With two weeks into 2018, how are your New Year’s resolutions coming along? Maybe you’ve been diligent at that healthier diet, or maybe you have actually been getting to the gym consistently four times per week.
But, for many of us, those resolutions are already a distant memory.
Why is it that we so quickly become distracted or deterred from accomplishing our health goals? While we all have good intentions of making dramatic lifestyle changes, “The average person has so many competing priorities that this type of approach is doomed to failure” (Forbes).
So, if you are already feeling overwhelmed with your 2018 health goals, use this step-by-step approach to setting – and achieving – realistic goals that can make a lasting positive impact on your overall wellness.
1. Self Assessment
Before searching for the latest diet craze or “21-day fix,” take a moment to think holistically about your overall current health. Ask yourself:
- How do I feel right now, really?
- On a scale of 1-10, how much energy do I have when I wake up each morning?
- What have I actually been eating regularly? Does this support my body’s health?
- One year from now, what should my overall health look like?
Your health goals should reflect the personal lifestyle changes you need to make to feel better both physically and emotionally. Create simple, attainable goals that reflect that. And, rather than creating a laundry list of goals for the year, be concise; create a short list of goals with a timeline to hold yourself accountable.
2. Make a Plan
With your goals in mind, determine what you need to do to prepare yourself before diving in. If you’d like to exercise more, think about what techniques you can incorporate to hold yourself accountable. Or, if you’d like to eat healthier but know that your busy schedule doesn’t allow for cooking meals every day, consider talking to an expert to help plan and prepare meals ahead of time.
Write down each step you need to do in preparation of working toward your goal, and set a deadline for yourself to achieve these tasks.
3. Implement Change
With a plan in place, begin implementing these changes into your daily life. Track your progress each day with a journal or fitness tracker. Identify milestones along the way, and reward yourself to stay motivated.
4. Overcome Setbacks
Relapsing, or returning to old habits, is simply human nature. In fact, studies show that it takes an average of 21 days to truly form a new habit. Expect setbacks along the way, and learn how to identify them when they are occurring. Create a plan for getting back on track, and reward yourself along the way as you become more consistent with your new habits.
5. Allow Yourself Flexibility
As you begin implementing new habits to accomplish your goals, you may want to set new goals, or decide that you want to change a goal you had previously set. Allow yourself breathing room to make changes throughout the year that work to promote your health along each step of your journey.
Download our free Health Goal Planner here to map out your 2018 journey toward a healthier lifestyle.