New Year, Better You

New Year, Better You

As 2020 comes to a close, I’m sure we’re not alone in welcoming the fresh new year with open arms. We’ve all spent the majority of 2020 cooped up inside and perhaps not making the best decisions to improve our health. This year has definitely been rough for many of us but every fall off of your horse is just another opportunity to get back on it, right? For the last newsletter of 2020, we’re sharing these tips on how to set your own personalized, attainable, idealistic goals for the upcoming year. 

When it comes to setting goals for the new year, here are our tips / tricks to creating goals that you will actually stick to in order to see results: 

  • Set goals that are realistic to meet or you will abandon your endeavors after a week or two of pursuing it. 
    • For example, proclaiming “I’m going to completely give up carbs” is a bold statement. If you love carbs and this is a major drastic change in your lifestyle, you will find yourself miserable and throwing in the towel early. Instead, choose a more practical goal like “I’m going to eat less refined carbs (white bread, pasta, rice, etc) and try to eat more whole carbs (vegetables, fruits, sweet potatoes, whole grains)”
  • When it comes to fitness goals, try to set goals for progress in strength and endurance rather than your weight.
    • Instead of “I want to lose X amount of pounds” say “I want to be able to do 10 pushups” or “I want to be able to run a mile without taking breaks.” By aiming to improve your strength and working out by putting your mind to muscle, the physically aesthetic results will follow your progress. 
    • Instead of using a scale, take progress photos of your body. On the day you decide to start working out more, take a photo of yourself. After the first few months of working out, take another one wearing the same clothes and standing in the same position. These snapshots over prolonged periods of time will show the physical changes your body is undergoing that you can’t see by looking at yourself everyday in the mirror. 
  • Make your goals achievable by creating small, actionable steps you can do every day. Instead of “I want to be healthier” make your goal “I will work out for at least 30 minutes a day” or “I WILL incorporate at least one serving of vegetables into every meal”. In Atomic Habits by James Clear, Clear explains that by performing a small actionable step everyday, you are increasingly becoming at least 1% better and disciplining yourself to form a habit that will actually stick. Associate the small actionable step with the benefit to make it appealing. 
    • Some examples of small actionable steps:
      • I will eat out less and try to cook more so I know exactly what I am putting into my body
      • I will read for 30 min a day to expand my vocabulary and learn more about the world
      • I will listen to one podcast a day about self-help or self-improvement to better myself
      • I will give up drinking soda to consume less sugar and avoid long-term health issues
  • Write down your goals physically and place them somewhere you can see them everyday and constantly be reminded. Locations such as your refrigerator, your phone wallpaper, your mirror, or your office computer monitor should work. 
  • Keep yourself accountable by sharing your goals with a friend or family member. Bonus: if your family or friend has a similar goal, you can work towards it together. 
  • It’s ok to make mistakes and fall off the wagon, but examine the why of your failure to make sure it doesn’t happen again in the future. The idea here is to strive for consistency, not perfection. When you find yourself off course, steer right back on the road. Do not give up! Every step in the right direction, no matter how small, is still progress. 

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