January is here and for many people that means New Year’s Resolutions. Have you already set (or failed) a goal for 2022? We’ve got some tips on how to set resolutions that you can stick to! With our mission to help improve the whole health of individuals who live, work, learn, play, and pray in Hancock County, we love to help people set (and fulfill) wellness goals all year long.
Start out small
When setting a yearly resolution for your health, it can be tempting to set a huge goal for major change. However, that may just be setting yourself up for failure. Rather than making it a goal to get in an hour-long workout every single day in 2022, try to fit in a few minutes of exercise each day or an hour each week. As the months go on, you will get used to incorporating smaller workouts into your schedule, and it will be easier to increase their duration with your improving stamina.
Another resolution that can be sure to fail is one that is not specific. Rather than just planning to “eat healthy” in 2022, set specific goals around your meal planning. If you are going from a diet with virtually no produce, maybe you could plan to incorporate fruits or vegetables in at least one meal per day, with an ultimate goal of reaching the recommended 1½ to 2 cups per day of fruit and 2 to 3 cups per day of vegetables.
A helpful acronym when setting goals and resolutions is SMART, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. With our healthy eating example, you could set a goal to eat at least one vegetable or fruit each day for the next 30 days. Once you have achieved this relevant goal, you can set a new timeframe with an overall plan to form healthier eating patterns.
Try, try again
We’ve talked a lot about setting resolutions that won’t fail… but what if they do? It can be discouraging to fail a resolution that you’ve set for yourself, but that doesn’t mean you should just give up. Give yourself a little grace and forgiveness and try again the next day! Maybe your New Year’s Resolution is to quit smoking. Healthy365 has some great resources to help, but with any addictive substance, it may take more than one try to quit.
A number of studies have been conducted on the number of times it could take to finally kick the habit, with suggestions ranging from 8 to 11 attempts by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and up to 30 attempts in a 2016 study from the University of Toronto. Don’t let this discourage you… quitting is really hard! Use it as motivation if you do fail to keep going and know that any attempt to quit is a step in the right direction.
Missing a day in your resolution is easy to do, but you can help yourself remember by setting reminders. Use a physical calendar or your phone’s reminder app to set a consistent time each day (or each week) to fulfill your resolution and make it a part of your regular routine. Maybe you are trying to become more mindful and aware of your mental health in 2022. Journaling every day has great benefits for mental wellness, and doing it every day when you wake up or before you go to bed can be a good way to make it a regular habit instead of a sporadic practice.
If you are looking for support in your journey to improve physical, emotional or mental wellness this year, Healthy365 would love to help! Contact our Support Navigators today online or at 317-468-4231 so that we can connect you with the best local resources for your or your family’s situation.