Many people start January with common resolutions to eat better, get more exercise, or begin a meditation practice. But the reality is more than 80% of us will abandon these goals before the month is up.1 Why is that? Experts say it’s all about how we approach our resolutions, and whether we can make them into habits. That’s why our partnership with Wellbeats is so timely. Read on for details about how this new offering lets participants engage with wellness programming that can help make exercise, better nutrition, and caring for our mental health more than just a New Year’s resolution.
What is Wellbeats?
Wellbeats, a LifeSpeak company, is a leading provider of on-demand, virtual well-being content that is accessible to employees whether they’re in the office, working remotely, or following a hybrid schedule. That’s key for today’s workforce. A June 2022 Gallup study found that five in 10 workers were working hybrid and three in 10 worked exclusively remotely, giving them less opportunity to access onsite well-being programming like fitness centers and in-person seminars.2
Wellbeats has more than 1,400 instructor-led virtual classes that cover fitness, nutrition, and mindfulness. What’s critical is that employees can access them at a pace and schedule that makes sense for their unique lifestyle and schedule. All of these Wellbeats’ offerings are available to participants via the WebMD ONE platform:
- Virtual workouts for every age, gender, interest, and ability level – with approachable instructors that reflect a diversity of ages, races, and body types.
- Goal-based programs such as Lose Weight; Train Your Way to a 5K, Intro to Strength, Healthy Back, and Daily Mobility.
- Fitness assessments and personal statistics to track progress.
- On-demand access to recipes and classes to help participants learn about and prepare delicious, nutritious foods. Topics include: mood-boosting foods, recipes to support immune health, and healthy snacking.
- Cooking demonstrations and globally-inspired recipe content.
- Meditation, yoga, and stress reduction classes to help improve mood and mindset.
- Guided meditation
- Restorative yoga
- Breathing exercises
- Stress management programs
So, about those New Year’s resolutions…
In addition to creating SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound) goals and breaking them down into small, bite-sized steps (like our Daily Habits program), experts say one of the keys to sticking with a New Year’s resolution is to lean into our brain’s natural tendency to form habits.
According to Wendy Wood, author of the book Good Habits, Bad Habits, changing our behaviors isn’t all about sheer willpower.3 There are many things we do each day out of habit so that our brain doesn’t have to think too hard about them – like brushing our teeth or putting on a seatbelt. So, a more successful approach to keeping a resolution is to create a habit.
Take the case of eating healthier. If you work in an office, you might say that on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays you bring a healthy lunch. On Mondays and Fridays you get takeout. In this way, the brain no longer needs to think about what’s for lunch. If it’s a Tuesday, it’s a bag lunch.
Also consider the popular goal of getting more exercise. Habits can help here, too. Psychologist Mark Travers writes, “We can start with a minimum viable action, like going for a walk every day or doing light stretching daily, and build on it progressively. The idea is to incorporate a desired behavior into our roster of default behaviors. Once the change is made, we can move on to more challenging behaviors like going to the gym or running a 5K.”4
Similarly, many fitness experts say that getting in the habit of laying out workout clothes the night before a morning workout increases the chances of following through. We’re essentially taking the micro-decisions out of the equation – so our brain is free to focus on actually doing the workout.
Wellbeats can help employees make healthy behaviors a habit.
We’re not promising that giving your employees access to Wellbeats will make every New Year’s resolution stick, but it can definitely help!
Simply having the array of Wellbeats content at employees’ fingertips takes the effort out of choosing from among the many apps and providers out there. In time, it can become a habit to go directly to Wellbeats versus tapping in to multiple providers. And, bundling nutrition, fitness, and mindfulness content into a one-stop shop also makes it easier for people to try out new things with little downside. Finally, being able to track goals and progress over time can help us, as Wood describes it, create “a sort of a mental shortcut to repeat what we did in the past that worked for us and got us some reward.”
Jason Von Bank, Wellbeats President and LifeSpeak COO explains it this way: “This partnership will expand access to Wellbeats for employers and make it even easier for them to help employees and their families make health and wellbeing an integral and ongoing part of their routine.”
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To learn more about Wellbeats, visit www.wellbeats.com, follow on LinkedIn, or check out a sampling of the company’s fitness classes during a Facebook Live session. For guidance on creating a well-being program that works for your employees, visit our website or contact us at email@example.com.