is that nothing gets better if you make excuses or blame others. The ONLY way to make positive changes in your health or in your life is to take a proactive approach. I talk with so many people who don’t know how to take responsibility for their actions, including their health choices. Learn to be proactive, to understand what you want, and why you want it. Learn to get information from several competing sources and form your own action plan based on that information. Then, create a solid action plan based on what you’ve learned, and follow it.