As the new year begins, you’ve probably started setting goals you’d like to achieve this year. It’s also likely one of those goals pertains to your health. These may vary from beginning a new diet, exercising more, or stopping an unhealthy habit. While all of these are great goals, sometimes, setting lofty goals can become overwhelming as the months pass and fizzle out. When setting goals surrounding your health, it’s essential to make small, intentional, and tangible shifts that eventually lead to significant changes. Let’s dive into some ways to prioritize your health in the new year while setting achievable goals!
- Start with smaller goals and adjust them as you go. It can be daunting to jump head-first into a 7-day-a-week exercise routine or a strict diet. Allow yourself time to work up to those larger goals. If your long-term goal is to exercise multiple times a week, try starting with one day of exercise a week and adding on one more day each week. If you want to eat healthier, try making little changes first, like swapping out your normal beverage for water or a 0-calorie drink, or eating fruit after dinner instead of dessert for a week. Once you’ve completed those goals, you can set a new, slightly larger goal while maintaining the change you achieved by meeting your first goal.
- Variety is key! Repetition can be great for helping us form habits, but it can also cause us to become bored and lose interest. To keep yourself engaged with your new year’s goals, try incorporating a variety of ways to meet your goals. If you want to exercise more, switch up the types of exercise you do. Switching up your exercise routine will keep things new and exciting and help you determine what activities you like and don’t like. If you want to eat healthier, try adding one new healthy food to each meal you make. Eating a diverse mix of foods will ensure you get various nutrients and help you avoid diet fatigue.
- Notice your sedentary habits, and break them. If you’d like to start making healthy changes but need help figuring out where to start, try incorporating more physical activity into your day-to-day life. If you sit at your work desk all day, get up once an hour and take a 5-minute walk. If you sit on the couch to watch TV every night, try standing up during commercial breaks and stretching, doing wall push-ups, or walking around.
- It’s okay if you mess up – that doesn’t mean you’ve failed! Goals wouldn’t be goals if they were easy. Maybe you don’t exercise one day when you had planned to or don’t eat a healthy dinner one night, and that’s okay! The great news is the next day is a new opportunity to try again and keep working towards your long-term goals. Allowing yourself grace when you mess up is key to ensuring you can move forward and still work towards your goals.