Tools for making health goals

As the days move forward in January, there is still time to commit to healthy changes for 2017.

January may already be half over, but there is still no time like the present to pick a small health goal for yourself or your family and begin to put your plan into action. Making positive changes towards good health is something we need to do each and every day. Michigan State University Extension encourages you to choose good health every day so this allows you to set new goals anytime through the year, not just as a New Year’s resolution.

A new initiative from USDA, called MyPlate, MyWins is a great new resource to help as you forge ahead with choosing small goals towards achieving better health. According to the MyPlate MyWins website, “MyPlate, MyWins is focused on helping Americans find real-life solutions for a healthy eating style. MyPlate, MyWins aims to help you find healthy eating solutions by focusing on all five MyPlate food groups including fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy to ensure you get all the nutrients you need.” Nutrition educators understand that all individuals have different nutritional needs and eating habits. When educating individuals about good nutrition and health, people must realize that with everyone’s differing needs and likes, we have to determine a plan for each individual that will work based on their preferences, goals and nutritional needs. Knowing this, nutrition programs that allow individuals to focus on their specific needs are very successful at helping people make behavior changes and see success.

Utilizing MyPlate’s SuperTracker tool, you can log on and create your personalized healthy eating goals. Starting with small steps and celebrating milestones – known as “wins” – along the way are helpful strategies in achieving goals and maintaining changes. Many of us find great success in tracking their food intake and physical activity levels. The accountability provided when you are monitoring what you eat and how much physical activity that you do is beneficial in really seeing how you are doing and helping you reach your goals. Using the SuperTracker will assist you with the tracking and monitoring.

This great resource also allows you to take part in challenges, share your successes on social media and have a wealth of information about healthy eating at your fingertips. Check it out, and use the resources to assist you in working toward positive health goals in 2017.

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