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Keys to Achieving Your Wellness Goals

By Barbie Boules

The information provided herein is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as medical advice or to replace professional medical care. You should always seek the advice of a medical professional before starting any new medication or dietary supplement, as well as when starting new exercise regimens. The opinions stated herein are those solely of the writer who has been compensated by the up4® Probiotics Brand, and do not portray the opinions of the brand, i-Health, Inc., or DSM.

Hello! I’m Barbie Boules, Registered Dietitian and Certified Health Coach. For over 15 years, I’ve been passionately guiding people to achieve a healthy relationship with their bodies and the nourishment they give it. Nourishment isn’t just about the food on your plate; it’s about all the ways you care for yourself that help you embrace your best life. As a dietitian, I focus on the foods you eat; as a health coach, I focus on the way you live. In my practice, I’ve ridden several crazy waves of nutrition and wellness recommendations.

We now know this for certain: restrictive diets that force us to neglect nutrients and the pleasures of eating do not work. We also know that quality sleep, daily exercise and getting creative about managing stress are all essential to our overall health.

The Four Pillars of Wellness

My philosophy involves what I call the four pillars of wellness: incorporating delicious foods bursting with nutrients; getting your beauty sleep; moving your body in a way that feels like empowerment, not a chore; and arming yourself with tools to stay determined when it’s easier to be distracted from your goals.

Each of these elements is critical for optimal health. Like a table with four legs, if one is weak, it topples. When each element of our health is strong, we can crush whatever we set out to do.

What this looks like for you is unique—one size never fits all. What works for your best friend, yoga pal or running buddy isn’t necessarily your best game plan. Optimal health depends on tuning-in, being patient and allowing your body to reveal the best path, for good.

Small Changes Today Lead to Long-Term Success

Taking control of your wellness can be a daunting task. Understanding that big changes don’t happen overnight is crucial to staying the course. Focus on creating small, daily habits that contribute to your long-term goals. Great first steps include:

  • Let go of all-or-nothing thinking. If your goal is to eat more healthfully, one night of take-out shouldn’t derail your efforts. No shame—just get back after those veggies tomorrow. Don’t let a slip become a fall.
  • Make good health, not weight loss, your mission. Better stamina, physical energy, mental clarity and a more positive attitude are major wins. Cultivate true gratitude for all the side benefits of taking good care of yourself.
  • Be mindful and identify your triggers for unhealthy coping methods. Get creative and start replacing unhealthy habits with good ones, one day at a time.
  • Find a buddy to keep you accountable. Whether it’s a relationship with a dietitian, health coach, therapist or simply a friend who shares your goals—find a support system to help you stay on track.

Today is an Opportunity to Be a Little Better Than Yesterday

Taking steps toward good health is a choice, and it’s achievable. Just remember you need to “go slow to go fast.” Taking on too much at once often leads to disappointment. Make a list of goals, take strategic incremental steps—make it difficult to fail. You’ve got this.