Six Ways to Start Small and Make Big Changes

Six Ways to Start Small and Make Big Changes

Six Ways to Start Small and Make Big Changes

Want an easy, effective and safe way to get healthy? Think small. Small changes can actually lead to greater well-being over time. 

"Thinking small" works because it eases you into healthy new habits. Old habits don't simply go away. As someone once said, “You start to move the mountain by moving one small stone at a time.” You can start right now, no matter your current state of health. 

Here are six ideas to get you started. Start with one that works best for you. 

  1. Schedule your annual wellness check. A yearly visit with your doctor, even when you’re not sick, is one of the best things you can do for your health. During the visit, you can talk with your doctor about your health concerns and the medicines you take. Before your visit, your doctor may ask you to fill out a "Health Risk Assessment" to provide a better picture of your health and your health goals. It's an important step in creating a plan to help you stay healthy.
  2. Catch up on health screenings. Preventive screenings and tests help catch health problems early when they are easier to treat. Preventive services such as mammograms and colorectal cancer screenings are covered under most health care plans. Talk with your healthcare provider about which screening tests are recommended for you. Check your Summary of Benefits to see what screenings are covered under your plan. And remember to sign up for our rewards program. You can earn up to $100 in gift cards for getting certain recommended health screenings.
  3. Take a walk. You don’t have to run a marathon to stay fit. Start with a daily walk. It can be around the house, around the block or farther. The key is to do it each day. Try to walk at the same time each day to help make the healthy habit stick. Studies leaving site icon show that exercise can brighten your mood, improve your memory and help you sleep better.
  4. Eat healthier. Making big changes to how and what you eat can be hard. Instead of radically changing the way you eat, start with small changes. Add fresh vegetables and fruits to your meals. If it's too hard to skip dessert, take a smaller piece of that pie and savor each bite.
  5. Know what you're taking. Understand everything you put in your body — prescription drugs, supplements, vitamins and herbs. Make sure you know why you take each one and how to take it the right way. Bring a medication and supplement list with you each time you go to the doctor.
  6. Connect with others. Talk and spend time with other people. Social interaction can help make you healthier. leaving site icon Whether it's volunteering, sharing a hobby or learning new skills, being with others is good for you. If it’s hard for you to leave your home, technology offers many ways to meet and talk with others online. 

Now that you’re on your way to a healthier you, what other activities will you take part in?

Registration is required to participate. Visit leaving site icon to register and see what Healthy Actions earn rewards. If you do not have internet access, call customer service using the phone number on the back of your insurance card. Maximum annual rewards of $100 in gift cards. One reward per Healthy Action per year. Healthy Action dates of service must be in the current plan year. Healthy Actions that earn rewards are subject to change. 
Sources: Regular exercise changes the brain to improve memory, thinking skills, leaving site icon Harvard Medical School; Better understand the effects of personal, interpersonal, and societal factors on aging, including the mechanisms through which these factors exert their effectsleaving site icon National Institute on Aging
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Originally published 3/13/2019; Revised 2021, 2024