With the new year comes new goals, aspirations, and good intentions of lifesytyle changes. To be successful, you’ll need to plan a path of how you’ll get there. Without a plan, it’s easy to fall into old habits. As the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race, and the same goes for establishing, improving, or maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Small changes can make a big difference, and a little planning goes a long way. Here are a few things to help you set your goals and make a plan to achieve them:
  1. Split them up. You may have multiple goals for your career, family, personal, physical, etc. That’s ok, but avoid choosing so many that you get overwhelmed. Identifying what you want to achieve, both broad and narrow, is a good start, then determine your top priorities. Remember that while you may be physically fit, your mental health can still impact your overall wellness, so spread out your goals to include all aspects of your wellbeing.
  2. Work from long term to short term goals. Once you have your priorities set, reevaluate the long term goals you’ve set for yourself and/or your family and work your way down the ladder. Start with “in 5 years I will…” “in 1 year I will…” “By the end of the month I will…”and go as far down as you need to go. Daily goals are a good thing too! You’re more likely to succeed if you give yourself interim milestones to hit.
  3. Write them down. Especially those short-term goals. Put your thoughts into something tangible, and even better yet, post them somewhere to remind yourself of the healthy lifestyle change you desire. While it’s not always easy, the changes will eventually become part of your daily routine.
  4. Keep them positive. Focus your goals around positive changes you want to make in your life and for your health and wellness. While this may require cutting some things out, focus on what you are going to DO, not what you can’t do.
  5. Focus on what’s important. Don’t let the distractions in your life do just that: distract you! Keep focused on what actually matters to you and why you want to achieve your goal in the first place.
  6. Make them SMART. Every goal you set should include these 5 things to help you be successful:
    • Specific: identify the direction you want your goal to go and precisely where you’d like to end up.
    • Measurable: use numbers when possible to identify how to measure your success.
    • Attainable: make sure the goal is actually possible for you to achieve.
    • Relevant: set goals that are relevant to the direction you’d like your life to go.
    • Timely: give yourself a deadline. Having deadlines will help you know when it’s time to celebrate.
    For example, instead of “I want to lose weight,” try “I want to lose 15 pounds by St. Patrick’s Day.”
Having trouble coming up with some new year’s resolutions to kick start a healthy year? Here are a few ideas we recommend:
  • Drink more water. Drinking more water benefits your body inside and out. Even if it’s just by a little bit, aim to include more water in your day, every day.
  • Get more sleep. Turn off the screens at bed time and let your mind and body relax. You may be surprised how much faster you can fall asleep, giving yourself a little more rest each night.
  • Replace activities. Look at how you spend your time and include activities that make you happy to avoid losing your sense of self. Sometimes we can get stuck in a rut and think we’re too busy, but it’s often a matter of reallocating our time.
  • Do less, enjoy more. Sometimes saying no is okay. We often find ourselves stressed because we have so much going on in our lives. Work to focus your energy on the activities that help you achieve your goals and make you happy.
  • Be positive. Aim to find the humor in the little things and live in the moment. As cliché as it sounds, it works.
Cheers to a happy and healthy 2017! If you would like to make health and lifestyle changes for 2017 and would like a guide, a RemedyNow health navigator or health coach can help. Visit the Integrative Wellness page or call us at 262-312-9095.