April 2012 | Issue 69

Inspire others. Get support.

multi-color vegetablesPerhaps pleasant weather beckons you outside, you're inspired by fresh farmers' market vegetables or the spring wardrobe is a little too snug – whatever the reason, you're making some new healthy choices this month and you're proud of it.

So go ahead: HealthyBrag about it because that bragging might keep you on track.

Stating your intentions for healthy change is one way to establish accountability for both starting and maintaining your desired new habits. Let friends in on your plan, whether in person or on social networks, so you can build three important steps to successful behavior change.

  1. Develop the plan. If you want to increase exercise or lose weight, start with specific steps. You may decide to log at least 7,000 steps on the pedometer or cut out sugary beverages. If you need some ideas, check out our 12 weeks of New American Plate Challenges. Whatever you decide for your first step, choose something achievable for you and that you can measure. Then tell someone – a friend, family member or your Twitter or Facebook friends – what you plan to do.
  2. Be accountable. Keep track of your daily progress and build in a way to report to someone, whether as a formal or informal check-in. If you are working with a trainer, dietitian or other health professional, you'll be checking in with them. A friend, co-worker or family member can also be your go-to for a check-in. Online you can tweet or blog, or go to AICR's Facebook page on Monday morning and post your HealthyBrag.
  3. Build support. There are many ways to find support for your healthy changes. Love your mobile device? Find an app that helps you record and track your data and that gives you instant feedback on your progress. Your social media community can also be a source of support. Post your progress and you can get a lot of "likes" and "mentions" from others. If you're a group person, look for support groups or classes in the education department of your local hospital or health center.

If you include others in your health quest, you may also inspire your friends and family to make a few changes of their own.

AICR wants to hear how you are improving your health, one step at a time. Every Monday, tell us your HealthyBrag on Facebook, tell your friends to "like" your comment. If you get the most "likes" for your comment, you'll win a small prize.

Find more healthy changes you can make to reduce your risk for cancer and other chronic disease in our Reduce Your Risk section.


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