Consigue un cómplice para crear un hábito saludable

If you are looking to make a positive change in your life, try building on a lesson many of us learned in 2020: Take Responsibility.

The concept of responsibility – with yourself and with others – was an important part of pandemic life. In order to prevent the virus from spreading, we had to be responsible for wearing a mask, restricting our contacts and keeping our distance.

But responsibility can also help you to achieve health goals. Gretchen Rubin, author of Better Than Before, a book about building healthy habits, says responsibility is an important tool for creating and breaking habits.

Responsibility works best when it comes from outside. You can take responsibility by talking to a friend about healthy eating every day. You’re more likely to workout after you’ve made a hiking plan with a friend or planned a workout with a personal trainer. You can create public responsibility by making your intention known on social media.

If you prefer to be responsible only for your own gaze, you can take responsibility by using an app that sends you daily reminders or by using a Fitbit or smartwatch to keep track of your exercise habits. Taking responsibility for yourself through a diary.

“We’ll do better if someone looks at us,” said Rubin. “Even if we are the ones watching!”

A 2018 study conducted by North Carolina State University of 704 participants in a 15-week online weight loss program found that participants who relied on their peers lost more weight and inches from their waists than those who who attended the course without the assistance of a friend.

So for today’s Well Challenge, think about a health goal that you want to achieve and focus on how to take responsibility. I’ve included some suggestions for how to do it.


What is your goal for 2021? Would you like to improve your eating habits, lose weight or do more sports? Or maybe you just want to finish the script you were working on? You will likely be more successful if you get help.

Find an accountability partner. Find a friend who has a similar goal in mind and make a plan together. Accountability can mean meeting for a walk once or twice a week. Or it could be a daily text contact to see how your diet is going, or a call from Zoom to work together on a cleaning and organizing project.

“Some people are very responsible to themselves, but most are not,” said Tim Church, a noted exercise and obesity expert and medical director of Naturally Slim, an app-based behavioral therapy program in Dallas. “In my years of working with thousands of people, there is one thing that drives more responsibility than any other: if you want people to repeat a behavior, find a friend.”

While the presence of a responsible partner increases gentle peer pressure, the key is to focus on behavior, not success or failure. For example, if a person is trying to lose weight, don’t focus on the scales. Instead, call her and remind her to keep a record of what she ate, encourage her to eat more fruits and vegetables, and remind her of the benefits of weighing regularly (but you don’t have to ask her about the result) . If you feel very guilty about eating two desserts, talk about what may have triggered the binge eating emotionally.

“An accountability partner is there to help you solve problems and celebrate small wins,” said Church. Criticism is the quickest way to destroy it all. People are very hard on themselves. You don’t have to be hard on them. “

Use a technology platform. An app is a great way to add more responsibility to your day. Meditation apps like Headspace and Calm send you daily reminders and record your progress. The Noom Weight Loss App prompts you to sign up for a few minutes each day, take mini health classes, and keep track of what you’ve eaten. The Fitbit app counts your steps, syncs with your smart scale, and vibrates to remind you to get up and move.

Set reminders. Once you’ve set a health goal for yourself, take responsibility by creating reminders on your calendar to help you achieve it. Plan daily or weekly walking breaks or check-ups with your responsible partner.

Promote it on social media. If you tell your friends on social media that you are reducing the amount of packaged food you eat, or tweet every time you finish a class on your stationary bike, it creates virtual responsibility. Make a commitment to post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other platform every time you achieve a goal, or share your feelings on days when you struggle to achieve them. By posting your goals on social media, you are likely to find a like-minded friend willing to join your trip and offer supportive words.

Tara Parker-Pope is the founding editor of Well, the award-winning consumer health website of the New York Times. She won an Emmy in 2013 for the video series Life, Interrupted and is the author of For Better: The Science of a Good Marriage. @taraparkerpope

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