As the calendar flips from December to January, many of us use this time of year as an opportunity to reflect on our lives. We look for ways to improve ourselves and make resolutions—big or small—to change parts of our daily life we’d like to improve. It’s a popular time for new gym memberships and starting healthier diets. Also a time when we’re open to challenging ourselves, planning trips to places we’ve always wanted to visit and more, the New Year offers many possibilities.
Choosing a resolution is only the beginning though; sticking to the plan is the hard part. But it doesn’t have to be. By opening yourself to new challenges, you’re deciding to change for the better, and that’s definitely worth your time and efforts! So, here’s some ways to help you keep on track with your new goals for 2022.
Baby steps to better health
A new year can bring excitement and enthusiasm to lose weight and become healthier. Although it’s important to set healthy goals, don’t overhaul your wellness with crash, short-term diets. Instead, you should resolve to take small, focused steps and make a long-term impact on your health. Just try packing a piece of produce in your lunch every day, designating one day a week as “fish day,” or packing a single serving of your favorite whole-grain cereal as a mid-morning snack.
You can also try some of these tips to help you achieve long-term results by starting small. You can:
- Drink plenty of water instead of calorie-heavy beverages, like sodas, creamy coffees and energy drinks.
- Tackle mindless munching by simply chewing on a stick of sugar-free gum.
- Buddy up with a friend who is trying to be healthier as well—then share your ideas, plans and successes regularly.
- Get active by simply going for a walk, washing your car or stretching at your desk.
- Socialize with non-food events by getting together with friends at a park.
Growing healthy habits
Forming a habit is like growing a plant. With a plant, you start with a seed, find a good spot for it with proper soil and sunlight exposure, then nourish it so the roots will get started.
Similarly, growing a habit starts with a tiny behavior. Find a good spot in your daily routine for this tiny behavior and nourish it so it gets firmly established in your life. Soon, your new habit will take root and thrive.
With practice, forming healthy habits can begin quickly and easily. There will be some trial and error, but any missteps are opportunities to help you learn something new. Each time you try to create a new habit, you’ll learn new skills and gain confidence to be successful.
Positivity through vision boards
A vision board is a collection of images and words to represent your goals or dreams. They are intended as inspiration or motivation you can visually reflect on. By visualizing your goals, you’re more likely to recognize opportunities to help you achieve them. By focusing on positive goals—like a healthy body, relaxing vacation spots, financial security, etc.—you can help yourself on the path to better living.
Creating your personal vision board
Your vision boards can be created physically or digitally. Typically though, a vision board is tangible—filled with personal photos, cutouts from magazines, handwritten quotes, etc., posted on a white or cork board and then displayed in an area you’ll see it every day. Digital vision boards can be made up of pictures, notes, texts and screenshots taken through your phone or tablet and saved in a marked folder you can easily access. You can also use websites such as Pinterest and PicMonkey to create online vision boards. Maybe you’ll even choose to have multiple vision boards using both physical and digital formats.
When making your vision board, consider including some of these elements:
- Your most important goals
- Your wants and needs
- Things that make you smile
- Motivational quotes
- Something that relaxes and centers you
- A list of things you’re grateful for—and update this at least once a month
Embrace the change and have fun!
Whatever goal—or goals—you choose this year, make it something you’ll enjoy trying! Picking something that you can’t be passionate about can make it much harder for you to stay motivated as you progress. For example, if you want to lose weight but hate going to the gym, don’t get a gym membership! If you’re excited about making this change, it’ll only make it easier for you to commit to your new habits. Enjoy the fun in trying something new!