Health And Wealth Matter Tips

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10. Teach A New Skill That You Have Learned

When you learn a new idea, a new skill, and then you teach it to someone else, you have “imprinted” the new behavior onto your business plan. You learn new ways of approaching barriers, and you improve your ability to learn new behaviors. Sharing creates a bond that can contribute to others in the community, and it also means that you will be able to reach out to that “student” when you need some support.
You can find others with whom to share in a community groups, in your clinical resource areas (consider sharing your new learning with your pharmacist or your physician, who can then pass the info on to someone you don't even know!).
Being the model you wish to be, exhibiting the behaviors you wish you could maintain, gets easier every time you share them with someone else.

   

9. Excellence Is A Habit

Aristotle may have said it best: We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
Your goal now is to work on the excellence that will achieve your overall vision for improved health and wealth. Optimize your investments, change out of any losing propositions, and make the most of your health-wealth portfolio.
Keep a written journal of how you are progressing. Daily entries are best, but at least 1 time each week, schedule a moment to enter your successes and your challenges. Note how easy the successes are becoming, and write ideas for overcoming the challenges.
Seek out others who are wrestling with improved health investments. They may call their actions “improving fitness,” or “eating lower fat items,” but don't be fooled—these are true investments in their health, and they, like you, will receive short-term and long-term rewards. And, they need some support from you, which will only increase your personal competency and propel you further on your journey!

   

8. Evaluate Your Progress Regularly

Keep your appointments. Track your personal behavior change on your computer, in this book, or in your day-planner so you have a written record. Change the course when you are not getting the results you expected. Ask yourself the following questions during change or treatment:
a. How am I feeling?
b. How am I functioning?
c. Is this good enough for me, or can I do better? How?
When you have those answers, you will be on your way to making the next changes that will improve your health, your wealth, and your progress on your journey.
You now have a business plan for moving forward in an organized way, dealing with the most important risks, then adding others as you go, stopping periodically to evaluate your progress and fine-tune your approach. You can now truly say, “I am My Health CEO!”

   

7. The Best CEOs Get The Best Results

CEOs follow this philosophy. Put the best people in the leadership positions; give them the tools they need to do their job; get out of their way; evaluate progress regularly. As CEO of your own health, you can do the same:
1. Put the best people in the leadership positions. Choose your health insurance, your key physician, and your other healthcare providers wisely. Remember, you are the Executive of the corporation; they are your advisors. Ask questions, ask for results, track the improvements, and communicate your feelings and frustrations.
2. Give them the tools they need to do their job. Don't hold back on the information that your advisors need. Do your part; if you are supposed to take medicines, do it as prescribed. If you are supposed to lower the fat in your diet, do that, too. If asked to take weekly blood pressures, record the results and report the results back to the clinician. Can't afford the treatment? Speak up and let the doctor know.
3. Get out of their way. You have hired the advisors you believe in. Let them guide you. Tell them when you would like another opinion, and then relay the results of the opinion. Be a complete partner in your personal health care, not a “victim of the system.” Voice concerns, and share praise for job well-done. Do your research and ask questions, make a choice, and move on to the next decision.

   

6. Cut Through The Clutter

If you've ever invested in the stock market, you know that there is a lot of advice.
Sometimes it's hard to cut through the noise, but the most important and consistent messages in stock investing seem to be:
1. do your homework
2. consider your options
3. hold on over the long haul.
4. re-evaluate on a regular basis.

These are the best rules for managing your health-wealth portfolio as well. Consider your personal health management right now: where can you make improvements? What may need to wait, and for how long? Who can help you make significant changes? What are your choices? How will this affect your health and your wealth? And how will it affect your joy in life?
Investment or value-based decisions consider how much to allocate and what the expected return on investment will be. They allow you to take a short amount of time to plan our actions so we have a long amount of time to enjoy the good health that comes from our plans. You can't always see what's coming down the road, and, try as you might, you won't always make the best choices. But, if you've put supports into place, minimized our risk, and achieved some success in the short-term, then you will continue to achieve success even if unforeseen events throw you a curve.

