Back to Top Skip to main content

A new year, a new you: Take command of your health

The month of January provides a fresh opportunity to take command of your health and improve your physical and emotional health, job performance, and mission readiness. (Courtesy photo) The month of January provides a fresh opportunity to take command of your health and improve your physical and emotional health, job performance, and mission readiness. (Courtesy photo)

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Physical Activity

What are your goals for 2018 – have you thought about them? Will it be a new you for this new year, or a new year and the same old you?

This month launches a fresh opportunity to turn your vision inward and consider what you can do to improve your physical and emotional health, job performance, and mission readiness. These qualities are fundamental to success not only in uniform, but also at home and in the community at large.

Patricia Deuster is a professor at Uniformed Services University and director of the USU Consortium for Health and Military PerformancePatricia Deuster is a professor at Uniformed Services University and director of the USU Consortium for Health and Military Performance.

Total Force Fitness, or TFF, is a concept to build and maintain health, readiness, and optimal performance by connecting mind, body, spirit, environment, and relationships. Take a moment to reflect on your TFF goals for 2018. What matters most to you? Perhaps you want to enhance your physical endurance, better manage your emotions, improve your communication skills, regulate your anger, lose weight, or cut back on caffeine. Whatever you decide to tackle, success requires three steps: inspiration, commitment, and action.

Inspiration can be defined as recognizing the need or desire to make change. It also means making change happen through commitment and then action. Importantly, inspiration includes more than just the physical, psychological, and social and family domains of TFF. The spiritual domain is also vital to health and performance. Meeting personal goals requires some sort of spiritual connection. This isn’t necessarily in a religious sense, but it means looking at your ethical foundation, core values, reasons for being, and what matters most to you.

We live in a world and time of great discord, and this can be difficult to accept. A spiritual connection helps us understand that while we can’t control disruptive forces surrounding us, we can learn how to control our thoughts, responses, and reactions to them by living up to our ideals and values. It may be helpful to remember what the great leader and civil rights advocate Mahatma Gandhi said: “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change.”

What do the words inspiration, commitment, and action mean? First, you must be inspired by or recognize a personal issue from within. Perhaps you are overly reactive or you have feelings of fear and self-doubt. Or maybe you believe you know it all or you don’t act according to your values. We all have areas where we need to take ownership. Once we’ve been inspired to accept the need for change, this must be accompanied by intentionally seeking a solution and setting a goal – a specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and reasonable goal.

After you’ve set your goals, it’s essential to make a commitment to execute them. This will take courage, concentration, and practice. The end result is action, which signifies success.

Acting according to deeply held values is very important to becoming a new you. The guiding principles you honor and strive to live up to reflect your inner core as well as your service-specific core values. Instead of reacting to your own thoughts and feelings, you choose to reflect and respond in ways that directly support your values. Taking action in support of those values will promote inner and outer flexibility, awareness, a sense of connection, gratitude, and optimism.

The following activities can help you decide the first steps to becoming a new you:

  • Make a list of what matters most in your life. Examples include work, family, friends, being a good partner, being kind to others, being honest, being part of a community, and staying in good physical condition.
  • Prioritize the list according to how much you value what matters.
  • Grade yourself on how well you believe you’re living up to what matters.
  • Identify several things you can do now and over the coming months to actively honor and live up to your top values.
  • Every day, engage in activities that support what really matters to you.

More information on military-specific, evidence-based total force fitness can be found on the Human Performance Resource Center website.

You also may be interested in...

Reduce your risk of running and sports injuries

Article
8/20/2018
More than 80 percent of recruit injuries occur to lower body. (Image courtesy Army Public Health Center)

Running is the number one cause of Soldier injuries

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health

Battlespace acoustics branch protects hearing, human performance

Article
8/17/2018
Dr. Eric Thompson, a research engineer with the Warfighter Interface Division, Battlespace Acoustics Branch, part of the 711th Human Performance Wing at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, sits inside their Auditory Localization Facility. The facility allows researchers to test 3-D audio software that spatially separates sound cues to mimic real-life human audio capabilities. The application allows operators in complex communication environments with multiple talking voices to significantly improve voice intelligibility and communication effectiveness. The technology, which consists primarily of software and stereo headphones, has potential low-cost, high-value application for both aviation and ground command and control communication systems. (U.S. Air Force photo by Richard Eldridge)

We look at how noise is being generated, how it propagates, and what that means for Airmen in the field

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Hearing Loss

Getting off tobacco road leads to renewed relief

Article
8/10/2018
Stopping smoking can be difficult, but healthy living is a daily effort. Take command of your health today. (U.S. Army graphic by Karin Martinez)

One service member’s struggle to become smoke-free

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Mental Wellness | Tobacco-Free Living

Three ways to protect your health through preventive care

Article
8/9/2018
Being active lowers your risk of developing chronic conditions like obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kathryn Calvert)

Preventive services include vaccines, exams, and screenings

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health

Environmental health works behind the scenes to keep Soldiers ready

Article
7/8/2018
Army Spc. Johnathan Vargas from Environmental Health at Kenner Army Health Clinic conducts a water test using a LaMontte water quality kit at the Fort Lee dining facility while conducting an inspection recently. (U.S. Army photo by Lesley Atkinson)

On the team are a mix of military and civilian employees who conduct inspections, food safety training, water sampling and entomology services

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health

Sports drinks: What are you really putting in your body?

