Healthy habits and “Twelve Tweaks”—more ways to discover your path to well-being throughout 2017

At the Jan. 4 Wellness Wednesday talk, Dr. Tamara Warner, a clinical neuropsychologist at UF Health Shands Rehabilitation Hospital, shared a path for nurturing wellness, advising attendees to think of wellness as a cultivation that leads to harvest. According to Dr. Warner, goal setting fails when an individual views success as binary. For a different approach, Dr. Warner advised focusing less on goal setting and more on planting seeds aimed at growing healthy habits.

The first step toward change is awareness and acceptance. Rather than asking “Why?” or “What now?” try accepting the problem and focusing on what you can do today. Do not focus on the deficit, but instead on how you can move forward.

Replace “I should” with “I wish.” In other words, don’t should on yourself. When you focus on what you should be or how life should be, you are creating feelings of guilt, disappointment and frustration. Changing your mentality from “I should” to “I wish” creates a sense of aspiration.

Live in the moment. Focus on what is currently in front of you. Slow down, observe and get curious. Take a moment to check in with your thoughts and feelings to gain some insight. The point is not to change what you are observing rather just be aware of it.

Set intentions. After gaining insight about the problem, initiate change by setting intentions. Intentions are not goals and are not determined by successes or failures. “They are a set direction or purpose to which you direct your energy,” Warner explained. Intentions can be set on a daily or even hourly basis. Say to yourself “I intend to honor my need for more sleep,” and then focus on what can be done in the moment to fulfill that intention.

Map your life. Mapping out your life involves prioritizing the most important areas. Once you have identified those areas, state what you want and ask yourself what is the one thing you can do this week. According to Dr. Warner, you should state what you want more of in life because whatever you direct your attention to increases.

Monitor your process. Monitor yourself at least every week. If you are not able to move in the direction of your intentions, ask yourself why. Re-evaluate your priorities if needed.

Fertilize. Work on yourself. Identify your character strengths to improve your relationships. Focus on positive thinking.

To view Dr. Warner’s full Wellness Wednesday presentation on cultivating wellness, please click here.

Looking for support in your wellness journey? Consider joining the programs below.

Develop healthy habits all year long with the “12 Tweaks to a Healthier You” program designed by the UF & UF Health Shands Wellness Committee to help you focus on a different healthy habit or ‘tweak’ each month of 2017. You’ll receive an email each with an action plan to make a new behavior a habit and find your way to wellness with small, manageable steps. Register to get started.

Learn from experts through our Wellness Wednesday series. Register to attend upcoming presentations at the UF HR Building (903 W. University Ave.) by clicking the links below. If you are unable to make it in person, you can join online by streaming the event.

To receive regular Wellness updates, including Mediasite links for the online events, sign up for the UF-UF Health Wellness listserv by emailing

February 1, 2017

Women and Coronary Artery Disease

Anita Wokhlu, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, UF Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

Join us in honoring National Heart month. Heart disease is the leading killer of American women, yet heart disease and related risk factors are often missed in women. Learn about your risk for heart disease, what makes it more likely and how to help protect your heart by adopting heart-healthy habits. Register Now!

March 1, 2017

Fruit Trees for Your Florida Friendly Landscape

Wendy Wilber, Statewide Master Gardener Program Coordinator, UF/IFAS Alachua County Extension Service

Fruits provide vital nutrients for maintenance of your body. With a little training and a sunny spot in the yard you could be producing your own blueberries, figs, persimmons, plums, grapes and more. This class will go over variety selection, planting, fertilizing, pruning and maintenance of the best fruit trees for North and Central Florida.

Register Now!

April 5, 2017

Online and Mobile Wellness Resources

Maggie Ansell, MLIS, Nursing and Consumer Health Liaison Librarian

François Modave, PhD, Associate Professor of Biomedical Informatics, Director of the mHealth Lab


Discover trustworthy and useful health resources that are freely available online and designed to be understood by the layperson. Learn about some of the most popular websites for health information, such as MedlinePlus, as well as useful mobile apps for keeping track of your health and maintaining healthy habits.

Register Now!