20 Small Steps to a Healthier You

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Thank you to UnitedHealthcare for sponsoring this conversation. The ideas, thoughts, and opinions are all mine.

20 Small Steps to a Healthier You

One of the main reasons people put their health on the back burner is that it feels too overwhelming. 

Home-cooked dinners every single evening? Definitely don’t have time for that.

An hour of exercise seven days a week? Never gonna happen.

Drop twenty pounds by summer? Keep dreamin’!

We’re simply too busy and too stressed to overhaul our entire lifestyles in one fell swoop.

But here’s the good news: Major overhauls like that aren’t actually necessary to getting your life on the healthy track. Focusing on small, baby steps—little changes you can incorporate one day at a time—is not only more doable, but also more sustainable for the longterm.

That’s the message behind UnitedHealthcare’s We Dare You to Share campaign.

We Dare You to Share Campaign

The We Dare You to Share Campaign from UnitedHealthcare is encouraging people to take one small step every day toward a better life.

To keep you motivated and provide some direction, they have three particular steps they’re DARING you to take each month. For March, the steps are:

1) Share a photo of your healthy breakfast;
2) Take a short nutrition quiz; and
3) Share your opinion about a short video on food labels. 

And to motivate you even more, participating in each DARE makes you eligible for some great prizes, like a $400 pre-paid gift card (the grand prize) or a $25 pre-paid gift card (the weekly prize).

That’s a pretty great reward on top of the health rewards you’ll receive! If you’re up for the challenge, just head to the We Dare You to Share website to complete your dare and enter to win.

Need some more ideas for how you can get healthier without revamping your entire life all at once? Try one or more of these 20 possibilities.

20 Small Steps to a Healthier You

1. Eat regularly. Skipping meals can leave you feeling so famished that you end up overeating later in the day.

2. Guzzle H20. The benefits of drinking water range from increasing energy to regulating appetite to improving digestion.

3. Overhaul your morning meal. Eating a healthy breakfast is so very important and will help keep you on track the rest of the day. (And remember to snap a picture of it for a chance to win $400! Here’s the one I submitted: protein-packed Greek yogurt mixed with high fiber cereal and banana slices.)

Healthy Breakfast

4. Take the stairs, choose a faraway parking spot, or walk the perimeter of that big box store—anything to sneak in a few extra steps each day.

5. Eat out of physical hunger. Take steps to stop emotional eating

6. Learn how to decode food labels. (Start with this simple video and be eligible for prizes!)

7. Get outside. Now that the weather is finally improving, try to get some fresh air three times a day for at least five minutes at a time. You’ll feel refreshed, more productive, and better equipped to make healthier choices.

8. Keep expectations about your weight realistic. 

9. Make small, healthy swaps. Substitute olive oil for butter, plain Greek yogurt for sour cream, fresh fruit for candy, baked foods for fried ones, etc. 

10. Commit to exercising for just 30 minutes a day.

11. Stay on track even on the weekends. Don’t use the fact that it’s Saturday or Sunday as an excuse to make unhealthy choices.

12. Get some extra zzzzzzz’s. If you’re not getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night, try going to bed just 10 minutes earlier each night for a week and see how you feel.

13. Sit less, stand more.

14. Improve your nutrition IQ. (Test your smarts with the We Dare You to Share campaign and you’ll be entered to win a $400 pre-paid gift card.)

15. Decompress daily. Spend just a few minutes praying, meditating, or taking deep, cleansing breaths. 

16. Snack wisely

17. Use technology to reach your goals. Check out these healthy living apps for some great ideas! 

18. Identify your true motivation. What is it about living a healthier life that’s appealing to you? 

19. Try data-driven, research-supported solutions (like these inspired by Google Headquarters!) to navigate your biggest healthy eating pitfalls. 

20. Refuse to believe you’ve ever “blown it”—because you haven’t! Instead, try this inspiring and easy-to-apply 5-word motto truly healthy people live by.

What small step will you take today to a healthier you?