You, too, can set your goals to eliminate you own personal health risk factors.  Some common goals, such as wearing a seat belt when you are either driving or riding in, are easy to do.  Others, like cutting down on the amount fat in your diet, may be more challenging, depending on your mentality on the subject.  Whatever your goals may be, here are three steps you can use to help you accomplish your personal health goals; by gaining awareness, gaining knowledge, and building skills.

Gaining Awareness:  First of all, you need to identify the health problem before you can do anything to fix it.  Some problems are easy to recognize and fix.  You know, for example, when you twist your ankle or have a cold because your body reacts to these different situations very quickly.  However, other important health problems, such as high blood pressure, don't have obvious signs that you can notice in order to fix or you cannot fix it at all bacuse of genetics.  This is one of the many reasons why it is important to see a doctor for an annual checkup on your health status.  Doctors are well trained to recognize early signs of these silent diseases and to help you identify risk factors that you can make an attempt to eliminate.

Gaining Knowledge:  Once you become aware of a health problem that you have, the next step is to learn more about the problem in order to fix it.  This can mean learning about their causes, the unique warning signs, and the potential possible outcomes if the disease continues to progress throughout your life.  You also need to know how the problem can be prevented or treated.  Most importantly, you need to learn about the risk factors, especially those related to your personal behavior.  Reports about news research and health studies appear in the news all the time.  Popular magazines, informational web sites and articles, and friends are some other potentially reliable sources of information about health and how to keep yourself healthy.   Some sources are more realiable than others.  But even with the most reliable sources, you may see two documentaries on the same health risk that have opposing conclusions and answers.   One goal of this article is to provide enough basic information about your health so that you will be better able to evaluate new information that you will continue to receive throughout your life.

Building Health Skills:  Knowledge isn't very useful if you do not have the skills to apply it.  Just knowing which behaviors are healthy isn't a guarantee of good health.  You need to master the skills and know how to apply them in real life situations in order for you to really be healthy.

Achieving Health Literacy:  The term literacy is used to describe the ability to read and write.  but the term can be applied to many areas, even health.  A person with proper education on health literacy will have the ability to gather, to understand, and to use health information giving to the person to improve his or her healthiness level.

Awareness, knowledge, and skills all make great contributions to you own health literacy.  If you become aware that the amount of fat in one of your diets that could potentially a health concern, you can learn which foods are high in fat in order to avoid them.  Then you can apply the skills I have shown you on decision making and setting goals to lower your intake of high-fat foods and products.