Tag Archives: goal

New Year's Resolution Tips

New Year’s Resolution Tips

It’s time for New Year’s resolutions once again, and we can help you set smart goals with our New Year’s Resolution Tips.

Be realistic while setting resolutions. If you want to start cooking all your meals at home, your first goal should be to eat at home a few times a week, and slowly ramp it up over time.

Planning for Realistic Goals


Be specific. “Losing weight” doesn’t give you something concrete to work toward. Instead say, “I want to lose 15 pounds over the next 6 months.“

If you choose a big goal, like learning another language, break it down into achievable steps, like signing up for a class, buying a tool, or studying vocab each week. And don’t beat yourself up if you’re not fluent at the end of the year.

Achievable Goals


Make it fun to stick to your goal. If you’re trying to lose weight but love desserts, learn about healthy alternatives and making lighter desserts. If you’re artistic, photograph nature to get moving outdoors.

Making Goals Fun


Set deadlines. Making a plan is the only way you’ll actually get started. Meal plan in advance so you make smart choices at the grocery store or get a planner to schedule gym time.

Setting Smart Deadlines


Make every goal a healthy one. Been wanting to redecorate or remodel? Do things you can yourself, even if that just means painting the walls, and get moving without even noticing.

Make Everything a Healthy Goal


Reward yourself when you reach milestones. If you save money from each paycheck for 3 months, go do a fun activity you’ve maybe been cutting back on, like going to the movies.

Rewarding Yourself for Success

Healthy Resolutions like Fitness

Vantage Point: Healthy Resolutions Without the Cost

What just happened? I blinked, and all of a sudden, it’s 2018! The holidays came and went, and now it’s time to go back to our normal routines. I’m personally excited for spring to get here. I’m over this cold.

As I go back to my routine, I think of what I’m going to do differently this year. It is very cliché, but I really do look back on my previous year and reflect on what I can improve on for 2018. We can improve in every aspect of our life: relationships, work, finances, and health.

We all try to set goals and keep them for the entire year. But sometimes we set unrealistic goals, or we just don’t try hard enough. The most common goal I hear is having a healthier lifestyle. We all have at least one unhealthy habit that we want to kick to the curb. As I get older, I realize it is not about looking good or having “rock hard” abs, it’s about being healthy and strong.

There are so many ways we can have an active lifestyle. Many people would join a gym to reach that goal, but what happens if you can’t afford a gym membership? And the older we get, the harder it is to do heavy lifting or the more dangerous it is to use a treadmill.

We are so lucky to have an organization like the Wellness Place in the Wenatchee Valley. Its mission is “[t]o improve and enhance the health and well-being of community members through programs and education; inspiring every person to live their best life now.” Their current programs include targeting and supporting cancer patients, Stay Active and Independent for Life (SAIL), and diabetes support services.

The SAIL program started in 2006 and focuses on balance and fitness for those 65 and older. Exercises that improve strength, balance, and fitness are the most important activities you can do to stay active and reduce your chance of falling as you age.

These classes are offered all over the greater Wenatchee area, and they’re no cost to the attendees. It is a great opportunity to kick off a healthier lifestyle for free. Learn more about the classes and when and where they take place and start your new year the right way.

Jessica Arroyo, born and raised in the Wenatchee Valley, is a Medicare community liaison for Health Alliance, serving Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan counties in Washington. During her time off, she enjoys spending time with her husband and infant son.

Get Organized

Covered Bridge: Getting Organized for the New Year

Every year I start out with a new goal. Of course, a healthier lifestyle is always at the top of my list, but I also always make other goals. (Maybe it’s so if I fail at my first goal, I have backups? We’ll discuss that on next year’s January e-column if I succeed!)

Some are big and some are small, but one I know consistently comes back each year is, “how do I get organized?” (I do realize that if this is a consistent goal each year, shouldn’t it be my first goal? Baby steps here…)

I notice each year when I set out to accomplish this goal, I feel the need to take this on alone, and then suddenly, I’m overwhelmed and want to quit immediately. That should be my first red flag.  

Asking for help should be the first step in this goal. Whether it’s from a spouse, children, family members, friends, or co-workers, asking for help will always make it easier to get the task done, no matter what you are trying to organize.

