This month’s Wellness Challenge involves setting goals for the upcoming year. While January is often the time people set resolutions, I challenge each of you to set goals for yourself. Goals are steps that help us achieve our resolutions. So if your resolution this year is to be healthier, then a great idea is to set goals that are specific and will help you achieve that resolution. According to research, over 40% of the decisions we make each day are based on a habit.
1. The first thing to do is to see where you stand in terms of your overall health and wellness. Are there areas that you would like to have more success in? If so, write them down. Remember, that goals and habits are not only about losing weight, working out, or eating healthier. Your habits and goals can also be spending time with family, meeting new people, or developing a closer relationship with God. Whatever the habit you want to develop, it is important for you to decide what matters and develop a game plan for the future. Goals are specific, measurable, within reach, REALISTIC, important, and they must have a time-frame with milestones and benchmarks along the way.
2. In order to make a habit stick, you need to provide structure to hold yourself accountable. There are several different options you can take.
– Smartphone (Android or Apple) Users: This is where the Healthy 100 Habits app comes in. Visit the Apple App Store or Android Market to download this free app. This is a relatively new app that allows you to choose from built-in habits or create your own. I have found this a simple and easy method to track habits once you get used to it. It allows you to share your goals and progress with friends, as well as share motivational quotes. There are other apps out there, which you are also free to explore, however because I have enjoyed the CREATION Health program put out by Florida Hospital, I will be endorsing this app.
– Online Goal/Habit Tracking: There are a few websites out there:
* The first I have found and enjoy is the Mindbloom Life Game. This is a free game that allows you to grow a tree based on what you find important in life. You can set goals and watch your tree grow.
* Another website is SuperBetter which allows you to play a game, create a secret identity, and participate in challenges.
* The final website is Spryee, while this is not a game, it does allow you to visualize and monitor your progress over time.
– Start and Maintain a Goals Journal: Write your goals in here as well as your reward points for when you achieve a goal. It is important to break each of your goals into smaller, more measureable sub-goals. For example, if one of your goals is to lose 20 pounds, some of your sub-goals along the way could be to exercise for 30 minutes 3 times a week. For individuals that prefer paper lists, this is a great way to start holding yourself accountable for the future!
REMEMBER, the important thing is to find a method that works for you. Not all of us like keeping paper lists, not everyone wants to play a game, again, choose whatever will work best for you. Find other friends who are also looking to create healthy habits for life, and start putting them into practice!
3. Now that you’ve set your habits and goals for the year, it’s time to put them into practice. Whatever method you have decided to choose to track your goals/habits, make sure you are following it and recording your success. Remember, Rome was not built in a day. You will not go from the couch to running a marathon within a week, but as long as you are making progress, that is success!
4. Set aside a time each day (I suggest in the morning or evening) where you record your progress. This should be a special time with just you. If prayer is important to you, perhaps you spend time in prayer with God, giving thanks for your success. Or perhaps you journal for a few minutes. It is important to encourage yourself for even the small things you do each day. Perhaps you took the stairs instead of the elevator, learned a new healthy recipe, or cleaned up around the house. Even though these are routine tasks, they are an essential part of our life. If you can learn to appreciate yourself for the little things, you will be well on your way to setting healthy habits and goals that will last a lifetime.
5. Even though you may not always succeed, it does not mean you have failed. Reaching a goal is a journey; there are many steps along the way. Do not worry about tomorrow, instead focus on what you need to do today. If you can do this every day, you will find yourself at the top of the mountain you thought impossible to climb.
Living a CREATION Healthy lifestyle will change your life. Having goals and developing habits for the future will enrich your life. I encourage each of you to just get started, to take the steps that will help you get started on a better tomorrow. If you have any questions or would like assistance with any of the information included above, please feel free leave a message here! I will be happy to help!
~ Kelley 🙂