Every year, millions of people set lofty goals for improving their health. However, many of them never actually achieve these goals. If you are among the millions of people who set a goal for the new year, consider using these five strategies to help you find success in achieving them.
1. Ditch Fad Diets
Diets and trends that offer quick results with little effort often seem too good to be true. As a general rule, they are. Resist the urge to fall for this type of program. Whether you want to lose weight, have more energy, or improve metrics related to a chronic health condition, it is going to take dedication and hard work.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that every program or product on the market is a waste of your time. Take CBD oil, for example. It emerged several years ago as a wonder compound, and millions of people around the world swear by its benefits. Even more importantly, there is a growing body of research to support its use for reducing pain, inflammation and anxiety.
2. Develop SMART Goals
One way to ensure you stay on track is to set goals that work for you. If you are unfamiliar with them, take some time to learn about SMART goals and how they help you achieve what you want. These will be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound to keep you moving in the right direction.
Many people fixate on the physical manifestations of health issues. It can be more helpful to focus on the underlying causes of problems. For example, an unhealthy relationship with food can contribute to weight gain or arthritis may limit your exercise efforts. Once you have addressed what contributes to your difficulties, it is easier to overcome them. At that point, it is time to set some realistic goals to work toward.
3. Track Your Progress
If no one is keeping up with your goals, including you, then how will you know when you’ve met them. Establish a system that holds you accountable for your actions. Use fitness trackers or a log to monitor physical activity, keep a record of blood pressure or sugar readings or set up a weekly check-in with someone who knows what you are trying to do.
Part of holding yourself accountable is finding out what is working and what isn’t. Ask questions and be prepared to listen to and act on the answers you get. These may not always be what you expect, so it can be uncomfortable and awkward. Honesty isn’t always easy to face, but it is the best policy if you want to effect lasting change. You can also make it fun by turning accountability into a game or friendly wager.
4. Talk With Your Doctor
American adults tend to view their doctors with suspicion or as someone to see if you are sick. However, health care providers are much more than that. They can be a powerful ally on your road to better health. So, if your primary focus is improving health, then your doctor or care provider should be involved in the development of goals and plans. Schedule an annual physical and discuss the results with your doctor. Ask questions, seek out advice and tips and find out about community programs or clinical trials that might be insightful or helpful.
5. Use the Buddy System
Recruiting a partner to go on your wellness journey is an excellent way to find success. In essence, you become sounding boards and support systems for each other. Together, you can share achievements and overcome obstacles. Who makes a good “buddy” for you will depend on your personality, personal relationships and comfort with sharing. Many people find that a co-worker or family member fits this role well. You see each other regularly and already have some sort of relationship.
Don’t let your resolutions fall by the wayside. By establishing SMART goals, working with a buddy, tracking your progress and involving your doctor with health decisions, you can succeed at reaching your health goals this year.