The Importance of Setting Health Goals and Committing to Treatment Plans
The arrival of a new year often brings the intention to set new health goals and resolutions.
Your first step may be to visit a natural health practitioner, for a complete assessment of your health concern. Once that appointment has concluded, committing to a treatment plan or a lifestyle change to achieve better health is easier for some people than others. If you are finding change difficult, your natural health practitioner is there to support you.
Tips on committing to treatment plans
The treatment plan recommended by your practitioner may include lifestyle changes such as increased exercise, a change in diet or improving your sleep habits. Setting up these changes as achievable goals can help identify your desired health status as an achievable target, and motivate you in the journey towards changing behaviours and improving health. How long it takes to affect change is different for all of us, and change can sometimes be subjective it may be useful to measure the effect. There are several useful tools that are relatively easy to implement. For example, let the significant people in your life know what you are doing. They can encourage you and are more likely to notice an improvement. Keeping a diary is also very important. Detail how you are feeling and what you are doing day to day. It often surprises people how far they have come when they read a page from an earlier period. A diary should be taken into your next consultation so you can discuss the changes with your practitioner.
A strategy you can use to help achieve your goals is to develop a plan on how you intend to achieve those goals or implement a new habit. For example, if your practitioner has suggested a change to your diet, spend some time creating a meal plan for the week ahead. This ensures that you have all that you need to stick to the plan. Similarly, if your practitioner has suggested increasing your fitness, planning the time, duration, frequency and location of your exercise can keep those goals in reach. Block the time out in your diary as important ‘self-care’ time.
Your practitioner is also your ‘coach,’ so they will work with you to set up a personalised plan of attack.
If you are really struggling with compliance (after all we are all human), don’t give up, you are not alone. Your health practitioner has undertaken to take the journey with you; it just takes a phone call.
How can I be sure to take my prescription at the right time every day?
If you have been given a prescription by your natural health practitioner, remembering to take the correct dose at the correct time is an important step in ensuring the efficacy of your treatment plan.
There are several things you can do to ensure you don’t forget:
- Take your medication at the same time every day
- Use a pillbox/container with the days of the week, and even AM/PM sectioned out for you. These are readily available at most pharmacies, and make it easy to see what you need to take and when
- There are many medication reminder apps available to download on smartphones. Download one for these and program in your daily requirements. This can be especially helpful if you are on different regimens which must be taken at specific times of the day.
Seeing through your treatment plan by adhering to your prescribed supplements or lifestyle interventions is extremely important to ensure you get the full benefits your treatment is intended to provide. Always consult with your natural health practitioner if you have concerns in regards to your treatment plan.