San Diego, CA - Just in time to rescue failed New Year's
resolutions to improve health and personal finances, the Cooperative
Extension system is launching an online Small Steps to Health and
Wealth (SSHW) Challenge called "Winter 2011 SSHW Challenge." This
free six-week program, open to anyone who enrolls online, will be
held from Sunday, January 16, through Saturday, February 26. Prizes
will be awarded for participants who report the highest point totals.
To sign up for the SSHW Challenge, follow the "Challenges" link
on the Small Steps to Health and Wealth
Set up a user name and password and download a simple one-page user's
guide with instructions about how to proceed. Enroll in the Challenge
titled "Winter 2011 SSHW Challenge."
The SSHW Challenge is part of Small Steps to Health and Wealth,
a national Cooperative Extension program developed to motivate Americans
to take action to simultaneously improve their health and personal
finances. SSHW was built around a framework of 25 research-based
behavior change strategies. The Challenge was originally developed
in a "paper and pencil" format with printed worksheets and is now
It has been well documented that, when people monitor their behavior
and measure their how they're doing, they are often inspired to
do better and achieve positive results. Participants in a SSHW Challenge
are "on their honor" to report their activities accurately. If they
"cheat" on reporting their points, they are only cheating themselves
by not following the recommended daily Practices.
The SSHW Challenge is based on the performance of ten recommended
Practices on a daily basis: five that involve health and nutrition
and five that involve financial management. Ten points are given
for performing each one for a maximum of 700 points per week and
4,200 points for the entire challenge. "The Challenge is a great
way to convert ambitious New Year's resolutions, like losing weight
and saving money, into daily action steps," notes Dr. Barbara O'Neill,
Extension Specialist in Financial Resource Management for Rutgers
The five daily health and nutrition Practices are: eat at least
4 cups of fruits and vegetables; get at least 30 minutes of exercise;
drink water or unsweetened beverages instead of sugar-sweetened
beverages; walk 10,000 or more steps with a pedometer; and learn
something new about health and nutrition.
The five daily financial management Practices included in the
SSHW Challenge are: save a $1 bill (or more) and/or pocket change;
invest $5 or more per day (including automated retirement savings
plan deposits); track money spent throughout the day; eat lunch
prepared at home; and learn something new about personal finance.
The latter activity, for both health and personal finances, can
be accomplished by visiting Web sites, attending seminars, or by
reading, listening to, or viewing media reports.
New this year, Winter 2011 SSHW Challenge participants will have
an opportunity to replace one daily health activity and one daily
personal finance activity with unique daily personal challenges
of their own. "Providing some adaptation of the traditional SSHW
Challenge format will make the Challenge more "personal" for participants
and give them an opportunity to practice new behaviors if they are
already doing all of the 10 pre-selected activities," explained
As participants enter their personal data, they will see their
point totals for each day of the week and for each of the ten activities
described above. They'll also see a bar graph that compares their
personal progress to the average scores of everyone else participating
in the Challenge. Daily motivational messages will also be provided
to participants. Paper tracking forms can be downloaded to keep
track of daily activities until they are entered online.
Doing even one of the ten recommended daily Practices is a great
way to get started on the path to better health and improved financial
security. The more SSHW Challenge activities that are performed
by participants, the better. To sign up for "Winter 2011 SSHW Challenge"
visit the Rutgers SSHW
Before today, which of these myths did you believe? Which of
these did you already know but can't seem to convince your family
and friends that you are right? Are there bigger myths than these
out there that need tackling?
ICFE eNEWS is available FREE upon request by visiting our
Web site and filling
out the contact form, with the words "eNews request" included in
the comments field. Please pass this eNEWS on to your peers and
interested others and invite them to subscribe for free.
Paul S. Richard
President - Executive Director
Institute of Consumer
Financial Education (ICFE)
About the ICFE:
The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE) was founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton (creator of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation). The ICFE is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely.
The ICFE is an award winning, nonprofit, consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. It publishes the Do-It-Yourself Credit File correction Guide, which is updated annually. The ICFE has distributed over one million Credit/Debit Card Warning Labels and Credit/Debit Card Sleeves world wide.
The ICFE became an official partner with the Department of Defense/Financial Readiness Campaign in June of 2004.The ICFE was an active partner in the California Student Debt Resource Awareness Project (CASDRAP) which resulted in a new web site: (studentdebthelp.org). CASDRAP disbanded in 2010, shortly after the web site project was completed. In 2011 the ICFE assumed the single sponsorship of the (studentdebthelp.org) web site and is now responsible for its content and operation.
The ICFE is also an on-line help for consumers who spend too much. ICFE's spending help was featured in PARADE Magazine in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from the ICFE's Money Instruction Book, our course in personal finance.
Visit the ICFE's other web sites at: www.financial-education-icfe.org and studentdebthelp.org. Both sites helps consumers and students with mending spending, learning about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also how to access financial education courses and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include: Ask Mr. G, a free eNews, and an online resource center for students, parents and educators, plus financial education learning tools and a book store.