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...

Measles Myths: Vaccines Are Safe

Video
9/17/2019
Measles Myths: Vaccines Are Safe

Vaccine components have been rigorously tested for safety. Dr. Margaret Ryan, preventive medicine physician, debunks some myths about vaccinations.

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Children's Health | Immunizations | Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Measles-Mumps-Rubella

Measles Myths: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism

Video
9/12/2019
Measles Myths: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism

Vaccines that prevent measles do not cause autism. Dr. Margaret Ryan, preventive medicine physician, debunks some myths about vaccinations.

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Children's Health | Immunizations | Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Measles-Mumps-Rubella | Autism Care Demonstration

Prevent to Protect: Immunization Awareness

Video
8/30/2019
Prevent to Protect: Immunization Awareness

Getting vaccinated not only protects yourself and your family from deadly diseases, but it also saves the lives to those who don’t have the immune system to fend for themselves. The Military Health System shares the stories of families with children who are at risk when others aren’t immunized.

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Preventive Health | Immunizations

Prevent to Protect: Analia

Video
8/30/2019
Prevent to Protect: Analia

Cancer left 5-year-old Analia Pages unable to get vaccinated. Her father, Master Sgt. Edward Pages, has to take extra steps to protect her from diseases she’s susceptible to.

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Preventive Health | Immunizations

Prevent to Protect: Rosarios

Video
8/30/2019
Prevent to Protect: Rosarios

10-year-old Tatiana Rosario has a weakened immune system as a result of her cancer treatment. Growing up, she and her family made sacrifices to keep her safe from disease.

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Preventive Health | Immunizations

Prevent to Protect: Barbara and Floriann

Video
8/30/2019
Prevent to Protect: Barbara and Floriann

Barbara’s son Floriann grew up with an immune dysregulation. A Uniformed Services University pathology professor, she’s experienced first hand the importance of vaccines.

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Preventive Health | Immunizations

DHA IPM 19-006: 2019–2020 Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Program (IVP)

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Interim Procedures Memorandum (DHA-IPM), based on the authority of References (a) and (b), and in accordance with the guidance of References (c) through (o), implementing instructions, assigns responsibilities, and prescribes procedures for the seasonal influenza vaccination program. • This DHA-IPM cancels and reissues DHA-IPM 18-005. • This DHA-IPM is effective immediately and will expire 12 months from the date of issue.

Water and sports drinks, what to drink, how much and when

Article
8/21/2019
Staff Sgt. Shaun Martin, a combat medic assigned to Blanchfield Army Community Hospital's LaPointe Army Medical Home on Fort Campbell, drinks from a 16-ounce bottle of water to maintain his hydration for optimal performance. On average, the Army recommends men should consume about 100 ounces of fluid (3 liters) each day, and women should aim for about 70 ounces (2 liters) for baseline hydration. In hot and humid environments and during physical activity, more is needed to maintain hydration — about one ounce per pound of body weight. To reach your goal, drink regularly and frequently, even if you are not thirsty to avoid dehydration. Water is usually the best choice over coffee, soda, energy drinks and alcohol because those beverages can pull water from the body and promote dehydration. (U.S. Army photo by Maria Yager)

Performance suffers from even small amounts of dehydration

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health

Five tips for back-to-school vaccinations

Article
8/19/2019
U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Ayla Soltren, a 5th Battalion Army Reserve Career Division counselor, collects school supplies with her daughter, Lana, at a Back to School Info Fair hosted by the 6th Force Support Squadron at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Aug. 3, 2019. Another tradition of the season is making sure vaccinations are up to date to keep students healthy and protected. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ryan C. Grossklag)

Keeping children up-to-date on vaccinations protects them from vaccine-preventable infections that can be spread throughout schools and day care centers.

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Children's Health

For healthy older adults, new shingles vaccine is worth the wait

Article
8/16/2019
A pharmacist prepares a dose of the shingles vaccine to be administered at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital's Town Center Pharmacy, Fort Campbell, Kentucky. (U.S. Army photo by Maria Yager)

Availability has improved across the MHS, experts say

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health

Three steps for a successful end-of-summer blow out

Article
8/14/2019
Marine Gunnery Sgt. Mario Cardenas, with Provost Marshal's Office, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, prepares lunch for the H&HS Barbecue Cook-off at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Andrew Hiatt)

In just three stages, any military family can have a fun-filled welcome party for fall

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Summer Safety

Get kids ready for back to school with preventive health care

Article
8/8/2019
Don’t wait to take command of your children’s health. Prioritize preventive exams and vaccinations before the school year begins. Preventive services, routine immunizations, and health screenings are the best ways to make sure your kids are healthy and ready to hit the books. (U.S. Air Force photo by L.A. Shively)

Preventive services, routine immunizations, and health screenings are the best ways to make sure your kids are healthy and ready to hit the books

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Children's Health

Vaccines: A public health success story

Article
8/7/2019
Tech Sgt. Joseph Anthony, medical technician with the 911th Aeromedical Staging Squadron, administers a vaccination to a member of the U.S. Army Reserve’s 336 Engineering Company Command and Control, Chemical Radiological and Nuclear Response Enterprise Team at the Pittsburgh International Airport Air Reserve Station, Pennsylvania, April 11, 2019. Department of Defense-issued vaccinations are used to prevent a variety of diseases that military members may encounter in the course of their duties. (U.S. Air Force photo by Joshua J. Seybert)

Maintaining a medically ready force is just one of many reasons to vaccinate

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Immunizations | Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

The kissing bug and Chagas disease

Article
8/1/2019
Adult kissing bugs are mostly active in the warmer months, from May to October. Kissing bugs develop into adults after a series of five life stages as nymphs, and both nymphs and adults feed on blood. Kissing bugs feed on humans as well as wild and domestic animals and pets. They can live between one to two years. (Photo by Texas.gov)

Chagas disease comes from a single-celled parasite that lives in the digestive tract of many species of kissing bugs

Recommended Content:

Bug Week: July 27 - August 2 | Preventive Health

Tick Facts: Dangers at the height of tick season

Article
7/31/2019
A tick like this one, seen at 10x magnification, can spread a number of dangerous pathogens during the warm-weather months. (Photo by Cornel Constantin)

Many diseases are transferred to humans by ticks — Lyme is the most common, but several others, described here, are worth knowing about

Recommended Content:

Bug-Borne Illnesses | Bug Week: July 27 - August 2 | Tick-Borne Illnesses | Health Readiness | Preventive Health | Public Health
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 6

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.