Title: Take Control of Your Health Word Count: 539 Summary: In large part, you’re in control of your health, not your doctor. And taking control of your health doesn’t really depend on whether or not you have medical conditions. Taking control means developing habits and discipline. The most important thing you can do is educate yourself... Keywords: health, nutrition, medical conditions, healthy, ideal weight, dieting, goals Article Body: In large part, you’re in control of your health, not your doctor. And taking control of your health doesn’t really depend on whether or not you have medical conditions. Taking control means developing habits and discipline. The most important thing you can do is educate yourself. Learn about your health problems and how you can take care of your body. What do the latest studies say? The Internet is an excellent place to research health issues. Sometimes just finding different ways of doing things can help. Now, take the time to decide what your health goals for the next year will be. Write the goal(s) down. Some examples of goals might be: - to stop yo-yo dieting and focus on get healthier. - to start exercising regularly. - to move toward my perfect weight. - to find alternative ways to control diabetes. Then list specific ways you can accomplish these goals. For instance, try a new healthy dinner recipe once a week, go to the gym five days a week, or research nutrition on the Internet 10 minutes a day. Work on your mind and thought patterns. You have to believe that you can become healthy and reach your ideal weight before you will be able to do so. Learning to accept what you can’t change, but striving to change what you can, is key. A large part of succeeding in health improvement is being comfortable with yourself to begin with. Find time to do something good to reward yourself for making this commitment to improve your health. Reward yourself each week as you find yourself accomplishing your goals. If you have another person to work with, you will be more successful in meeting your health goals. This partner should be someone you can trust to share your feelings with. It helps to have a partner for accountability. We work harder when we know someone is watching us and holding us accountabl e. A good partner also helps us stay realistic in our goals and challenges us to grow. Try to find someone who will encourage you in the down times and celebrate your successes with you as you accomplish your goals. And of course you need to be that kind of a partner to your friend in return. You might consider forming an informal support group with some of your friends or acquaintances. People who belong to a group with mutual interests and a shared purpose accomplish more. A group might get together weekly or monthly and discuss progress or concerns and help encourage each other. Sometimes all a person might need is another opinion or just a little encouragement to help them get past a place where they are having problems. Even if you are doing great, perhaps you could be of help to someone else who is struggling. Communication is important when putting together a group. Set up a regular time and method to report progress to each other and stick to it. Set realistic benchmarks to monitor your progress. Reward yourselves for your effort. Do something fun as a group once in a while. There can be great rewards in working with others toward common goals. It makes the journey more enjoyable as well as more productive.