How to Set Achievable Wellness Goals for the New Year
As we reach the end of another year and begin a new one, anything and everything seems possible. Some people are relieved to have a fresh start– a new year is a symbol of new beginnings. Talk of new year’s resolutions begins, inspiring people to live with the words, “new year, new me” close to heart. Almost all of us are hopeful for the new year. Maybe you’re finally going to try out that new workout class. Maybe you’re cutting out fast food. Your health and wellness goals might be at the top of your resolutions list, and that’s why it’s important to give them the thought and specific planning they deserve.
Setting health and wellness goals can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! You can accomplish your health and wellness goals in the new year with a little help from us.
Where to begin
When it comes to health, fitness, and wellness goals, it can be hard to stay motivated and disciplined. Though many people would love to prioritize their physical and mental health, life can simply get in the way. Our busy schedules, multiple responsibilities and more enjoyable priorities can block us from creating lifestyle changes that benefit our health and wellness.
Before you start planning out far-reaching goals for yourself, take some time to sit down and think about your overall health. What kinds of habits do you benefit from and want to keep in the new year? What kind of habits do you wish you followed? What health conditions do you need to manage/take into account? What kind of restrictions do you have on potential goals? Before you start creating your goals, you might want to do some research on achievable health goals.
It’s always a good idea to bring up any potential risks or questions you have about your health and goal-setting with a trusted healthcare provider before trying out new lifestyle habits and changes.
Once you’ve done a little pre-planning, you can start creating your goals. Creating both short-term and long-term goals can help you see the big picture that you’re reaching for in the foreseeable future. Perhaps you want to work out more in the upcoming year or eat healthier. These desired outcomes will be the basis of your achievable goal-setting.
An approach to live by
Nobody ever became their healthiest selves by just chanting a vague wellness goal in their head. It’s great that you’re already thinking about “working out more” or “eating healthier” but what exactly does that mean? What exactly is “more” or “healthier”?
Say hello to SMART goals.
Defining your goals clearly and specifically is key to implementing healthy habits and reaching your wellness goals. You might have heard of the phrase “SMART goals” from a friend, teacher, or therapist. Regardless of who you’ve heard it from, it’s not just a cliche phrase or cheesy acronym, it’s a method that breaks down goal setting in a more realistic, attainable way. Below, we’ll explain what each component of SMART stands for.
Without specificity, it’s hard for your goals to motivate you. Big goals can seem daunting and unachievable. But by including a focus on the method of how exactly to reach your goal instead of just stating the desired outcome, you’re one step closer to following through with it! For example, we can make a general goal like, “My resolution is to eat healthier” more specific by saying “My resolution is to eat healthier by incorporating fruits or vegetables in my diet.”
Keeping your goals measurable is a good way to track your progress and keep yourself more disciplined. A measurable goal becomes: “My resolution is to eat at least one serving of fruits or vegetables per meal,” which sounds a lot easier than just “eating healthier.”
Goal setting should always feel realistic and possible. It’s okay to lower your expectations to create goals you feel more capable of achieving. By breaking goals down and adjusting them to fit your needs as you go, you’re setting yourself up to succeed instead of to fail. Yes, this means you don’t (and shouldn’t) have to start eating purely fruits and vegetables in an attempt to eat healthier.
The goals you set for yourself should be created with your desires and needs in mind. In other words, you need to feel like this goal is relevant and purposeful to your life. Ever had a job you hated that made it so much harder to wake up in the morning for? Without that personal connection or inspiration from your goal, it’ll be harder to follow through with it.
A time-bound goal is one that is realistically set in a time frame that you are capable of. A goal that isn’t too far off into the future keeps your mind on how you can achieve it in the now. For example, “My resolution is to eat at least one serving of fruits or vegetables per meal” becomes “My resolution is to eat at least one serving of fruits or vegetables per meal for the next four weeks.”
What to remember
See? SMART goals aren’t so bad! By writing out exactly what you plan to accomplish, it makes your goal something concrete, something you can hold in your hands, tack to your wall, look at each day, and try to achieve. To keep yourself accountable, write down your goals where you can see them. You might be more willing to commit to them if you see them each day.
Many of us have trouble with building discipline and having the motivation to follow through with our health and wellness goals, but creating SMART goals breaks down something seemingly aspirational. “Eating healthier” doesn’t seem so far-reaching and difficult now does it? You can find a guide to jumpstart your healthy lifestyle here.
Happy new year from all of us at Wellistic!