North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

How to prioritize your health


“If it’s important you will find a way, if not you will find an excuse.”

Like the saying goes, if you do not prioritize your health sooner rather than later, it will become an issue as you age. There are many simple steps you can take to make your health a priority without much extra effort and without making an excuse that you didn’t get to it.

Drinking Water

Are you someone who finds yourself forgetting to drink enough water each day? With a minimum goal of 64 oz. a day, but a better target of one half your body weight in ounces, it can be hard to get it all in. Prioritize this by leaving a glass of water on your nightstand. As soon as you wake up, drink the whole glass. That’s an easy 12-16 ounces to start your day. Another great way to make it a priority is to encourage yourself to drink a full glass of water before other items. If you are a coffee, juice, pop or tea drinker have a full glass of water before the other drink. My best tip is to have the water handy. If I have a full bottle of water in my car, desk or kitchen, I can grab it and get it down. If it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind.

Taking Supplements

Do you always forget to take your supplements? Or start a new supplement routine to only stop a week later due to lack of habit. Try prioritizing your supplements by first setting them all out once per week. Get an organizer and sort them out. If you need to take them multiple times per day, set that up as well and put it where you will be at that time. Take them to the office or in the car in an organizer. Another great way to remember are the water bottle supplement holder combos. It’s a water bottle with a storage area on the bottom for supplements, genius. If you will be on the go or in between meetings or appointments set yourself an alert on your phone to remind you at a certain time.

Make an Appointment

Like most people you probably wouldn’t no-show your doctor appointment or an important meeting would you? Try doing the same for your health. Make an appointment with a friend, spouse, or better yet a health coach, to meet weekly and review your progress. If drinking more water was the priority have them help to hold you accountable. Most people don’t want to let someone else down.

Reward Vs. Punishment

For some a reward for making their health a priority will help motivate, for others a punishment for not doing so will do the trick. Research suggests people are motivated more to avoid a punishment than to work toward a gain. If that’s the case for you, set up a system. For example, if you don’t get 80 oz. of water in per day you can't got to Friday night drinks with friends or maybe the Sunday football party that week. Select something that is meaningful to you to help you achieve the goal. If you are geared toward reward motivation set something up you don’t normally do. If you drink your water goal this week you can go to the movies this weekend.

Although it may seem like you don’t have the time, we always have time for the things we put first. By prioritizing your health just a little more each day you will feel the results.

Emily Countryman is a board certified health coach and owner of Ideal Wellness located at 2639 172nd St. NE Suite 104 in Smokey Point/Marysville She can be reached online at


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