It's time to turn resolutions into solutions.
MyPlate recommends 2 strategies for successful improvements to eating habits and lifestyle: focusing on long-term solutions instead of quick fixes, and self-assessing periodically. The post Resolutions into Solutions provided an introduction to these approaches, and now we'd like to go into more depth about those self-assessment resources...
So, what exactly is self-assessment?
It's a way for a person to reflect on his or her performance. It can be especially useful for people who have set a goal and are on the road to achieving it. People can use self-assessment to determine which approaches are effective and which aren't delivering the results they want. Self-assessment is a way of reviewing the data a person has available, then using that data reflect on progress.
When clients set health goals, self-assessment can help keep them motivated and on the right track. We recommend tracking both progress and methods so that patterns become easier to see over time. Then people can use that data to determine whether their approaches are successful.
There are lots of ways to help clients assess their progress. Here are a few different approaches to try...
- Journaling: This one is the easiest to customize. Have clients keep a journal, making sure to articulate their goals somewhere prominent on the page(s). They can record the steps they take to reach their goal (increasing fruit and vegetable intake, walking daily, etc) along with measurements of the progress they make (weight lost, waist circumference reduced, strength features, etc). Clients can also record how they feel about their approaches and progress, identifying solutions that aren't necessarily sustainable over time and trying different approaches as needed.
- FitBit: The resource is great, especially for fitness goals. It can track number of steps taken per day, calories burned, sleep patterns, and even calorie intake! It also has tools for tracking progress (including charts and graphs) and setting goals.
- SuperTracker: MyPlate's goal achievement system is perfect for self assessment. Use it to track foods eaten, activities completed, exercise routine, weight, etc. It's also great for suggesting health goals and helping clients assess their progress.
- Joe's Goals offers a way to track progress towards multiple goals at once, and even features tracking for bad habits. It includes a logbook for journaling and a tracker for scoring progress daily.
Oh and here are some printable (and emailable!) goal tracking pages! I hope you like them...
And, as always, there's more in the Nutrition Education Store! Here's a look at some of our most popular MyPlate resources...MyPlate Posters MyPlate PowerPoints and Presentations
Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.