Welcome a Healthy New Year
Ahhh the New Year… what a wonderful year this will be! If you’re like many people you’ve probably started the year off with a list of ideas for a healthier life. To be “healthier” may mean different things to each individual. For you, it may mean managing the stresses in your life more proactively. Or, it may mean eating more nutritious foods on a more regular basis. Or, it may mean taking your physical activity to the next level. Regardless of your thoughts about the New Year, you’ll be most successful when you plan to use some of the following strategies while considering your plan for a healthier 2015.
- Be specific. Be clear about your personal health goals for the year. Instead of planning to be more physically active, identify exactly what you will do: I will walk four times a week for 30 minutes around my neighborhood and do strength training exercises with my kids 2 times a week for 15 minutes.
- Visualize. What will “healthy” look like for you? How will you feel when you handle stress well, eat well and exercise on a regular basis? You are the best person to decide what you want to change to be healthier; visualization makes a difference when you see where you want to be and make a plan for getting there! Keeping that focus will help insure success.
- Write it down. Identify your intentions and look at the list daily. For instance, if you intend to be more physically active have a plan written down weekly for that and stick to it! Make sure it’s realistic and challenging as you get started; you can always change your plan as you’re successful the first few weeks of the New Year.
- Commit. Identify and work with a commitment partner. It’s great to be able to share your plan with someone who will help you be accountable for what you want to accomplish. By having someone as part of your quest for better health, you’re insuring that you’ll have the support needed to get through the challenges of being healthier when it may be easier just to give up. Additionally, you’ll be helping someone else in the process!
- Stick with it. Know that it takes a bit longer than the often believed myth of 21 days to establish a new habit. Because of many variables, research suggests that it takes anywhere from two months to eight months to build a new behavior into your life. Embracing longer timelines helps us realize that habits are a process and not an event.
So, plan for a healthier new year by incorporating some of the above mentioned strategies. Know too, that if you believe you can or can’t be healthier, you’re absolutely right!