Personal Health Plans

Goals

To identify benefits of personal health plans or programs, particularly in how they keep people motivated and help them to achieve goals, in order to understand the positive impacts of personal health plans.

Early Findings

Motivation

  • Many people do not realize that they can have a large impact on their own health and do not have their own goals. Coaching and access to specific techniques can allow them to take a more active role in their health. Personalized support can be adapted for each individual's motivating factors, long term goals and the pace they can go at.
  • Many people do not get a simple but comprehensive explanation of conditions affecting their health, so many not understand what it is, how it will impact their lives, or what they can do about it. A personal health plan can make them feel more confident that they understand what they can do and why.
  • Setting goals can help people stay motivated. Realistic and achievable goals, starting with simple goals before progressing to longer range goals, can help people to not get frustrated and lose motivation.
  • Writing goals down can help people to stay motivated. Having a health plan that is written down on paper may help individuals to stay motivated and stick to it. Recording efforts and tracking progress can also help motivation as a reminder that progress is being made.
  • Studies have found that when information is available, patients can be motivated to manage it. A personal health plan can help to provide the information clearly and succinctly, which in turn will encourage patients to address their conditions.
  • Another study has found that programs that provide personalized approaches and connect individuals with the tools and resources they specifically need are beneficial in supporting behavior change.

Achieving Goals

  • Well-planned, realistic goals can help people stay focused and motivated, which allows them to achieve their goals. These goals should be set by breaking the ultimate goal into smaller, specific mini-goals and then monitoring progress regularly.
  • Monitoring progress in concrete ways, such as tracking distance ran or weight loss regularly, can help people to achieve their goals. By providing lots of ways in which an individual can succeed, they are more likely to celebrate their progress and achieve their ultimate goals.
  • Setting goals that are measurable can help people to achieve their goals. By creating a measurable outcome, it is possible determine when a goal is met. A personal health plan can help create structure by introducing measurable goals.
  • A personal health plan helps to define roles and boundaries. This allows support to be available, but also efficient and effective, as it ensures that there is no overlap and that each area that needs to be addressed can be dealt with by a professional.
  • A personal health plan can create an action plan towards hitting goals. This can help to identify what resources will be required to reach this goal as well as obstacles that may appear while attempting to reach these goals. By identifying obstacles in advance, goals become more achievable as strategies to overcome them can be created in advance.

Proposed next steps:

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