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Health Articles

Your Personal Health & Wellness Contract

By Joseph Packo


We make promises to ourselves all the time. However, only a few of us keep our word or follow through completely! How can you ensure that you’ll keep a promise to yourself when it comes to getting healthy? Whatever your goal may be: diet, exercise, or getting rid of habits you’d prefer to change, there is something simple you can do. Sign a contract. If you are really serious about reaching a goal, you should be ready and willing to sign your name and commit to it on paper.

Your Personal Health & Wellness Contract is an agreement you will make with yourself. Here is what it should include:

Start with just one thing you’re thinking about changing, and then make sure it’s specific. Don’t simply write “I want to lose weight” but instead write “I want to lose 20 pounds” or “I want to walk 2 miles every day.”

Then think about why you want to make the change and write it down. “I want to lose 25 pounds of fat to lower my blood pressure” or “I want to walk 2 miles every day to be physically active and relieve stress.”

Next, add a statement about what that change would mean for you. “If I lose fat and get my blood pressure under control, I can reduce or eliminate my medication.” Or “If I walk 2 miles a day to be physically active and relieve stress, I feel better, burn off excess calories, and sleep better each night.”

Set a timeframe to reach your goal and be realistic. If you want to lose 20 pounds, and can lose at least 2 pounds per week, your goal may be reached in about 10 weeks. If you aren’t taking many walks right now, you could add them in gradually and set a goal of walking 2 miles a day over the course of 4 weeks.

Now that you have your goal ready, you need to list your action items. Start with the first two weeks. If your goal is weight loss, commit yourself to not eating anything off your program. To begin walking more, commit to walking 3 times a week for 30 minutes each session. After the first two weeks, you’ll add a new action item to continue building good habits. Revisit any challenges in your first two weeks and commit to a new action item for weeks 3 & 4. That could be eating all your vegetables, not skipping meals, drinking extra water, walking 5 times a week for 30 minutes, getting up earlier to take your walk, or walking briefly after each meal. Keep adding something else every two weeks.

Write down the biggest obstacles you think you’ll encounter. Will your friends sabotage your diet by offering you foods? Will you stay up late and be too tired the next day get in your walk? Write a brief statement about how you’ll overcome any obstacles. 

Measure the progress you’re making. Conduct a weekly weigh-in and include inch measurements if your goal is to lose weight. Only weigh once a week since weight can fluctuate daily. If you’re adding more walks, write down the number of minutes or the step count each time.

Treat yo self! Make sure you reward your progress once you meet your goal. Make it meaningful and something that you’ll look forward to. Once you hit your goal, you might want to enjoy a certain restaurant meal, buy yourself a new outfit, or even a daytrip for a little fun and adventure. If you don’t reach your goal, you need to reassess and work toward achieving it before you can have the reward.

Set a checkup date to review your total progress. It could be once a month, but you don’t need to obsess about this. This date will serve as a reminder for what your ultimate goals are and if you need to make any adjustments to your action items and routines.

If you happen to make a mistake, move on! It’s usually just one meal, or one missed day of physical activity. You can always resume immediately. The trick is to keep that mistake from rolling over into multiple consecutive mistakes that will completely derail you.

Sign and date your contract. Have your Coach or goal partner (friend, family member) sign it with you if you like. A partner can help you stay accountable to your contract when needed. Post it where you’ll see it every day and make sure to read it out loud in the morning to reinforce how important the actions in your contract are to you.


For a copy of your Personal Health & Wellness Contract, ask your Coach. Make a promise to yourself and keep it - there’s no better day to start than today!


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