Two Steps to Wellness: How Buy-In and Goal-Setting Get Members Off to a Healthy Start

Sep 22, 2022 10:00:00 AM

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Ready for a change? That was the case for Betsy and Chris, who found themselves overweight and unhealthy due to bad habits, family health patterns and emotional barriers.

Learn how they worked with Yes Health to rewrite their stories starting with two important elements of successful habit formation, buy-in and goal setting, and how you can apply them to your health plan’s efforts to boost member health and wellness:

  1. Member Buy-In and Readiness to Change

Betsy knew she was a foodaholic, but she also knew it wasn’t only about the meal or menu. “For me, it was less about what food I ate but why I ate it.”

Then, while taking a master class, her professor asked what the students were willing to commit to right now. 

“My immediate answer was: Yes Health. I knew it was time, and I was ready to change.”

That decision is known as buy-in, or “readiness to change.” The person determines that  he or she needs to change, can change and is willing to submit to the steps necessary to achieve that desired change.

My family has a strong history of chronic disease and obesity, and I knew I didn’t want to go down that same path. When I got diagnosed as prediabetic and had liver problems from a history of alcohol abuse, I knew it was time to commit to profound change.” -- Chris

Buy-in has been studied in relation to many health issues. With smoking, for instance, cessation programs often start with a readiness survey assessing whether the individual is ready to quit and willing to buy into the steps necessary to accomplish that difficult task. In another study of people with eating disorders, researchers found that readiness to change significantly predicted treatment outcome, regardless of the illness’ severity.

Both Betsy and Chris demonstrated high readiness to change and got onboard with the Yes Health coaching suggestions to adjust their diet and activity level. 

Here’s how you can calculate potential medical cost savings by offering a digital chronic disease prevention program as an added benefit to members.

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  1.  Member Goal-Setting

The next step toward healthier habits is setting goals. This has been proven to increase success of behavior change, especially if 1) the person making the change has heavy involvement in determining the goals and 2) the goals are achievable and manageable. For example, one study of people with diabetes found that collaborative goal-setting resulted in participants having higher trust in their healthcare team, higher confidence in their own abilities and greater success in meeting their goal of better glycemic control.

Yes Health uses a strategically designed onboarding process in which members answer questions about what goals they want to accomplish and how they want to be supported in reaching those goals. Then those goals show up on the member’s daily checklist, and coaches use them to direct their regular check-in messages. 

For the Healthy Weight program, coaches especially try to guide participants toward manageable, achievable weight loss goals that build confidence and motivation.

Yes Health provided actual coach interaction of encouragement, motivation, and knowledge. This opened the door for me to further explore other tools, and deepen my health journey. Now, I’m ready to continue refining my diet and lifestyle, lose 25 more pounds, and lower my body fat percentage.” – Chris

Betsy lost 30 pounds with the support of Yes Health coaches. But that was just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to weight loss, Betsy set another goal: exploring emotional areas she realized were sabotaging her health habits.

“I realized I’d been hoarding food, as I lived a time in my life when I was hungry and felt the need to save any and all food that came into my house. Now, I could release that fear and went through my kitchen to get rid of anything that wasn’t serving me anymore,” she said.

Chris chose to set goals around a more balanced lifestyle, learning to “value myself enough to claim the time for healthy eating, exercise, sleep, and self-care. Yes Health was an incredible bridge and ongoing liaison in developing sustainable daily habits and structure that I could then carry on by myself,” he said.


Bottom Line Is Engagement

Both buy-in and goal-setting work because they engage the individual in the process of improving their health. When people have a say in when, where and how they make healthy changes, they are more likely to persevere – even when things get hard.

To learn more strategies to engage your members to prevent chronic diseases, download our free ebook: “Prevent Costly Chronic Disease Through Member Engagement.”

Yes Health’s all-digital platform can partner with you in this process, with a team of coaches ready to help your members achieve their goals of preventing diabetes, losing weight or just getting healthier. Want to see it in action? Schedule your free demo and learn why Yes Health’s science-based approach is favored by health plans like yours.