Start The Year With Healthy HabitsDec 04, 2023
Many of us ring in the new year by setting goals or resolutions for the year ahead. However, too many of us quit before getting started or quickly become burnt out by setting expectations too high. Terminating your goals or not reaching them can leave you feeling disappointed in yourself. If this is the year you plan on sticking to your goals, you’ll need a healthy dose of reality, a plan, and commitment. Whatever your goals for the year ahead are, here are tips on getting started and sticking to your new routine.
Set realistic, SMART goals
If you haven’t heard of S.M.A.R.T. goals already, the acronym stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound and works to help you set actionable goals. Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals can aid you in starting the new year off right because it enables you to stick to your objectives for the year ahead. Whether your goal is to lose weight, exercise more, or invest in a new hobby, a S.M.A.R.T. goal can help you set realistic and attainable goals that contribute to your overall progression. An example of a S.M.A.R.T. goal would be to run once a week for the next three months. You should ensure your goal is realistic and attainable to prevent you from getting off track or burnt out.
Plan how you’ll achieve your goals
Whatever your goals are for the new year, you need to do some planning on how you’ll instill these new healthy habits. Now that you’ve got some wants and goals for the year ahead, you need to have a plan of action for how you’ll reach them. If your goal is to lose weight, you need to map out how you’ll get there. For example, if you’re beginning your weight loss journey, think about how you’ll change your diet and what kind of exercise to start. Depending on your goal, you may need equipment to help you achieve your new year's goals. If your goal for the new year is to take charge of your health, you may plan to book some doctor appointments to see if medications like Ozempic may be right for you, sign up for a workout class, or begin taking immune supplements to get any nutrients you may be lacking.
Take baby steps
Planning is essential to getting off on the right foot with your goals for the new year, but it's equally important to take incremental steps. If your New Year’s resolution is to get in shape after not working out for ten years, don’t expect to get your running shoes and win a marathon immediately. Instead, you’ll be on your way to getting burnt out before you’ve even made some progress.
When setting out on your goal, remember that progress doesn’t happen overnight. Everyone starts somewhere, so don’t compare your progress to others. Remember to go at your own pace. By taking baby steps to reach your goal, you help keep your motivation to continue alive. Additionally, working towards your goals incrementally and based on your skill level will help you closely monitor your progress. Not only will you advance on your incremental goals, but you’ll be able to look back to your humble beginnings and be proud of how far you’ve come.
When setting out on a new journey, whether for your health or progress in your career, you need to commit. Any goal requires patience, consistency, and commitment to get where you want to be. Starting may be the most difficult part, but changing your lifestyle and building new healthy habits are equally challenging. It’s essential to set realistic goals for yourself and continue your progress incrementally. They say it takes thirty days to build a new habit, so as long as you push through it, you’ll find that it becomes much easier to stick to the goals you’ve made for yourself.
If you have a tough time holding yourself accountable, find someone to share your achievements and progress with to help you commit to your goals. If your goal is to lose weight in the new year, a friend or family member may also have that same new year’s resolution. Working with a friend on your goals can help you hold each other accountable and make your journey more fun.
Create healthy habits
Achieving your goals means implementing healthy habits into your routine. No matter the kind of goal, there are some actions you can implement to support you on your journey. Healthy habits may include eating breakfast before work if you usually skip it, ordering meal kits, or cutting excessive sugar from your diet. Whatever your goal may be, the healthy habits you create will support you in reaching your goal and will help you continue your progress even after the year concludes, and you’ve achieved your goal.
Whether you have a new year’s resolution or want to build healthier habits, everyone should implement gratitude. Gratitude is when you focus on the positives in your life and show gratefulness for what you have in your life. Gratitude can support you on your journey to achieving your goals because you acknowledge your progress and what you have. It can be too easy to see how much progress we haven’t made instead of focusing on what we’ve accomplished already. For example, if your goal is to lose 20 pounds by the end of the year, you might become frustrated by how little progress you’ve made or get mad at yourself for not sticking to your diet. Gratitude shifts this perspective by looking at the positive. Instead of being upset by your weight, consider acknowledging the progress you have made and be thankful to your body for supporting you on your journey.
There’s nothing like the gratification of knowing you achieved your new year’s resolution. We’ve outlined some pathways to success, but find a system that works for you. Whatever your goal is, remember to be S.M.A.R.T. about them, take it in baby steps, commit, and build healthy habits to support you on your journey. With planning and accountability, you’ll be on your way to achieving your goals.
About the Author
Megan Isola holds a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and a minor in Business Marketing from Cal State University Chico. She enjoys going to concerts, trying new restaurants, and hanging out with friends.