Brook Remote Care

Week 12 – Staying Healthy Long-term

Purpose: Discuss strategies for maintaining long-term healthy habits.

Time to read: 8 minutes

TABLE OF CONTENTS: 

IDENTIFYING YOUR WINS

If you’ve been working to make changes but are having trouble seeing or feeling the results, taking the time to identify your wins or finding the positive can be a big motivator to continue. You’ve probably made a lot more progress than you think! 

Can you look back at the readings you’ve taken throughout the program and see numbers improve? That’s definitely a win! Here are some other examples of benefits you might see or feel as you track and make changes: 

  • Increased energy 
  • Improved sleep quality or quantity 
  • Enhanced mood 
  • Fewer headaches 
  • Needing fewer naps during the day
  • Trying new healthy foods 
  • Better blood sugar stabilization 
  • Feeling better about yourself 
  • Clothes fitting better
  • Walking or going up and down stairs is getting easier
  • Choosing healthier snacks is easier
  • Drinking more water 
  • Improved digestion
  • Increased mobility, flexibility, or strength

CELEBRATING YOUR SUCCESS

When you achieve your goals, celebrating your success is a surefire way to help you stay motivated.

Here are some healthy ways to celebrate:

  • Take a day off: Give yourself a break from work or responsibilities and enjoy a day of relaxation or fun.
  • Treat yourself to a spa day: Pamper yourself with a spa day, complete with massages, facials, and relaxation.
  • Buy something special: Buy a meaningful item that you’ve had your eye on, like a piece of jewelry, a gadget, or a book, as a reward.
  • Exercise celebration: Reward yourself with new workout gear, a fitness class, or a personal training session.
  • Refresh your wardrobe: Whether you need a new size or not, find a couple of items that make you feel amazing when you wear them.
  • Plan a weekend getaway: Take a short trip to a place you’ve always wanted to visit or play tourist in a nearby town.
  • Practice a hobby: Spend time engaging in a hobby you love, whether it’s painting, playing a musical instrument, or crafting.
  • Volunteer or donate to a charity: Give back to the community by donating to a cause that’s meaningful to you.
  • Write a letter to yourself: Reflect on your achievements by writing a letter to your future self or keeping a journal of your progress.
  • Time with loved ones: Spend some quality time with loved ones, whether it’s a picnic, a family outing, or a dinner with friends.

HOW TO COPE WITH CHALLENGES

There will always be challenges that come along and try to derail your goals and healthy habits. By thinking about some common challenges ahead of time, you can come up with some strategies that will help you cope with them or even overcome them. 

 
I’m starting to feel bored
  • Set some new goals for yourself.
  • Take part in a friendly competition with others with similar goals.
  • Try new recipes and physical activities.
  • Work out while you talk on the phone.
  • Work out while you watch TV or videos, or listen to a podcast or audio book.
  • Work out with a friend or family member.
 
I don’t want to make these changes alone
  • Find if there are groups that go walking or focus on healthy living in your area. Social media and Meetup.com are good resources for this.
  • Use the Brook app to connect with the Health Coaches. 
  • Do activities with a friend or family member.
  • Join a class for an activity that interests you. You’ll find others there that share the same interests.
 
My family isn’t very supportive
  • Communicate with them and let them know that you’re trying to develop new habits and it’s important to you and your health.
  • Make sure to let them know where you need support and set boundaries around the changes you need to make.
  • Ask your family to make changes with you. Involve them in trying out new healthy meals or whatever you’re doing for physical activity. 
  • Stay persistent with your new healthy habits and they may join you when they see the benefits. 
  • If your family is still not supportive, seek out external support through fitness classes, online groups, or your Brook Health Coach!

 

I’ve reached my health goals
  • Brainstorm new goals to set.
  • If you don’t want to set new goals, your new focus should be to maintain the habits and lifestyle changes you’ve made. 

 

I’ve gotten off track with my goals or habit changes
  • That’s okay! Identify where you came off track and use the five steps of problem solving: 
    1. Describe the issue.
    2. Come up with potential solutions. 
    3. Choose the best option(s) for you. 
    4. Make an action plan to get yourself started. 
    5. Go for it!

 

My progress has slowed down
  • Reflect on where you started and all of the changes that have happened since then. 
  • Remember that change takes time, chat with a Brook Health Coach on ways to stay motivated or to jumpstart stalled progress. 

 

I’ve made less progress than I expected to
  • Remember that everyone’s journey is different and you may just need more time.
  • Reflect:
    • Identify your wins
    • Celebrate your successes
    • Identify your challenges or barriers for achieving your goals
    • Make a new action plan or set new SMART goals
    • Chat with a Brook Health Coach for support!

YOUR NEW HEALTHY HABITS

Now is a great time to take inventory of the new healthy habits you have developed as part of this program. And don’t worry if you haven’t kept up with some of these habits or have yet to incorporate them into your routine. What matters is that you stay motivated to make your health a priority in ways that are helpful to you and you continue making strides towards your goals each day. 

As you reflect on your journey, remember that setbacks are a natural part of making changes. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you fall off the wagon for a bit. What truly matters is your resilience and commitment to getting back on track. Our life and health are shaped by what we do consistently over time and a challenging day or a tough week won’t undermine your progress toward a healthy lifestyle. Keep moving forward, one step at a time.

NEXT STEPS

  1. Continue to track your measurements using your recommended monitoring protocol. 
  2. Chat with the Brook Health Coaches to develop a plan for staying on track with new healthy habits long term. 
  3. Create a list of ways you can celebrate your success so far and for your successes in the future. 
  4. Take note of progress you’ve made during the program, and share that with your healthcare providers. Progress could result in changes in your medications, care plan, and more.
Image of Brook Health Expert Kelsea
Reviewed by Kelsea Hoover, MS, RDN

as of September 2023. Kelsea is a Registered Dietitian with her Masters degree in Nutrition from Bastyr University.

Disclaimer:

Always be sure to reach out to your healthcare team when making changes to your diet or lifestyle. There are certain conditions and medications that need to be considered.