December 4, 2009, Newsletter Issue #8: 4. Build Your Personal Health Assets

Tip of the Week

What are the health assets that you currently possess? What behaviors are contributing to your asset category—increasing your health every time you perform them? What behaviors are detracting from your assets—we can call these liabilities, and they subtract real dollars from your health every time you perform (for example, if you smoke), or neglect them (did you skip your annual mammogram or prostate exam?). This is the critical time to make some changes.

Review your personal health behaviors your health risks now. In your first attempts to make changes, keep the “success” measure low and fairly easy to achieve. It’s a lot like opening a savings account; it’s easiest to deposit the money that you were going to spend frivolously on an expensive night on the town, before you begin to look for more ways to cut back and save (cutting the lawn yourself instead of hiring someone). Go for the “lowest hanging fruit,” the items that don’t require a big stretch to achieve. In this way, you’ll build your confidence and begin to make bigger and better changes, bigger and better investments in your health-wealth portfolio.

Think about how you are investing: you want the biggest return on your dollar. Focus your attention to the fact that you get more return on your dollar if you NEVER develop the risk in the first place. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you have quit, don’t start again. If you currently practice 30 minutes or more of activity most days of the week, KEEP IT UP! The return on investment at the level of no or low risk is the most impressive; support your best behaviors.

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