Has your health fallen to the bottom of your to-do list? Or maybe your passion for being healthy has grown cold. No matter where you are on your well-being journey, the new year is a great time to set goals, re-evaluate priorities and renew your commitment to your health. Try these 10 tips to get started.
1. Renew your friendship with your health
Think of your health as a good friend—the one who is always there for you. Then consider how you want to treat this friend. Most likely with kindness and respect. Like any relationship, this one will need nurturing to grow and flourish. Find out more about how to be a good friend.
2. Remember your why
What’s your motivation for being healthy? Maybe it’s to travel, be active with your grandkids, enjoy retirement more or participate in a marathon. Whatever it is, remember it and use it for inspiration. Write it down and put it in a place you’ll see every day, like next to the coffee maker or on a mirror by your front door. If your reason includes someone else, keep their picture with you.
3. Make daily “health dates”
Follow intention with action. Schedule things you can do every day that focus on your health. And make them fun. Maybe it’s setting aside 30 minutes for a workout or 20 minutes to make yourself a healthy snack. Maybe you nap to have physical energy to be active and mental energy to make good health choices.
If you opt for a nap, take it no later than 3 PM. Napping after that time may disturb your regular rest routine. Also, nap for between 20 and 30 minutes to achieve the best effect.1
4. Practice relationship 101s with your health
Apply the same best practices as you would to a partnership. This can help you keep your commitment alive.
- Be intentional. Spend meaningful time working on your well-being.
- Appreciate your body. Don’t take what makes you who you are for granted.
- Be trustworthy. Show up for your workouts. Keep your doctor appointments. Honor what you set out to do.2
Good health is a journey. We have the tools and support to help you every step of the way. Let’s do this thing together! Sign in or create an account now. Not sure if you’re eligible for Teladoc Health?
5. Practice being positive
Cultivate an optimistic mindset. Positivity can breed more positivity. Positive feelings lead people to be more active.3 Whereas negativity can breed more negativity. Look at the good you’ve accomplished toward your health goals each day. If you did not end up doing what you had hoped, consider it a bonus because you can start afresh the next day with more determination.
6. Get S.M.A.R.T. about your goals
Try setting your health goals using the S.M.A.R.T. method. S.M.A.R.T. stands for: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. S.M.A.R.T. questions include:
- What do I want to accomplish?
- How will I monitor my progress?
- Is the goal realistic?
- Is the goal relevant?
- Is the time I’ve set for myself to achieve the goal doable?4
7. Get a handle on stress
Stress can make it harder to adopt healthy behaviors. Coping with stress takes up mental and physical space. You need the energy it depletes to make healthy choices and to have the ability to exercise. Plus, healthy eating and activity help manage stress.5 Learn ways to reduce stress.
If you’d like more help finding ways to relieve stress, try our Mental Health support. Just sharing a conversation with someone can make you feel better.
8. Evaluate your current daily routine
Take a look at how you spend each day. Is there anything you do that can lead you off the path toward good health? Rather than sitting on the couch when you call loved ones, try going for a long walk. If having a certain food in the house tempts you, stop buying it. Think through what you’re doing and make changes where necessary.
9. Acquire accountability
Invite someone you trust to check in and see how you’re doing. Sharing your intentions and actions with another person can make your journey easier.6
10. Little things do count
Tiny changes really add up. Even small steps, such as drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning or going to bed 30 minutes earlier, can benefit your health. Little “wins” give you a sense of accomplishment. This can increase positive self-talk and help you feel empowered. Remember, good health is a journey and not a destination. No matter what happens along the path, just keep going. Every step forward counts.
You’re worth it!
Keep putting your health first. Learn how to make a date with yourself.
Published January 19, 2024