As we start a new year, being healthy tops an overwhelming majority of our New Year’s resolutions lists. Some people are beginning their journey to better health for the first time, while others often set post-holiday health goals for themselves.
Perhaps you want to lose weight, exercise regularly, eat healthier meals, or quit smoking – or maybe all of the above. Whatever your health goals may be, setting goals that are achievable and trackable is essential to your success.
Start the Year by Thinking Healthy
If you’ve spent the year promising yourself things like “I’ll start my diet on Monday” or “I’ll go to the gym next week,” you’re not alone. Most of us fully intend to follow through on these promises when we make them. Then life gets in the way – and 52 weeks later, here we are.
The start of a new year is the perfect opportunity to begin a resolution to live healthier. The changes you make now can have a huge impact on your future health, so you don’t want to miss a day.
Begin with a Health Vision
Where are you headed? And why do you want to get there? Once you answer these questions for yourself, your health vision – and the goals you need to set to reach that vision – quickly become clearer.
For example: “I want to be more physically fit so I can play with my children.” Or “I want to lose weight so I can enjoy life more.” Knowing the inspiration behind your health goals plays a big part in how you set them.
Why We Need Goals
According to a Gallup poll, nearly 60% of Americans say that some of the major successes in their lives are the result of setting specific goals and then working to achieve them.
Setting goals keeps you focused as you strive to make your health vision a reality. Achieving goals not only provides you with a sense of accomplishment but can give you much-needed motivation to continue your health journey, especially when you encounter challenges along the way.
Make Your Goals SMART
When setting your health goals, always follow the SMART acronym:
SPECIFIC – What am I going to do?
Be sure to have a specific vision or plan in place before you start, so you can set purposeful goals.
MEASURABLE – How will I track my progress?
Instead of saying, “I want to lose weight” or “I want to work out more,” set a measurable goal such as losing 20 pounds or exercising five times a week. Speak with your primary care provider to learn what goals are realistic and safe for you, especially if you have chronic health issues.
ACHIEVABLE – How can I make this happen?
Rather than setting lofty, unattainable goals (such as losing 30 pounds by summer), focus on setting smaller, more achievable goals (such as losing 10 pounds each month) and celebrate as you achieve them.
RELEVANT – Is this important enough?
Reserve your effort and energy for goals that truly meet your health vision and where you want to be.
TIMED – When will I do this?
Setting a specific target date or deadline for a goal helps you hold yourself accountable, whether the goal is daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly. Start with short-term goals, then move on to long-term goals.
Be Prepared for Setbacks
Nearly everyone faces setbacks during their health journey. That’s why you need to identify potential challenges ahead of time (family, work, medical issues, etc.) and plan how you will address them.
If you slip up (as most of us do), forgive yourself and keep going! The people who are successful are the ones who get right back on track and don’t give up.
Let TrustCare Help With Your Health Goals
Whether you need urgent care, primary care, pediatric care, wellness exams, or other services, the board-certified physicians at TrustCare are here to help you set and achieve your health goals. Start the new year off right by finding a TrustCare location near you today.