The Key to Lasting Health Change
By: Dr. Peggy Malone
Many people are able to make a change in their health habits for a few days or a few weeks but then their old habits often sneak back up on them to a point where it’s hard to recognize any change at all.
Does this sound familiar to you?
Is this a routine that you have found yourself falling into each year at the New Year or at your birthday?
Do you want to stop the merry-go-round and finally stick with your health changes long term?
Through many years of working toward my own health goals and helping others to make long term changes on their health journeys, I have noticed that the single most important key in sticking with the change is this…
The ultimate goal is hold yourself accountable. To partake in your new health habits every minute, day and hour because you have created a very strong habit loop and you are committed to your ‘Why’, to the reasons that you want to be healthier.
That said… when you are working toward your goals for a healthier you, remember that you don’t have to do it alone.
Especially in the beginning it will serve you to ask for help, to lean on others and to follow the advice of someone who has already walked the path or who has a map
Here are some ways that you can build layers of accountability into your schedule so that you will be more likely to be successful on your health and wellness journey.
Find a Support Group
Having a group of like minded people to bounce ideas off of and to get support from when things are tough is an amazing way to build in a layer of accountability that will lead to continued success.
Find an Accountability Partner
This is a great way to increase your odds for success. This is something that I have implemented in my life and it has made a huge difference. I have a scheduled phone meeting with my accountability partner at 8am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. We check in with one another and take note of what the other wants to be held accountable for before our next call. Sometimes the checklist is for health and sometimes it’s for business but in either case it makes it more likely that you’ll get it done because you know that someone is going to ask you about it.
For example, if you told a friend that you would meet her at 6am at the corner to go for a walk, you will be much more likely to throw the covers off and get moving. Without that extra layer of accountability built in, you might be tempted to stay in bed.
Get a coach or a mentor
Having a coach for a sporting team or an athletic endeavor is so common that we don’t even blink and it’s more and more common to have a coach or a mentor for business as well. But what about hiring a coach to help you with your health and wellness goals? That seems a little more novel.
But it really is a great idea, especially when you recognize that without investing in your health first… you are unlikely to be super successful in any other area of your life.
Remember that your health is your first wealth and finding someone to direct you on the right course is an amazing decision that will build massive accountability into your health and wellness plan.
So remember, ultimately you are looking for accountability to self… but this takes practice and time. Step by step with the help of accountability partners you’ll get there.
By building in these layers of accountability, you will be much more likely to succeed!!
Dr. Peggy Malone is a Chiropractor and an Athlete who helps other athletes to overcome injury and get back to their sport. Her weekly Television Series 'Living Well" inspires people from all walks of life to take control of their health to be as happy and as healthy as they can be.
A former varsity Basketball and Rugby player, she has since entered the world of endurance athletics where she has completed 2 Ironman Triathlons, 3 Marathons, several Half Marathons and many other Triathlons, Road Races and Off-Road Adventure races of varying distances.
Her own athletic endeavors and injuries have given her valuable insight into working with athletes in her practice for both the care of injuries as well as for the improvement of athletic performance.