6 Easy Ways to Keep Your Health Goals Alive

We are halfway through 2023, and how many of us can say that we’ve stuck with our New Year’s resolutions? That probably wasn’t something you were expecting to think about as you look forward to summertime, especially if you, like many others, have long forgotten about those ambitious plans you made back in January.

And you are not alone! It is estimated that only 9% of Americans complete their New Year’s resolutions, and of the millions of other resolutions made, 23% don’t make it past the first week of the year, and 43% of them fizzle out before February has even begun. And do you know the most popular type of goal set? Fitness-related goals!

Improving our physical health is a very worthy endeavor, so why the low success rate of fitness goals? There are a myriad reasons why goals to exercise, eat better, and to simply be healthier may not hold up. Maybe you need a friend to go running with you. Maybe it’s hard to plan out healthy meals for a whole week. And maybe there just isn’t enough time in a day to do everything on our health “to-do” list.

If making and keeping health-related goals feels overwhelming to the point of burnout, take a deep breath and remember: you’ve got this! We have all been there, and it is for this very reason that USANA Health Sciences kicked off the #StartSomething campaign last summer, offering tips to get moving and keep moving, all while making a difference in our communities.

Here are just a few ways to avoid goal-related burnout and keep improving yourself:

Make a (sustainable) plan.

If your health goals start and end with something like, “Eat healthier,” therein lies the problem. Making goals includes making a step-by-step plan. Setting goals is a matter of getting from point A to point B, so start where you are, decide where you want to be, and then determine how you’re going to get there.

Remember to make S.M.A.R.T. goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. If your plan to “eat healthier” meets these parameters, you are well on your way to success.

For example, write out a plan to “eat healthier” and include specific nutrient or caloric intake goals. Make a meal plan by picking two or three easy and nutritious recipes to make and take to work. And don’t forget to keep your plan sustainable! If cooking isn’t really your thing, trying to make an elaborate recipe for lunch may not be sustainable. But maybe you can start with 3- or 4-ingredient recipes that are easy to put together and still help you meet that goal to improve your diet.

Keep things simple.

Being healthy doesn’t have to be a 15-step road to improvement! All of us already lead busy lives, so setting goals can be as simple as taking supplements; reading a book before bed instead of scrolling through social media; drinking more water; or just getting outside and enjoying some sunshine.

Find a fitness buddy.

Having a good support system is key to keeping your goals. When you share your goals with someone who cares about you, you build a network that will keep you accountable, and they might even be inspired to join you in your health journey.

You could try:

  • Running with a friend;
  • Starting a dog-walking group with your neighbors (Bonus: your doggo will thank you!);
  • Setting a date to go to the gym together; 
  • Planning a weekly potluck at work and bringing healthy recipes to share.

Try something new.

Choosing a new activity to get fit is an excellent way to challenge yourself and avoid monotony in your daily routine. Trying new things wakes up your brain and can pull you out of that mental fog that comes from repeatedly doing the same activities. Once you start learning and doing something new, you start building confidence in yourself, and soon you’ll be hooked on a healthy new habit.

Try and come up with a new physical activity for each month or even each week! Maybe you’ve always wanted to try rock climbing. Maybe there’s a local softball or volleyball league in your area, and you’ve been thinking of joining. Or maybe a friend just shared a beautiful hiking spot that looks too good to be true. There’s no time like the present to start a new adventure!

Engage with your community.

When you get outside and serve your community, everyone benefits. You get moving, and you will probably have a chance to meet new people and make someone smile. Whatever you choose to do, chances are you’ll be smiling as well. Not only will you improve your physical health, but serving others can positively boost your mental and emotional well-being. Never underestimate the power of doing good!

Running a marathon for charity requires hard work and dedication, but you end up with an extremely healthy workout routine, and people in your area benefit from your donation. How about doing yard work for a neighbor? You get to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air, and your neighbor will be grateful for a happy yard. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or shelter, and while you’re standing on your feet and moving for a few hours, families in need are taken care of.

Be positive.

Being positive may seem like the simplest tip on this list, but it is the most important by far. When you feel good about your goals and you believe that you are capable of achieving those goals, you feel motivated to keep going, even when a goal becomes difficult.

Instead of setting a goal and immediately doubting the likelihood that you’ll ever reach it, imagine a future where you have done it! Research the benefits of exercise and healthy eating, and know that you are capable of reaping those same benefits. While you’re at it, make a list of positive affirmations and read them every day. Write them on your bathroom mirror or, better yet, text them to a friend; you’ll both have a more positive outlook on life.

Start Something and keep going!

Sticking with your goals may seem hard, but it is absolutely possible! These six tips won’t just help you keep your goals; with this advice, you can create more meaningful goals and accelerate your path to self-improvement. 

You can find even more great ideas from USANA Health Sciences and the #StartSomething campaign. 

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