   

5. Get Better Results With Better Investment Decisions

As you get older, you often find yourself in situations wherein you are caring for older parents as well as children. You may be saving for a vacation or working longer hours; you may be sacrificing personal time in an effort to keep all existing priorities moving forward. But have you considered the long-term and short-term effects on your personal health? Have you avoided the annual checkup because you were busy with Mom? Did you skimp on the healthy foods this week and eat out too often? Are you making choices about whether or not to fill important prescriptions?”
The situations are best handled when they are not acute, not emergencies. That's why you periodically check up on you health-wealth portfolio, to make sure you are tracking our progress. Because, as you know, some people often say “I don't have time”; but where will you get the time when you get sick because you didn't take care of yourself?
Health investment decisions based upon total value drive better health over the long-term

   

4. Making Informed Investment Decisions

Investment decisions help you to understand the total costs of poor health, and they help you to re-focus on achieving goals rather than on saving money.
Money is only one factor in the total health story; an important factor, but still only one. Intensity of consequences, long-term change, and total health management help you put a total health value on your actions.
Your portfolio will change value over time. When you are young, you have many more choices for improving your health, and your wealth, and you have more time in which to do it. You hopefully have not developed the aches and pains of arthritis, or high blood pressure; and you have more free time because work does not occupy so much of life-hours, and your children have not been born.
Once you have children, your priorities change. You focus more on their health, and sometimes that's not the best path for your personal health. A value-based question in this instance could be: can I find time to spend with my kids that will also improve my health? The answer could be a father-daughter softball league, taking the kids for a walk everyday after school, or trading time with friends so that you each get some private workout time. Teaching your children about healthy eating by setting a model for yourselves would be a win-win, as well. Stopping smoking? Do it , and do it now.

   

3. Magnitude And Choice Change Decisions

There are differences between the choice of orange juice and the choice of hospital for surgery, to be sure. No one can suggest that emergency bypass surgery and treating a sore throat are health decisions of the same magnitude.
Yet each person has the ability to make decisions that affect your every day life and that may affect your long-term health outlook. If your mother or father had diabetes, you know that you are at higher risk for developing the disease, and that obesity, inactivity, and not getting regular check-ups increase the likelihood that you will develop the disease. Creating more activity, limiting your excess calories, and getting some eating advice from a certified diabetic educator may be a particularly good investment in your health. But you need to recognize the consequences and put a value on them that means something. It affects your perception of how successful you can be.
Whether you join a gym or workout at home, run on a treadmill at an exclusive club or in the neighborhood—these decisions are ones of spendable dollars. Either way, you will achieve more activity; the decision here is how much the location v. the dollars means to you. It's not the same level as how much losing a leg to diabetes means to you.

   

2. Properly Processing Your Data

Gathering and processing data is a fundamental way we make investment decisions
You may like the doctor but not the hospital: which is more important for you? Does traveling to the hospital we prefer mean that we have to lose money because we take more time off of work? If so, what effect will that have on your end-of-month cash flow? Does it matter for this procedure? How much of an effect will it have—these are all value-based decisions because we can assign a cost/time/reward to them. Once we can compare these variables through a dollar-defined lens, we can begin to make more informed choices. And more informed choices mean
1. We have identified the costs and rewards of each choice we make.
2. We are responsible for the choice we make.
3. We understand that each choice may have a consequence, positive or negative.
4. We are willing to assume the consequence and have a plan to deal with it.
5. We are in control of the situation.
Being in control means that we have done as much as you can to remove surprises, and you have contingency plans for unexpected consequences. You are prepared. You may not be able to anticipate every possible consequence, but, nevertheless, you are taking a proactive approach and managing as much as you can.

   

1. Where Do You Spend Your Resources?

We make value-based decisions on where to spend our resources every day.

Value-based health decisions are not such a hard concept. Every day we make decisions that are based on value: is the taste of the orange juice that is on sale valuable to my family? Are these running shoes better for my exercise and worth the price? Which car will deliver more miles per gallon, AND does it come in the color I want?
Value-based decisions consider the variables that are important to us at any one time. That's why it's not just about the price of the orange juice, but also about the taste; it's not just about the running shoes, but what they will add to my workout; and it's not just about the miles per gallon, but I really want a red car.
Each of us intuitively makes many value-based decisions every day. But we don't recognize them as imperative in our health management.
Yet they are very important, because if we understand all the factors that go into our decision-making, then we can improve the effect our decisions have. In other words, if we recognize that part of our decision on treatment involves how far we have to travel to get the treatment, or the hospital with the best outcomes for the procedure we need to have, or many other variables that influence our decisions, then we can prioritize.

   
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Patricia Walters-Fischer
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