Many of us start the New Year extremely motivated to work on ourselves. However, many of us need help to maintain these goals as the months go by. What we subconsciously don’t realize is that we are setting such high expectations for ourselves without the proper structure on how to reach them.
Set realistic goals.
Sure, losing 25 pounds by summer sounds excellent, but is it realistic? Are you going to be able to work 40+ hours every week, attend your children’s sporting events, keep up with all your home duties, make sure your pets are being cared for, exercise for 30+ minutes a day, and make sure you’re eating all the proper nutrients? Don’t set yourself up for failure.
Determine what your end goal is and set milestone goals along the way to achieve it. Making one small change at a time can be the best way to track your goals. For example, if you are new to exercising, try starting with a daily step goal, then increase that goal, find an at-home workout routine you can do two days per week, and finally, increase that to 5 days per week. Maybe you’re ready for a gym membership now. Setting realistic goals for yourself can help you achieve them one small step at a time.
Record your progress.
Keeping a log or journal, crossing the days off a calendar you make it to the gym, or taking progress photos are all great ways for you to sit down each week to acknowledge your progress and hard work.
When most of us think of rewarding ourselves for our hard work, it usually involves treating ourselves to the things we are trying to work better at. Going out for a few drinks, getting dinner at our favorite restaurant, or spending money on something we’ve had our eye on. While these things are all good in moderation, it’s worth creating healthy alternatives.
Don’t know where to begin, but want to start making some changes? Here are some ideas to get your healthier lifestyle started.
- Start tracking your daily steps.
- Cut down on sugars and processed foods.
- Track the hours you sleep and adjust your schedule to obtain the right amount of sleep for your age and lifestyle.
- Put a journal by your bed so you can write down late-night thoughts and fall back asleep more easily.
- Start exercising 30 minutes more per week than you already are.
With the New Year starting, it’s a great time to schedule a visit with your primary care doctor. Your doctor can help you set the best goals for your health conditions and monitor them along the way.