6 Ways to Help Your Health and Wellness Participants Stay on Track

Ideas For Wellness

It’s been about a month since New Year’s resolutions were a topic of conversation around the water cooler.

Lose weight. Eat healthy. Exercise daily. Sleep better. Stress less.

Poll your population, and these are the health and wellness topics they’re probably talking about.

How’s it going? The die-hard goal setter might be making progress. But for a lot of people, resolutions start out as good intentions, then fizzle out after a few weeks. And it doesn’t have to be that way.

Want to help your population get back on track and turn 2019 into a year of health and wellness wins?

Top 7 health and wellness resolutions

Data collected by the National Institutes of Health says the most popular health and wellness resolutions include:

  1. Lose weight
  2. Get more physical activity
  3. Eat more nutritious foods
  4. Quit smoking
  5. Cut back on alcohol
  6. Reduce stress
  7. Sleep better

Tip: If you really want to know what health and wellness resolutions your population is interested in, use your wellness platform to find out. Ask a survey question through your wellness platform, or find out by looking at health risk assessment data from the readiness to change question set.

New Year’s resolutions:
Back on track or off the rails?

With a few health and wellness resolutions picked out, a lot of people make a solid effort the first few days or the first few weeks of the year.

But all too often, good intentions start to slide and that commitment to stick to resolutions goes off the rails. Sound familiar?

In a study on New Year’s resolutions at the University of Pennsylvania, researchers found that:

  • About 45 percent of all adults make New Year’s resolutions
  • Within a week, 11 percent throw in the towel and give up
  • After a month, 28 percent are still working keeping their New Year’s resolution
  • At six months, 20 percent of resolution-makers are still in the game
  • But only 6 percent of people who make resolutions stick with it for an entire year

Tip: Use your wellness platform or survey data to identify trends in wellness program participation. Then look for ways to increase engagement and help your participants achieve their goals.

6 Ways to Help Your Participants Stay on Track

As a wellness coordinator, wellness manager, or health coach, you want to help people adopt healthy lifestyle habits to prevent disease. But sometimes people need a bit of a nudge or gentle reminder to stay on track. Here are some ways to help people stick to their resolutions recommended by the National Institutes of Health:

1. Write down goals and keep track of activity. Studies show that people who write down their resolutions and keep track of their activity are more likely to succeed than those who don’t. For example, in a recent study, researchers found that people who kept a details food diary for six months lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t.

Tip: Encourage participants to use your wellness platform tracking tools, fitness devices, or third-party apps to set goals and track progress.

2. Recommend the one-step-at-a-time approach. It’s going to be hard to convince a participant to go from eating pizza and fast food every day following a plant-based diet. So don’t. Take it one step at a time. Maybe its extra bell peppers on a pizza, and a leafy-green salad with a fast food order to start. And for the non-exerciser, forget about pushing 60-minute gym workouts. Start with a 10-minute walk and go from there. Think about it like the progression described in the transtheoretical model of behavior change.

Tip: Create a health challenge or wellness initiative specific to your population to help them achieve their goal.

3. Help participants plan for obstacles. The path to success usually isn’t a straight line from point A to point B. In reality, there’s obstacles along the way. Help your participants recognize what might prevent them from losing weight, eating healthier, exercising regularly, etc., and come up with a plan to keep moving forward when that happens.

4. Be a role model. Want your participants to adopt healthy behaviors, make better food choices, and stick to their New Year’s resolutions? Be a role model.

Set a good example without pressuring people. Eat healthy foods. Walk or bike to work. Take the stairs.

Your participants will notice. And they’ll be more likely to ask questions, model your behavior, and adopt healthy habits.

Tip: Get to know your participants, and you’ll probably find others who can also serve as role model or wellness champion to encourage others.

5. Create social support and accountability. Your participants are a lot more likely to keep working on their health and wellness goals if they have support and accountability from a social network, according to a recent study.

Tip: Develop a culture of health, hosting health challenges, and event that give participants a chance to get to know each other.

6. Stay the course, get back on track. The truth about New Year’s resolutions is a bit sobering. Only 28 percent of goal setters make it past a month. A lot of people start off the year with good intentions, but end up giving up on their health and fitness goals. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can help your participants stay the course or get back on track.

Tip: Use your wellness platform and wellness incentives program for employees to motivate and reward participants to achieve their goals.

Help participants keep their resolutions to win at wellness

One month into the New Year, your participants are starting to lose motivation to stick to their health and wellness goals. Rescue those resolutions and take action.

How do you help participants achieve health and wellness goals? Lets Connect