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As a Washington State employee, I am encouraged to participate in the Smart Health Program.  This is a program that rewards state employees with a discount on their health insurance for participating in healthy activities.  Employees sign up at a website, select activities and then are awarded points for completing the activities.  Some are one time activities such as get a physical, while others award points on a daily or weekly basis (such as walk 3 times a week for 30 minutes).

This post is not exactly about that website or that program.  It’s about the plan I have developed and my excitement for the results.  You see, I love points.  Point systems work for me when there is a clear end goal.  For Smart Health, the goal is 2000 points.  I can earn 2000 points with very little difficulty because I want them now, which means looking for quick and high paying point activities.  It, also, means some weird activities.

Tomorrow, I will share the part on retirement planning and advanced directives because that really is a post on its own.  Today, I want to talk about how I combined activities and am maximizing my own health goals with this program.

I like to spend time looking at what is manageable.  I am an on again, off again yoga person.  I want to be good at maintaining a yoga schedule but I always let it slide after awhile.  So when I saw that yoga was one of the choices, I thought I can do this.  Then I saw there was a back stretching goal.  I’m still looking for one that says I won’t sit for more than 2 hours (there was one last  year so I’m sure it’s there) because I’ll be maximizing my points.  The important part is that it motivates me.  And I had to find a solution to my slipping problem.  Sometimes I forget, sometimes I’m just not in the mood so I’ll do it later.  Doesn’t matter, what I need is something that nags me to do my yoga every day.

Guess what?  My work email (which I now keep open all the time) has an appointment scheduler.  We use it for meetings and what not but I was able to program it to alert me twice a day to do my yoga.  This morning I was on the ball but my afternoon session would have passed me right by had I not had a little pop-up saying it was time.  I work 3.5 hours in the morning and 4.5 hours in the afternoon.  I take a walk during lunch so by programming my appointment maker, I now take a break from sitting at my desk about every 2 hours.  I don’t dismiss the notice until I have completed my yoga.

Now there will be days when that is not perfect but I don’t have to rely on myself to get motivated after I skip a session.  I have high hopes for this.

The other activity that has me excited is Device-free bedtime.  The goal is to spend the hour before going to be not watching tv, playing on the computer or any other device.  You see there are some self care things I’d like to do but they require time that I can’t seem to schedule.  Last night, we turned the tv off, turned on some music and I was productive.  I caught up on some Bible reading (I joined a month long daily scripture read because the scriptures were all about women).  I did some oil pulling (which also gave me points for taking care of my teeth) and I did a caster oil facial steam.  After all that, I took a shower and went to bed.  I wouldn’t say it was the best sleep ever but it was the best sleep I’d had in awhile.

If it works out, I could easily add some sleep goals to help speed up my point earning.

I want you to understand that I do take this seriously.  I just refuse to let it add more stress to my life.  I want this program to support my current health goals and assist me in taking better care of myself.  I’m excited because I might actually feel more in control.  And you know, the more in control you feel, the better care you take of yourself.

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