5 Strategies to Reach your 2019 Wellness Goals
With the New Year comes a natural readiness to start fresh. Many of us will set goals and vow to ourselves that this year will be different. So, if we all start with such strong determination why do so many of us fail? According to research 25% of us will break our resolutions and that number goes up to 80% if our goal is to attend the gym more often.
A part of that failure rate is the inability to understand how to set realistic goals. When that topic is fitness or nutrition related that task becomes even more daunting. In an industry where a strong Instagram presence can make someone a “professional” it’s hard to find advice that is realistic and can be maintained.
So, how do you beat those odds and become part of that 20% that stick to a healthier lifestyle? The answer comes in keeping those goals realistic.
#1 – Share your goals with family, friends and coworkers
Studies and surveys have shown that you are far more likely to achieve your goals if you write it down. Even better - tell a coworker. If you want to be held accountable ask coworkers to ask you about your goal on a weekly basis. Ever wonder why programs like Weight Watchers have success? A lot of their magic formula is simply having people held accountable to each other in a group and sharing their goals.
If you goal is to become more active, get a workout partner or attend a class. Building your network of supporters will help you stay accountable.
#2 – Celebrate the journey
A healthier lifestyle is a journey. Creating new habits takes time and seeing results will take time. Celebrate small victories on your journey to long-term health.
Each day write down something that you did that held you accountable to your goal. Even if it is small like taking the stairs, being able to see the journey will help you stay on the right path to keeping your resolutions.
#3 – Be specific and realistic
If your goal is to “lose weight and eat healthy” – how will you know when you are done or what defines healthy eating? On the flip side, being too specific like “lose 10 pounds” might be hard if the scale doesn’t move after a few weeks of hard work.
Instead try to focus on specific goals you can achieve and are rooted in health. For example, a goal might be to incorporate two days of physical activity into your week. This may mean going for a walk or heading to a class at the gym. You have a target of twice/week and as you get stronger or that routine becomes more of a habit you can start challenging yourself to incorporate different or longer sessions of physical activity.
Don’t forget to celebrate that journey and start taking note of small changes you are seeing in your energy or attitude towards physical activity.
#4 – One goal at a time
When it comes to living a healthier lifestyle there are multiple aspects to wellness and health. However, trying to correct all of them at once can lead to feeling overwhelmed and failure.
The good news is, many healthy lifestyle changes will often lead to other aspects of your health improving. For example, physical activity can help you sleep better and reduce feelings of depression and anxiety.
So, focus on one area and set just one specific, realistic and measurable goal. It takes time to create new habits. It is not realistic to go from never working out to working out 5 days/week.
#5 – Schedule and prioritize the time to achieve your goal
As a working mom with two kids in dance and rep hockey, I often get asked how do I find time to workout? The answer is – I make the time. I schedule my workouts for the week just as consistently as I schedule meetings at work or after school activities for my kids. If you don’t schedule in the time you will use it doing something else.
Most importantly don’t push aside your scheduled time. Stick to your schedule and make it part of your routine.
If your goals are health or fitness related come visit the Athletic facilities on campus and speak to our staff here. You may want to consider our New Year, New You promotion -- three personal training sessions for only $89! With personal training it is ALL ABOUT YOU.
We would be happy to help you on your fitness journey in 2019.
Written and submitted by Jennifer O’Neill, Manager of Fitness, Recreation, and Client Services