Tips for new year wellness goals
If you’ve ever set a new year’s resolution, you’ll know they can be hard to achieve. We often hear people set big, difficult targets like losing a certain amount of weight, quitting unhealthy food or going to the gym every day. While these can make us healthier, they might not be things we feel positive about, and may seem beyond our reach.
If you’re setting goals with a healthier lifestyle in mind for the year, we’ve got some tips we hope will help you make strides on your journey.
Accentuate the positive
Looking back is a good place to start because it helps us review the positive and negative aspects of the previous year and our progress in relation to previous goals. But that shouldn’t mean dwelling on the past or feeling bad if we haven’t got as far as we’d hoped. Try to aim for things you’ll actually feel good about, then phrase and visualise them positively. For example, we might focus less on feeling guilty about eating less healthy food and instead congratulate ourselves for incorporating two or three healthier main meals a week. Those might include whole foods or fresh, organic produce.
Rewarding yourself is also an important part of feeling positive about your goals. If eating healthier is your goal, you might celebrate sticking to a healthier diet by treating yourself to some pampering or a fun activity.
Involving friends and family members can make it easier to achieve your wellness goals for the new year. That’s especially true if the person or people you join forces with are just as passionate about the goal as you are – and you’ll naturally motivate each other to go further. You might be trying to build a walk in nature or a yoga class into your routine every few days. Going with a friend can make that more sociable and you have someone who can help keep your on track.
Have a plan and gather your resources
Goals are harder to reach without a plan, so what does that look like? For things like starting an exercise routine, your plan might involve mapping out the days and times you have available, and making a list of classes in your area. If your aim is better nutrition, your plan might be detailing the meals you plan to cook and the food you need to buy each week. If it’s making more time for yourself, your plan might involve scheduling that time with family members.
The plan can be as big or small as you like – from a five year plan to year’s worth of diary entries to daily notes that remind you to change your behaviour. Maybe leave a reminder in your phone calendar or ask a colleague to prompt you if you forget to make time out of the office for an activity you’ve committed to.
There are lots of digital tools that can help us manage our time and our calendar, and track our progress. Why not try an online time management programme or a fitness app?
Be realistic and take small steps
We mentioned at the start that some goals are so big they seem unreachable. You might consider taking a long term goal like adding more exercise and movement to your daily life and breaking that down into manageable tasks. Part of that is starting with small aims that grow – you might begin with a 10 minute stroll each day and then diversify into other types of exercise that take longer and add new dimensions on your journey towards better health.
Again, be sure to celebrate small steps and reward yourself. If you achieve several small steps, that turns into steady progress and the gradual achievement of bigger, longer term goals.
Get inspired to try something new
It’s easy to restrict our goals to what we know. Often we think of being better at the things we already do, but we can be afraid to try new things. Look to sources of inspiration like books and blogs, training courses, and things we hear about others doing - then see if you can add those to your lifestyle. You might find unexpected payoffs, like a broader social circle and acquiring new skills you can apply to the things you already do.