Updated: Jun 4, 2018
As with all projects, where to start and how not to be overwhelmed is the first step.
When it comes to your health are you having nagging thoughts about your health goals and where to begin?
May I suggest start at the top - your head – literally and figuratively? To wrap your head around taking on something as important and complex as your overall health, you have to commit to be healthy.
To get started you need two tool. Pen and paper.
Begin with your motivation. List the top ten reasons you want/need to focus on your health. A family history, children/grandchildren/spouse that you want to be around for, to feel better, to have more energy, to look more attractive, the list is yours and yours alone. So be personal, be specific.
One your motivation is cast. You need to assess the situation. No bloodwork or scans yet just you and again your pen and paper.
Get everything you are thinking, worrying about our just need more information out of your head and onto paper. A low tech download.
For this I’ll provide the third tool. Download my assessment sheet and start at the beginning writing down everything you need to have checked and/or make an improvement. Putting off that dental cleaning, overdue for an eye exam, still trying to get those last 10 lbs. off and there’s that funky looking mole on your back. List it. Once you see everything on paper you can prioritize by determining a complete list of everything you want to have checked and what you know needs to be improved. Then use my three step process for where to start. Asking yourself, is it:
1. Urgent. Then do it now. That which is most important. If your blood pressure is high that is a “don’t delay, call today” item”.
2. Easy. Tackle small things. Schedule that dental cleaning. So what if you can’t make it for a few weeks, get it on the books and be done with it.
3. Plan it. Develop a plan or health calendar of when you will complete everything else from your eye exam to your mammogram. Some clients like to block schedule i.e. take a couple days off work and knock out all annual appointments aka routine maitaince whereas others like to spread it semi-annually or quarterly. It doesn’t matter just get it scheduled.
If you are afraid something like this will overwhelm you trust me it is already weighing heavy on your mind or draining your from energy that could be spend doing something about it. No matter how long your list is you now have one and you have a plan to tackle it.
We’ll talk more about working your plan. For right now I just want you to have one.
Dr. Annmarie Waite is a health care advocate. Her professional life which began as a registered nurse had her working in pediatric ICU, as a nurse examiner for the child protective team, a childbirth educator, a nurse examiner for the sexual assault victims unit and later a nurse practitioner in women’s health. First and foremost an educator, she has served as clinical instructors for Georgetown University, George Mason University. Florida Hospital College of Health Science, Miami Dade College and currently Eastern Florida State College. She is founder of the women’s health education organization, Girlfriends Health. Her passion is to use her clinical experience and expertise as an educator to coach others to their optimal level of health.