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Small Steps for Your Health


There are many things the "experts" tell us to do to get to and stay at a healthy weight and prevent type-2 diabetes, including:

- Choose healthy foods

- Make healthy meals

- Be active 30 minutes a day

But where should you start? It's not easy to do all of this every day living in today's fast-paced and fastfood world. And it can be even harder if you have a lot of changes you want to make.

It's easier to make lifestyle changes one step at a time -- over months and years. Think of each small step as one piece of your effort to change your habits. Making changes one step at a time gives you the best chance to reach and stay at a healthy weight and prevent type 2 diabetes.

The good news is that making just a few small changes can have a big impact on your weight and health. Learn how to make these changes step-by-step:

Step # 1: Accept that you have habits that you need to change

Step # 2: Be ready, willing, and able to change: The experts say that for people to change, making the change must be important to them. Believe that you can change.

Step #3: Take what you want to do and break it down into small steps. Then think about a few things you are ready, willing, and able to change.

Step #4: Start with a few changes that are easy to tackle. Pick some changes that you want to do the most, and that will make the biggest impact. Remember, don't try to change everything at once.

Step #5: The last step is to see how you did at making the change. Ask yourself these questions: Did you succeed? Did you set your sights too high?

For each goal, think about four things:

1. How long will you try to reach this goal? Keep it short.

2. Is it easy to do in your regular daily life? Keep it realistic.

3. Is it limited in scope? Be specific.

4. How often will you do this?

Keep your goals realistic. Don't try to do too much too quickly.
For example, maybe you tend to eat a bowl of ice cream every night while you watch TV. Can you switch that ice cream to a healthier snack? Maybe fruit or a small bowl of cereal? Or just a smaller portion of ice cream. And can you take a 15 minute break from the TV and go for a walk?

Wait, you are not done! Making a change for two weeks or a month does not mean that it will stick for life. It's so easy to slip back to your old ways. Practice the new habits faithfully. It will take months before they become your way of life. If you weren't successful, try again. Revise your goals or choose easier ones. Make sure they contain the four parts of setting a goal that's within reach. Make sure you want to make changes in this area and that you believe you can.

What is your next step?
Start the lifestyle change cycle again. Choose some new goals to work on. Slowly, goal by goal, over time you'll be eating healthier and being more active ... and you'll be at a healthier weight. You'll also be on your road to preventing or delaying type 2 diabetes.


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