The beginning of a new year is always filled with optimism and high expectations. We tend to reflect on the year behind us, and set goals for the new year. The most popular resolutions include eating healthier, exercising more and maintaining a healthy weight. But the key to long-term success and a healthier way of living comes from setting realistic and achievable goals. So as you work towards a healthier you, let Southwoods Health guide you with five ways to set realistic health goals for 2024.
Reflect on Your Current Lifestyle
As you start to plan your goals for the New Year, take some time to reflect on your current lifestyle. Focus on both the positive and negative habits. Understanding what aspects of your lifestyle may need some improvement will help you create goals that are beneficial to your overall health. Not every person will have the same health priorities, so setting goals that align with your personal circumstances is one of the keys to success.
It isn’t realistic to think that because a new year has started, you’ll immediately be able to kick bad habits and live a healthier lifestyle overnight. Instead of overhauling it at once, focus on small, incremental changes. For example, if your goal is to exercise more, start with a manageable routine that fits into your schedule. Take a quick daily walk, join a local gym, or do any type of movement that feels right for you. From there, you can gradually increase the intensity and duration as your fitness level improves. Starting slow won’t be as overwhelming and won’t strain your body with too much exercise too fast.
Set Measurable Goals
While it is great to say you want to “be healthier”, “exercise more” or “eat better”, goals like these are practically impossible to track since they aren’t specific or measurable. Instead, set goals like exercise for 20 minutes a day, drink 8 glasses of water or add a serving of vegetables to every meal. These goals can be monitored and tracked and adjustments can be made along the way to make sure you’re achieving them.
Just because you haven’t reached your goal yet, doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate milestones along the way. For example, if your goal is to lose 30 pounds, only focus on 5 pounds at a time. Each accomplishment, no matter how minor, represents progress and effort. Take the time to acknowledge and celebrate these milestones. This will not only boost your confidence but also reinforce a positive mindset, acting as a reminder that every step forward, no matter how small, contributes to the larger picture of success.
Adopting healthy habits and changing your lifestyle can be tough, and sometimes extra support or help is needed. Don’t be afraid to enlist the support of friends, family or a professional to help you stay accountable. If weight loss is one of your goals, Southwoods Health can help. We’ve created a comprehensive program to help combat obesity through medical and surgical weight loss solutions. Since each patient has a unique set of circumstances, our team at the Center for Comprehensive Weight Management & Bariatric Surgery focuses on delivering personalized care using a multidisciplinary approach and is dedicated to providing patients a path to a healthier future. Weight loss can significantly improve your health and our overall goal is for patients to live longer, healthier lives. Visit our website to learn more.
Setting realistic health goals is the key component to successfully achieving lasting change. By reflecting on your current lifestyle, focusing on small changes, setting specific and measurable goals, and seeking support, you will be well on your way to a healthier you. From everyone at Southwoods Health, we wish you a happy and healthy New Year!