The new year is a great time to hit the refresh button on our lives. It’s probably safe to say most of us want to live healthier and happier. But how do we actually make this happen? Looking at perspective is a great place to start.
Develop a healthy point of view
What does healthy look like to you? Really consider what it means. You may be further along than you think. The truth is you probably do little things every day that are healthy. Maybe you take the stairs instead of the elevator. Maybe you sleep the recommended seven to nine hours a night. Maybe you work out some every week. Just reading this blog means health is on your radar.
Think about your personal perspective to see if it matches what’s really going on. And give yourself some credit. Counting your wins can inspire you to keep moving forward. Also, avoid all-or-nothing thinking. You don’t have to be all in or all out. It takes time to make lifestyle changes that last. Every little step forward really does count.
If being healthier in the New Year is one of your resolutions, make sure your goals are realistic. Realistic resolutions have a greater chance of sticking.1 Also, think about your motivation for getting healthy. Knowing why you want to get healthy can help you stay on track.
Look back to see how far you’ve come. What worked? What didn’t? You may want to write down these answers. Doing so can help you plan your steps for this year. Then, set your sights on the future with an informed perspective.
If you didn’t achieve your goals, don’t beat yourself up about this. That’s just wasted energy. Instead, focus on what you can do right now and move forward. You can turn past experiences into growth opportunities.
And know we’re always here to help. You can use our mental health support to work through anything that may be hindering you from achieving your goals. Or just to talk with someone else and gain a different point of view.
Use your insights from your reflection on the past year as a starting place for this year. Following are some tips to help you reset:
Consider using the S.M.A.R.T. goal method
S.M.A.R.T. stands for: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. If your goal is to drink more water, a S.M.A.R.T. goal could be to take a water bottle to work and drink 8 oz. before lunch every weekday. 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?2
Focus on changing just one or a few things at a time.1,2 Think about your why for making change. What’s the reason behind your desire? What are your core values?3 Consider whether the changes you want to make fit in with what you value.
Talk about your intent with others
Ask someone you trust to check in with you to see how you’re doing. Just knowing someone will ask about your progress can inspire you to stay on track.
Reward yourself along the way2
Set up incentives that will keep you motivated to reach your goals. Maybe you can reward yourself with a new piece of active clothing or shoes, a book, a day off, etc. Do whatever works for you and inspires you.
Reframe your view of your health
Look at prioritizing your health as something you get to do instead of something you should do. You’re the only you you’ve got! View what you do to take care of your well-being as part of your lifestyle instead of something on your to-do list.4
Be prepared to retry
Life is busy and can seem hectic. It’s possible that you may not achieve every goal you set. That said, be prepared to try again. You may do better trying to achieve your goals if you keep in mind you may miss the mark sometimes. When you do, don’t punish yourself. Treat yourself with the same compassion you would show a friend.
Get help when you need it
Good health is a journey. We will be here for you every step of the way. Bring us your health goals. And we’ll meet you with the tools and support.
Learn more about how to stick with your health goals.
Published January 12, 2024