Generally, people begin to take a closer look at their health goals at this time of year. In addition to the upcoming new year, many people feel guilty about their lapse in healthy habits over the past couple of weeks, following turkey dinners and pumpkin pies with eggnog and Christmas cookies.
Although many people put weight loss at the top of their health goals, a healthy lifestyle incorporates self-care, adequate sleep, and mental well-being. Achieving optimal health affects more than your well-being; it directly impacts your ability to accomplish other goals. You will succeed in everything you pursue by striving to be your best self.
From healthy eating and physical activity to stress management and sleep, the effects of all of these factors, as well as others, can profoundly impact your mental and physical well-being. Listed below are five tips for setting and achieving realistic health goals in 2023:
1. Health on all levels
A healthy lifestyle pertains not only to physical health but also to emotional and psychological well-being. Therefore, eating well and exercising alone will not suffice. Take steps to improve your emotional and psychological health by recognizing damaging factors.
In the United States, around 8% of the population suffers from depression, and 19% suffer from anxiety disorders. There is a possibility that these health problems could lead to more severe issues, such as substance abuse.
People generally take stimulants, sedatives, opioids, inhalants, and hallucinogens to overcome mental and emotional challenges. Caffeine and nicotine are among the most popular substances used to stay alert and energetic. These substances can adversely affect both your physical and mental well-being.
Quitting any drug requires strong willpower and determination. Substance abusers need help, and facilities like the Delphi Behavioral Health Group provide them with the therapy, rehabilitation, and support they need to overcome their addictions. So, visit delphihealthgroup.com and learn about the services they offer.
2. Prioritize your efforts
Choose one “key” objective that may have the most significant impact on your desired outcome—for instance, losing weight.
Excessive weight increases the risk of various potentially life-threatening conditions, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes. As the CDC indicates, overweight individuals or those with a body mass index greater than 30 may even suffer from more severe cases of COVID-19. Even losing five or ten pounds can have a considerable impact.
The use of tobacco products is another area that deserves your attention. That’s because quitting this habit can reduce the likelihood of developing respiratory disorders and other health problems.
If you’re in excellent health and do not smoke, focus on the area you feel will be the most meaningful (for example, eating right, exercising, staying mentally healthy, etc.).
Start by keeping a record of your healthy habits. Track how much water you drink, how much sleep you get, how you feel, and how much exercise you do.
3. Take small steps
Everyone dreams of losing 10 kgs in a month, but this is nearly impossible. Many aspire to spend two hours in the gym twice a day. As ambitious as these goals seem, they can be difficult to achieve, and we may eventually give up.
Taking on extreme health objectives places great stress on the mind and body. In turn, these stresses compromise our health and lead to the abandonment of our plans. For this reason, it’s essential to be familiar with your body before setting realistic goals.
A simple solution to all of this would be to start small. Establish achievable goals, for instance, losing three to five kilograms per month. Exercise for 30 to 45 minutes per day or take a 20-to-40-minute walk. When you begin with a small goal, the task will appear more manageable and not seem overwhelming. Your efforts will be rewarded with results, and you will also be able to maintain them.
Setting small goals is important to realize what you can achieve on both a mental and physical level. You may also find it easier to incorporate small goals into your daily routine, especially if you have a busy schedule.
4. Take it easy
When we establish goals, we tend to immerse ourselves in them. Inconsistencies in our results lead us to criticize ourselves and feel discouraged. Whenever that occurs, we begin to blame ourselves. In our view, the fault lies with us for not exerting sufficient effort. However, this is far from the truth.
Setting health goals is the beginning of a journey that requires dedication. We must realize that every journey will have ups and downs. Therefore, striving for perfection in our goals only leads to self-degradation.
Instead of beating yourself up, acknowledge your mistakes and continue your efforts. Being kind to yourself is essential for long-term success. Despite your best efforts, you may only sometimes achieve your intended results. The key to success lies in prioritizing your mental health and loving yourself.
Therefore, if you cannot perform another set of squats or overindulge in dessert, remember that it is part of the journey.
5. Seek help and support
Before changing your diet or routine, consult your healthcare provider if you have any health conditions.
Depending on your individual health needs, your primary care provider (or a specialist who manages chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease) can provide advice and insight.
Be sure to discuss your goals with friends or family to remain accountable. You can motivate them to pursue their own goals by following your example.
The above tips are intended to assist you in developing healthy habits in 2023. However, be aware of the close connection between your goals that often goes unnoticed. Health improvements in one area usually have a positive impact on another.
In every aspect of life, there is a chain reaction that occurs. Therefore, when one goal appears to be of great interest but seems overly ambitious, consider focusing on related goals that may positively impact your long-term objectives. If you adhere to this strategy, you will achieve more significant goals through your existing habits rather than attempting something beyond your capability.