Want to Make a Healthy-Related Change Before the Year Ends? Try These 6 Simple Tips

If you have to make a health-related change before the year ends, what will it be?

Want to Make a Healthy-Related Change Before the Year Ends? Try These 6 Simple Tips

If you have to make a health-related change before the year ends, what will it be?

This is the question I asked myself and a couple of people a few weeks ago.

You can also take a moment to highlight yours before you continue reading.

One thing we all had in common is that we had at least 3 things we wanted to work on.

As it almost always happens when it’s time to make a change, I suddenly feel motivated and overwhelmed in less than an hour of thinking about the process and so, for the first time, I had to think of another approach.

What did I do? I’ll explain in a few points:

1. Understand the "why"

I had to start by re-reading the question that asked for 1 thing but listed 3 items. Understanding why you want to make positive changes helps you to stay on course when you derail.

Make a mental note or write out the change you’d like to witness. In my case, it’s to stop eating late at night.

But why?

2. Be honest

Because I want a flat stomach. Yes, a flat stomach.

No one can know you more than yourself and when you're honest, it becomes easier to start the process, no matter how vain the reason is, like in my case. Or it could be a more severe reason, like preventing conditions such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.

But honesty also involves knowing when a mapped-out plan isn’t working and recognising the need to re-strategise.

3. Kindness

Being kind involves knowing that this change may take a while to become a habit for you and for everyone around you to notice the changes.

Using the late night eating as a reference, there will be days — hopefully, most nights — that I’d have my dinner on time, but some nights, I might find it difficult to eat early.

In the latter times, it’s important to remember that it takes around 60 days to form a new habit and as long as 260 days to build a lifestyle.

4. Being accountable

As much as you’re trying to be kind with your approach, you also need to have checks and balances in place, as this can help you stay on course.

  1. Why was I eating late on the nights I do?
  2. How many times am I allowed to go off course per week/month?
  3. What would be the consequence of going beyond my allowance?
  4. Would I need a partner or a support group to give me the “ginger” or hold me responsible?

These are some questions I'd have on my checklist to help me stay on course.

5. Consistency

You know what they say about little drops. The more you postpone the process, the longer and maybe, the more difficult it is to make this change.

So, start small as this helps you not to get overwhelmed by your lofty plans. For example, the average time I currently have dinner is at 9 pm. From tonight, I’d set dinner to 8 pm and slowly reduce this time.


You’ve probably heard this in professional contexts, but it applies to goal setting in general. For people who aren’t familiar with this acronym, it stands for:

  • Specific: Well-defined, clear, and unambiguous
  • Measurable: With specific criteria that measure your progress toward the accomplishment of this change
  • Achievable: Attainable and not impossible to achieve
  • Realistic: Within reach, realistic, and relevant to your purpose
  • Timely: With a clearly defined timeline, including a starting date and a target date

But in my case:

  • S — eat dinner early
  • M — by 7 pm at least 5 times a week
  • A — I can achieve this by not storing up junk food and sleeping early
  • R — to have a flat stomach and look good in my clothes 😐
  • T — for at least eight months

Now it's your turn.

If you’ve written it down and still don’t know how to start, need someone to hold you accountable, or you feel you need help writing your smart goal. You can contact the Care Specialists at Famasi Africa for help.

Just dial 0700ASKFAMASI or 0700275326274 for free counselling. But the most important thing is to start where you are and use what you have to do what you can.