Don’t try to do it all at once! We get so wrapped up in trying to accomplish our new goal that we try to do too much at once, and then we fail, because it’s just too much. Start small, work in timed intervals, and most importantly, remember it doesn’t have to be done in one day.

Enjoy the process! Whether you are reminiscing over photos or paperwork or cleaning out the garage, take the time to remember the things you’re going through and share your stories with someone. You never know, someone may want the item as a keepsake to tell the story later.

At Reid Health Alliance, we hold Downsizing and Decluttering educational presentations, and if you know a group that may want some more information in the coming months, please feel free to reach out to me. Even if I never get organized this year, I can help you get organized!

Happy New Year and new goals!

Morgan Gunder is a community and broker liaison for Reid Health Alliance. Born in the South and raised in the Midwest, she is a wife and mother with a passion for traveling, learning, and technology.

Preventing High Blood Pressure

Stroke Awareness Month and High Blood Pressure Education Month

It’s National Stroke Awareness Month and National High Blood Pressure Education Month. Learn more about managing your blood pressure.

Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Resources

Stroke is 1 of the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S., but it doesn’t have to be. For Stroke Month, learn how you can treat and prevent stroke with tools from the CDC.

Preventing Strokes


On average, 1 American dies from a stroke every 4 minutes. But there is good news; up to 80% of strokes are preventable. Take action to lower your risk for stroke with these resources from Million Hearts.

Lower Stroke Risk


Can you spot the signs and symptoms of a stroke? Knowing how to spot a stroke and respond quickly could potentially save a life. Put your stroke knowledge to the test with this quiz.

Stroke Signs Symptoms


Time lost is brain lost. Every minute counts! If you or someone you know shows symptoms of a stroke, call 911 right away.

Act FAST to Spot a Stroke


From the first symptoms of stroke to recovery at home, here’s how the CDC Coverdell Program connects healthcare professionals across the system of care to save lives and improve care.

Stroke Awareness Month


High blood pressure can increase your risk for stroke. This Stroke Month, make blood pressure control your goal with tips from Million Hearts.

Lowering Your Blood Pressure


Intro to Health

Chasing Health: New Year, New Intro

It’s been a while since my last post, and I’m guessing my flu shot isn’t at the top of your mind anymore (just let me think it was at some point), so here’s a bit of a re-intro.

I’m a Health Alliance project coordinator-turned-copywriter, who sometimes follows her own advice to get healthy. I usually lay off red meat, except for the little-more-than-occasional hamburger; I don’t drink, smoke, or do drugs, and sometimes I even exercise. I think coffee is gross, and I rarely have soda. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have my own unhealthy vices.

I’m a self-diagnosed candy addict (hey, at least I realize I have a problem), and I’m not very good at avoiding cakes, cookies, or brownies, either. I don’t get a lot of sleep because I feel like I’m just starting to hit my stride at about 10 p.m. I like fast food more than I’d like to admit, and I choose TV or Netflix over exercise about nine times out of 10.

(OK, maybe I’m exaggerating a little. I can do sit-ups and squats while watching my favorite shows, but I tend to skip the working out part more than I should.)

I’m a wellness writer at a health insurance company, surrounding myself with fitness tips and disease info every day, and I still don’t care enough about my health. If I struggle with it, I’m sure you do, too.

So here’s my plan for 2015. I’m not going to pretend I set a bunch of health-related New Year’s resolutions because I didn’t. Instead, I’m going to start making better lifestyle choices overall.

It’s time to take action, like cutting back on sweets, exercising more during TV time, going back to Zumba class, and starting to cook at home (more than my usual menu options of spaghetti, fish sticks, and frozen pizza). Maybe I’ll even use my crockpot that’s still in its box from two Christmases ago. (Sorry, Mom!)

I might not meet every goal, but I will start taking little steps now so that someday I might be able to quit talking about my unhealthy quirks and start giving advice I actually follow.

Will I stop eating bite-sized chocolates or jelly beans? No. (Are you insane?) Will I stop eating the entire bag in two days? That sounds doable. Bring on 2015.

