February 4, 2023

Small changes can build healthy habits in the new year | News

OKLAHOMA CITY – This New Year, Shape Your Future, a program of the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust, encourages Oklahomans to build healthy habits through small changes in everyday routines. Instead of setting resolutions without a plan to achieve them, create and maintain healthy lifestyles by changing one habit at a time.

“Unrealistic New Year’s goals can be overwhelming and hard to achieve,” said Julie Bisbee, TSET executive director. “Try making a small change each month, like eating more fruits and veggies or getting up 10 minutes earlier to do some easy walking around the house. Small changes add up to you feeling better and more energetic. Ultimately, this helps you and your family live a healthier life.”

The top two reasons the majority of New Year’s resolutions fail are because the goals are too big and feel unattainable, and there is no accountability structure to help maintain and track change.

Small changes harness positive momentum and build over time to create long-term healthy lifestyles. Follow Shape Your Future’s 5-Step Guide to build an action plan. Then, track healthy changes on the Healthy Habits Rewards Card.

Easy ways to incorporate small healthy changes into your everyday schedule include: drinking water instead of soda – or other sugary drinks, moving during TV commercial breaks instead of sitting still, taking walks throughout the day or as a family, cooking healthy meals together as a family with the kids involved – like veggie stir fry, snacking on carrots and hummus instead of chips and dip, and quitting tobacco.

In 2019, Alex, a 31-year-old marketing professional, and her family were featured in a testimonial for Shape Your Future. Alex realized she needed to be healthier for herself and her family. By making small changes, like taking the stairs, planning ahead for meals and eating healthy snacks, Alex saw her health transform. Her story is a perfect illustration of how to start a health journey one step at a time for success.

“As we adjust to building a healthy lifestyle with our two kids, this New Year my husband and I plan to include two walks around the neighborhood into our weekly routine,” Alex said. “I am looking forward to meal prepping shredded chicken with veggies to serve in sandwiches, salads or tacos. It will make packing healthy lunches easy and efficient during the week.”

Healthy lifestyles go beyond nutrition and exercise. Shape Your Future also encourages tobacco-free lifestyles for teens and adults. Make quitting tobacco your New Year’s resolution and celebrate daily quit-attempt victories through small steps that lead to powerful changes.

Adults wanting to live tobacco free can register with the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline for free plans to quit tobacco products. Pick the level of free services that is right for your quit – including free patches, gum or lozenges. Register for the Helpline online – OKhelpline.com – or call 1-800-QUIT NOW.

For Oklahoma teens ready to break free from addictive vapes and other tobacco products, check out My Life, My Quit or text “Start My Quit” to 36072 to register for free and confidential services to help you quit how you want and when you want.

This new year, join Shape Your Future in exploring the power of making small, healthy changes to food and activity habits, one step at a time, to live a healthier, happier 2022.

For a complete list of healthy lifestyle ideas, resources and dozens of easy, low-cost recipes, visit ShapeYourFutureOK.com.