It goes without saying that 2020 was an eventful and difficult year for almost all of us. Now, more than ever, we realize the importance of health. Sometimes it is not always easy to make a health goal and see it to fruition. It’s not because the goal is too difficult; it’s your goal…you chose it. Sometimes it is just because the reason why you should do it is not resonating with you loudly enough. So here are things to know when you make a health goal.

Our bodies require certain things to function optimally. Whenever it is missing a basic requirement it will result in a deficiency. This is the reason we need to eat; to receive the nutrients within the foods to fuel our bodies. The foods that our bodies use as fuel are grown on trees, from the soil, from the sea, come from animal meat, and poultry. For many, the daily diet is the first thing to be changed when setting health goals. If you can remember food is fuel, then you will be likely to consider what you are eating to fuel your body.

Our mind and mental outlook have a large impact on our health. Research supports that having a positive outlook on life increases healing, improves quality of life, and reduces the risk of many chronic illnesses, even hereditary ones. The age old question, “is the glass half full or half empty?” shows that we can choose one of two ways to look at things. Right now there is mounting evidence that supports when choosing the positive outlook the result is a healthier, more satisfying, and better outcome versus choosing a negative outlook. So when setting your health goals, do not forget to add some positivity to your list of changes to make.

Last, but not least, water is essential for human life. As humans, we can survive for weeks without food and less than one week without water before we suffer death. That is because our bodies are made up of about 70% water, so of the requirements for good health, water is a top priority. Most people usually do not drink nearly enough water for their body’s needs.  As a result, many suffer from various degrees of dehydration, which can display as headaches, fatigue, constipation, body, and joint pain. Take inventory of how much water you consume and try to make a goal that includes adequate hydration for your body’s needs.

Here are a few simple ways to accomplish the goals discussed:

  1. Set an hourly alarm as a reminder to drink water frequently throughout the day.
  2. Gradually increase your water intake over a few days to give your body a chance to adjust to the new volume of water being consumed.
  3. Make a schedule that includes at least one day of some form of exercise: stretching, cycling, dancing, walking, jogging. Just a small commitment can form a lasting habit.
  4. Keep a journal of thanks and write in it daily. Staying positive is easy to do when you are being reminded about how good things really are.
  5. Write your goals down daily. Even without an action plan, the constant reminder of writing your goals out will allow you to stay focused and make a way to achieve them.
  6. Stay connected with positive people. Though gathering in person is not advised due to the pandemic, we have so many ways to connect virtually and you can choose to stay close to people who encourage, support, and care for you and vice versa.
  7. Do something spontaneous for a family/friend/neighbor. Doing good deeds for people who do not expect anything from you gives you a sense of satisfaction and makes others feel appreciated. Shovel snow for someone, write a letter and send it in the mail with a photograph, bake a dessert, or fill a mug with tea bags and give it as a gift to someone who is not expecting it and spread some joy.
  8. Take a break from ALL screens 30 minutes to 1 hour before bed and spend that time having good conversation with a friend or a family member or even reading a good book.

It is important to prioritize your health. Start by implementing these tips into your daily life, and choose your own health goal for a better 2021.

This is a guest article written by Monique Bowman, ND. You can find more helpful tips by visiting her website and Instagram.