Senior Centers Visiting

Vantage Point: Senior Centers Offer More Than You Think

In my role at Health Alliance Medicare, I’ve had the pleasure to work with senior centers in Chelan, Grant, Douglas, and Okanogan counties.

The word “center” means a source of influence, action or force. The first senior center started in New York in 1943 to provide education and recreation. Today’s senior center is an oasis, providing familiarity in an ever-changing world for long-time members, while carefully evolving to attract the new energy and ideas of those aging in.

The senior centers I visit are very different. Some are limited on space. Others boast grand dining and dance halls. Some are open select days. Others host a full calendar of events.

Still, they all have people who go above and beyond to make life better—either working as staff or volunteering. It is remarkable how in even the smallest towns, senior center members share meals, dance or play cards. Gathering fills the centers’ walls with a camaraderie that is authentic and intoxicating.

Through senior centers visits, I have met those with cool confidence that only comes from experience. I have felt privileged to shake the hands of veterans from every branch of the military. I met a farmer turned cowboy poet. I enjoyed wonderful lunches with even more flavorful stories. I even met “Elvis” during one event—but was more inspired by the women who helped their friend dance without the use of her walker.

Before my visits, it is fair to say I had an old-fashioned idea of senior centers.

I realize now they are as diverse as the people who frequent them. Senior centers provide a space where everyday moments bring a sense of purpose, fulfillment and harmony. All share a common goal of helping people age gracefully and independently.

I believe they hold our communities’ richest treasures.

The challenge is getting people to overcome perceptions and walk through the door. If you take those first steps, you might find a room full of friends you just hadn’t met yet.

Schedule Your Doctor's Appointment

Getting the Most Out of Your Doctor’s Appointment

Scheduling Your Doctor’s Appointment

Prevention is important to maintaining good health, so it is important to know what you need each year at your doctor’s appointment.

Blood Pressure

This should happen at every doctor’s appointment, even if you don’t currently have high blood pressure, to track your levels over time.

Flu Shot

This yearly shot protects you and those you care about from the flu.

Yearly Blood Tests

You should get these blood tests at your yearly physical doctor’s appointment:


This yearly test can detect early signs of kidney damage.

Dental Exam

You should set up this kind of doctor’s appointment with your dentist every 6 months for a regular cleaning.

Dilated Eye Exam

This yearly doctor’s appointment is when your eye doctor puts eye drops into your pupil so they can get a better view of the back of your eye.

Pneumococcal Shot

This one-time shot prevents blood, brain, and lung infections, like pneumonia, caused by a certain bacteria.


Those with diabetes should have this test at doctor’s appointments 2 to 4 times a year to help track their blood sugar levels long-term.

Foot Exam

This should happen at every doctor’s appointment for those with diabetes.

At Your Doctor’s Appointment

Ask for help.

Never be afraid to ask your doctor for advice. They want to help you be your best!

  • Prepare – Organize your questions ahead of time, and feel free to write them down if you’re afraid of forgetting anything.
  • Be Specific – Detailed information can help your doctor make your treatment plan and make sure it is working for you.
  • Tell the Truth – Be honest and direct with your doctor. Sharing information about how you feel will help you stay healthy.

Ask questions.

Not sure what to ask at your doctor’s appointment? Here are some questions to get you started:

  • What’s my blood pressure, cholesterol, and health goals?
  • How frequently should I check my blood pressure?
  • What lifestyle changes can I make to lower my blood pressure and cholesterol? Should I start a healthy diet or exercise plan?
  • What are the common side effects of my meds? Will any of my other meds, supplements, or foods interact with any of my meds?

Stay calm.

Do you get nervous or anxious when you go to doctor’s appointments? You’re not alone, and it can actually cause your blood pressure to rise while you’re there. Research shows that about 20% of patients with mild cases of high blood pressure see their blood pressure rise at doctor’s appointments. This is sometimes called white-coat syndrome.

Track your blood pressure at home and compare readings with those taken in the office to see if this is happening to you. Take these readings with you to your next doctor’s appointment and talk to them about it to make sure they get an accurate account of your blood pressure.

And once they know, your doctor can also help calm your fears, like by explaining exactly what they’re doing as they go.