It is that time of the year where most people have intentions to set a couple of New Year’s Resolutions, and healthy eating and exercise typically make this list. As we head into the New Year, let us try setting goals that are realistic and achievable!
It is important to set short-term and long-term goals for ourselves in order to stay on track and create the lifestyle changes we desire in each part of our lives. We hope this article will share some helpful tips on how to make more realistic goals for a healthier lifestyle change in the new year, especially with those facing health challenges.
When your New Year’s goal is big picture, it may be hard to determine the steps that need to be taken to accomplish it. Completing specific, smaller goals that lead to your overall goal is a smart approach to sticking with your resolutions. For example, rather than making “getting in shape” your goal, make it something more specific and tangible, such as walking for 20 minutes three times a week. Taking smaller steps like this to help you stay on track of your overall objective, with mini victories at each smaller action that is taken.
Make one change at a time.
Making changes to your routine that you want to avoid can be done simply by focusing on one particular action at a time. If you are trying to get out of a bad habit, this step will be helpful for you. Think about what you would like to change. If the change is eating healthier, get in the habit of replacing your late-night candy bar with a low glycemic fruit, such as a small portion of strawberries or blueberries. If you are trying to incorporate exercise, replace the time you would spend watching TV on the couch with some sort of movement, even if this means taking steps around the house or stretching exercises while you watch your favorite show. Everyone has a daily routine and changing it one step at a time will ease you into healthier habits that will stick.
Share your resolutions with others.
Sharing your goals for the year with friends or family will keep you on the right path since they will be able to hold you accountable. Having a support system can help remind you of why you are pushing yourself to make a change in the upcoming year. Support systems, online community forums, or groups can also help motivate you to reach your goals. For example, if you want to quit smoking, finding a support group with others experiencing the same feelings can be a helpful reminder that you are not alone. Receiving support will encourage you to stick with your short-term and long-term goals.
Remember that change is gradual.
Set yourself up for success knowing this is a marathon, not a sprint, and achieving your health goals in just a few days is unrealistic. Good and bad habits take time to develop, and changing a habit or making a new one is a process that is going to take time – be patient with yourself. Focus on the big picture, and remember the small changes you make on a daily basis are adding up to make the difference long term. If you happen to get off track, pick yourself right back up and start again. Do not be discouraged if you are not seeing your goals come to fruition as quickly as you would like!
Each step taken in the direction of your goal is something worth celebrating. If cooking at home or choosing healthier options at restaurants is the objective, and you stuck with your healthy eating habit for 2 weeks straight, then by all means reward yourself! Not only will celebrating the little accomplishments help your goal seem more manageable, but it will help you feel motivated in moving towards your overall lifestyle change. Having little celebratory rewards will give you something to look forward to, and the biggest reward is reaching the milestones that lead to obtaining the overall objective you set for yourself.
Using these tips will help you stick with your short-term and long-term goals, and ultimately create a healthier lifestyle. We suggest keeping a journal to write in and keep track of reaching milestones, the pitfalls that will help you avoid them the next time, and how you celebrated the wins. The team at Belluscura wishes you the best of luck in achieving your health goals in 2021!