Article
6/27/2018
Generally our bodies are comprised of approximately 60 to 70 percent water. We need water for digestion, energy and oxygen transport, and temperature regulation. Senior Airman Johanna Magner, 22nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, drinks water on the flightline in front of a KC-135 Stratotanker. With rising temperatures during the summer months people are encouraged to drink more water to stay hydrated. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jenna K. Caldwell)

In general, sports drinks are typically a calculated blend of carbohydrates, electrolytes and water

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Summer Safety

Going the distance runs in the family

Article
6/14/2018
Elisa Zwanenburg (left) and Al Richmond (right) engage in their favorite father-daughter activity, marathon running. (Courtesy photo by James Frank)

For this father/daughter team, running, and the Marine Corps principles that carry them, are in their blood

Recommended Content:

Mental Wellness | Physical Activity | Men's Health

Five tips to improve men's health

Article
6/12/2018
Take Command of your health

Taking preventive steps and making changes to your lifestyle can improve your health

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Men's Health

Breaking down anxiety one fear at a time

Article
6/5/2018
Marine Staff Sgt. Andrew Gales participates in ‘battlefield’ acupuncture, also known as ‘ear acupuncture,’ at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, as a treatment for anxiety related to PTSD. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin Cunningham)

Generalized anxiety, panic disorder, and anxiety related to PTSD are common disorders. In fact, an estimated 31 percent of U.S. adults experience anxiety at some point in their lives; one marine discusses his journey.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Care | Preventive Health | Men's Health | Mental Wellness | Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Servicemembers demonstrate grace under fire

Article
5/21/2018
The 99th Medical Group, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada receives the 2018 Heroes of Military Medicine Ambassador Award in Washington, D.C., May 3, 2018, for the life-saving efforts of three of its airmen during the tragic Las Vegas shooting on Oct. 1, 2017. Army Maj. Gen. (retired) Joseph Caravalho (right), president, Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine presented the award to the 99th MG. (MHS photo)

Five honorees celebrated at the 2018 Heroes of Military Medicine Awards Ceremony, including the Airmen for their heroic life-saving efforts during the tragic Las Vegas shooting on Oct. 1, 2017.

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health

Getting tested for STIs is an 'important part of sexual health'

Article
4/26/2018
Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Robert Hall studies a blood sample with a microscope at Naval Branch Health Clinic Kings Bay’s laboratory. Blood tests and pap smears are commonly used ways to diagnose sexually transmitted infections. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel)

Chlamydia and gonorrhea are two of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the United States. Taking preventive steps, like getting tested and practicing safe sex, can help reduce risk of infection or spreading the infection to others.

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Men's Health | Women's Health

Ready, set, focus: Finding calm in a storm through the power of breathing

Article
4/23/2018
Airmen and Soldiers practice breathing and relaxation during their off duty time in a deployed location. Stress can take its toll on your mental and physical health, including your heart health, but there are breathing techniques to buffer yourself from it. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Lance Cheung)

‘Mindful minutes’ and deep breathing help on the job, airmen say

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Mental Wellness | Health Readiness

Deep vein thrombosis: What you need to know

Article
4/9/2018
Jamia Bailey (center) with her parents, James and Pia, after she underwent a procedure in December at Tripler Army Medical Center, Hawaii, to help prevent deep vein thrombosis from recurring. DVT is a blood clot that forms in a vein deep inside the body. (Courtesy photo)

Everyone’s potentially at risk, vascular surgeon says

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Preventive Health | Heart Health | Physical Activity

Small changes, big results: Healthy lifestyle choices can make a difference for heart health

Article
4/6/2018
Dr. Jonathan Woodson, director of the Institute for Health System Innovation & Policy at Boston University, provides insight on the importance of heart health. From 2010 to 2016, Woodson served as the assistant secretary of Defense for Health Affairs. He is also a brigadier general in the United States Army Reserve. (Photo courtesy of Boston University)

Risk for heart disease, the number one killer of Americans every year, can be decreased through healthy lifestyle and nutrition choices

Recommended Content:

Heart Health | Nutrition | Physical Activity

Eat an apple a day, but don't keep the dentist away

Article
3/27/2018
A child eats an apple during a Trunk-or-Treat event, which featured a healthy snack station as an alternative to candy, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jimmie D. Pike)

Good oral health takes more than brushing teeth and flossing – it also requires proper nutrition

Recommended Content:

Deployment Health | Health Readiness | Nutrition | Preventive Health
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 8

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.