Lose weight, eat better, exercise more, Stop smoking. Does your New Year's Resolutions list look something like this? You're not the only one. Health-related goals are a common part of the goals people set for themselves (and sometimes, forget about) every year. When you take care of your body, your whole life will improve-- so we whole-heartedly recommend sticking with your resolutions to live healthier. Maybe you haven't even thought about your goals for the next year yet. In that case, now's your chance to take a minute to get a head start!
Having your resolutions ready ahead of time gives you a leg up on actually accomplishing them. If you have your list planned, you've already done the brain work and will be ready to dive right in when the new year comes. One fewer excuse to procrastinate always helps to up your chances of success!
Make Your List
Start by listing your health 'wishlist' or trouble areas. Maybe, like many Americans, you want to lose some weight. Maybe you have a bad habit like stress-eating, smoking, or being disorganized. Remember, trying to tackle too many bad habits at once can be self-defeating. Instead, start with your top one to three choices.
Check it Twice
Once you've brainstormed the direction you want to go, come back and clarify your goal. It's easy to write down something vague like "eat healthier" or "exercise more," but it's much harder to keep track of whether you've succeeded. You can't enjoy accomplishing your goals if you're not sure that you did!
Plan your goal like a road trip with an exact destination (e.g., "Eat two veggies a day" or "Go to the gym for three hours a week"), and challenge yourself to come up with steps to help you get there.
If you want to eat more veggies, maybe you can skip the snack aisle at the grocery store or find some new recipes. If you want to hit the gym more, it might help to place reminders around your house or create a routine. Thinking of strategies like these ahead of time will help keep you from tripping up when you start your resolution.
Help Your Future Self
One more thing before you close the planner and stop thinking about those goals. Remember, that what you do now can affect whether you accomplish your resolutions later. Don't make it harder for your future self!
Want to lose weight next year? Asking your friends and family not to give you sweets as gifts will help you out, as will making sure those leftover holiday cookies don't stay in your house to tempt you.
A little preparation goes a long way. Not only will you be ready to hit the ground running, but you might even make a little progress before the new year rolls around. The psychological 'fresh start' of a new year is a great boost for self-improvement, but nobody's stopping you from getting healthier today!