Empowering Audiences Through Incremental Change


It can be difficult for people to follow through on their plans to improve their well-being. With content that offers actionable steps, we can bridge the gap between intention and action. 

From pandemic wellness goals to New Year’s resolutions, it's no secret that people have a growing and genuine desire to improve their health. But a gap remains between intention and action. For instance, a recent Healthline Media survey showed that 72% of U.S. adults consider “eating healthy and nutritious foods” as their top wellness goal, but only 32% say they actually eat healthfully. 

This gap exists because it’s hard to change habits — indeed, for 53% of us, this is the biggest obstacle to living a healthy lifestyle. But change is possible. In our health and wellness content, we focus on getting people to make incremental changes, with small steps that can actually help people get started and stay motivated. 

Across Healthline Media’s portfolio of consumer brands, our editorial strategy is designed to help people activate information through supportive and approachable steps in the right direction. In this way, we can not only aid people in reaching their bigger goals, but also build deeper brand trust, becoming the go-to resource for learning about and pursuing a healthier lifestyle. 

Small Steps Are the Key to Success

If advice isn’t presented in the right way, people may think they don’t have the time, energy, or understanding necessary to succeed.

Effective health and wellness content starts with accurate, credible information that consumers can easily connect to their own lives. From there, we provide a clear path forward consisting of small steps to prevent our consumers from being intimidated or overwhelmed. By doing this, goals that once seemed far-fetched and out of reach are replaced with attainable actions that can happen today — and will build over time. 

So, why exactly are smaller steps so effective in getting people to follow through on their health and wellness goals?

  • Incremental change is approachable and motivating. From a psychological standpoint, small steps are common sense. While people might have a larger goal in mind, like being able to run a marathon, focusing on the marathon itself can make it difficult to move forward and delay a sense of accomplishment. By suggesting smaller, approachable goals — like starting with a short jog, three times a week — the task at hand is made approachable. The runner can celebrate success more often, and over time those small steps add up. 

  • Small steps are realistic for today’s schedules. Finding time for wellness is an issue for many people — and with the pandemic disrupting our schedules, carving out time became more psychologically difficult as well. By asking only a little of people at a time, they can focus on building consistent habits that last because they are realistic. 

  • Small steps can be personalized to fit individual needs. Epic, aspirational lifestyle changes tend to be so overwhelming to people that they stay that way: aspirational. It doesn't feel like it suits them or their lives, nor do they see themselves in that before and after picture. By providing one step at a time, it is far easier to suggest variations and adjustments to each step that consumers can apply in their own practices.

How Our Brands Close the Gap Between Intention and Action

From start to finish, from informing to planning to taking action, our brands’ editorial strategies lay the foundation for our audience to believe that reaching their goals is a natural and seamless process. To create a holistic and wholesome journey for our consumers, we bring this small-steps approach to every initiative, including the following: 

  • Fitness. The Healthline Fit It In series features manageable and varied 22-minute exercise sessions led by a diverse and supportive group of fitness trainers and influencers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting 150 minutes of exercise a week — but even that can sound like a challenge. Instead, we break it down to a far less intimidating 22 minutes a day! We provide support with metrics guidance, fitness calendars, and daily challenges as well. 

  • Nutrition. We’ve implemented Just One Thing takeaways in our nutrition articles. These provide readers with one “bite-sized” action they can take today to support their healthy eating journey. Starting with these small steps, readers can see a big impact in nutrition over time. 

  • Mindfulness. Becoming more mindful and learning to lower or manage stress is an ongoing process — and also an important foundation for maintaining any wellness goal. From content elaborating on the benefits of mindfulness to guides on how to get started, we provide entry points to improving mental health in small ways, day by day. 

An Actionable Approach to Drive Real-Life Results

When small steps add up to changes in a person's health or well-being, we gain the benefit of consumer trust. According to our audience insights, people don’t just want resources, they want partners who are willing to be there with them through every step of their health and wellness journeys. In fact, our surveys suggest that the attributes that most strongly drive consumer trust and affinity are based in taking action. Those attributes include:

  • Advocacy: a brand that takes action to help people live healthier lives

  • Life-changing: a brand that helps consumers take steps toward their wellness goals 

These are core values for Healthline Media brands — and our results show that our approach works. Healthline Media’s dedication to empowering audiences through incremental change is actively leading to greater trust in our brands, and greater commitments to health and wellness.

For more information, contact your Healthline Media representative or email us today.

About Healthline Media

As the #1 health media property in the US, Healthline Media reaches more than 94MM unique visitors each month (Comscore, August 2021). We provide credible health information with a compassionate approach.