A new year doesn't guarantee success or change, but it's a great marker to start. Setting a handful of necessary and achievable goals to work toward is a great way to improve yourself. Health in particular is one area that many people choose to focus on, and understandably so. Health is a pretty important factor in overall wellness.
Unfortunately, many people set the bar too high and end up discouraged when they don't immediately succeed. More often than not, they give up altogether. To avoid such a fate, don't go overboard with the amount of goals that you decide to pursue, and try to keep them achievable! To help, we've come up with a handful of important and attainable goals for you to consider.
We figured we'd tackle the hardest one first. Smoking is addictive, plain and simple, and as such, incredibly hard to quit. It is possible though, and success is just a testament to your awesome willpower. You probably know the numerous health risks associated with smoking, but just to remind you, a quick Google search pulls up:
- coronary heart disease
- heart attack
- respiratory infection
Just to name a few! Smoking can negatively affect every part of your body in various ways. Sure, it may make you feel calm or energized, but are the risks worth it?
This is one instance where being a quitter truly wins.
Change Your Diet
This is another difficult one. Weight loss is a common goal, but it's too broad and often the number of pounds desired to lose are too high. Set small goals. Eat, but don't pig out. Cut out dessert from your daily diet. Don't eat less than two hours before bed. Drink more water. Setting all of these goals, one at a time, will not only lead to a healthier diet, but will lead to gradual and maintainable weight loss as well.
Cut Your Stress
Stress has a ton of negative side effects, from headaches to diarrhea to lack of appetite to excessive appetite. It can increase anxiety and depression, make sleep difficult, and reduce your sex drive. Basically, stress can greatly affect your quality of life.
Instead of taking on too many responsibilities and letting them overwhelm you, prioritize what's the absolute most important and then hand off other responsibilities to others in your life or workplace. You may even find that some of the burdens you're holding on to can be let go of completely. Not only will you feel so much better about life in general, but you'll be less tempted to smoke (if you're a smoker) or overeat (if that's your thing).
Exercise Outside the Box
Resolving to exercise more doesn't need to be limited to the gym! The gym can become monotonous and clinical. If the idea of going is unappealing, the chances that you actually make it there to work out are slim (something your body won't be). If working out in a group is what motivates you to move, check out spin classes or Zumba. If you prefer being outdoors, a walk in the park or a hike in the woods are great options. From yoga to HIIT, there's something for everyone. Eventually exercise will go from being a chore to a natural part of your routine.
It can be hard to get enough sleep when your plate is full, if you're stressed, hyped on coffee, or any of the other countless possibilities. With so many things going on, sleep is easily the first thing to be neglected. Turns out that inefficient sleep is linked to some pretty scary health risks though, like heart disease and diabetes.
On the flip side, getting the right amount of sleep that your body needs has some fantastic benefits, like weight loss, improved memory, and improved efficiency with daily tasks. Who doesn't complain about how tired they are, or at least feel the daily effects of sleep deprivation? Now you have an excuse to catch much needed ZZZs.Some of these goals are more difficult than others (who wouldn't choose extra sleep over quitting the smoking habit?) but they're all worth the health benefits. Prioritizing your health at the top of your list is one of the best things that you can do for yourself. Make this New Year count!