Tips to Achieve your Health and Wellness Goals

Tips to Achieve your Health and Wellness Goals

We always start the year so eagerly and are determined to get it right this time. New year's resolutions are set on the first day of the year to start fresh and new. Although we are now two months into this new year, you can always start today. Setting health goals should not be a next year's assignment, rather a start tomorrow and see results next year task. Even the slightest changes can make a huge impact on your physical and mental health.

 

Set Your Goals

The first step to achieving your health goals and not falling off track is, to be honest, and realistic with yourself. There is nothing worse than setting unrealistic goals, placing all your effort just to later find yourself disappointed because you did not reach your objective.

A healthy way to reach your lifestyle goals is by setting realistic and attainable goals. Write them down, tell your family, tell your friends—why? Telling friends and family will hold you accountable for these goals you have set.

Make sure the goals are specific to your vision and you break each goal step by step. Think of your objective as a recipe, you cannot reach step 5 unless you complete 1-4.

 Have short-term and long-term goals, for example: "In the next month I will consistently exercise, in 1 year my consistency will allow me to have higher stamina, strength, and health.

These are realistic but broad goals, now you must be specific and ask yourself how you will achieve these goals. You will need to write down how you will accomplish your end goal in two months and one year.

An example of a specific, yet attainable goal is: I will start going to the gym starting Monday, 2-3 times a week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday). and in 3 months I will start going to the gym 4-5 times a week to accomplish my weight goals. Setting specific and attainable goals is crucial to the success you are seeking.

 

Form a Healthy Sleeping Routine

 What does a healthy sleep routine mean? Our bodies follow a circadian rhythm which helps the body maintain a balance between our 24 days and night cycle. A circadian rhythm is mental, physical, and behavioral changes affected by the 24-hour cycle. Our circadian rhythm can affect eating habits, hormone release, and even our body temperature.

Other than not receiving enough daylight, another reason your sleep routine might be off could be because of the device you are currently using. The light emitted by electronic devices can trick our minds and our biological clock. These subtle changes can lead to sleep disturbances and later develop into chronic health conditions such as diabetes, obesity, depression, bipolar disorder, and seasonal depression. 

It might not be easy to go to bed at the same time every night however, this will help your body more than you think so it is worth the effort.

If you know you do not have healthy sleeping patterns, perhaps you should try exercising during the daytime. Exposure to sunlight is a great way to reboot your circadian rhythm. You may also want to create a sleep schedule, one where you allow yourself to "wind down" before sleeping. Maybe running a bath, reading a book, meditating, or lighting up a candle could become part of a healthy sleeping routine.

Exercise 4-5 Times a Week

It is understandable that work, school, and life get in the way, and you are left with a limited amount of time for exercising. However, exercising is an investment in your physical and mental health. By setting aside at least 30 minutes of your day to dedicate to yourself, you will accomplish lower stress, reduce health risks, and even help with improved sleep. Here are some simple ways to incororate movement into your day: 

Often times we allow time for things that do not serve a purpose in our lives and think we do not have time for what is important. It may seem like you don't hve time to exercise, but maybe you need to put down your phone, walk away from your computer, or turn off the TV to find that time. Making a concsious decision to give yourself 30 minutes of excerise will help you create a healthy habit for yourself, and it will probably rub off on those around you! 

Nourish Your Body

Oftentimes, people go on a “diet” by withholding food from themselves. This is not only unrealistic, but also unsafe and unhealthy. Instead, it’s as simple as being mindful of what you’re putting in your body. Keep fresh foods available and avoid the pantry. Don’t focus on the number of calories, but rather the actual content of the food. Is it full of sugar? Is there any protein? What is the salt content? Once you take charge of putting more healthy foods in your body than unhealthy foods, you’ll find that you feel better overall – better energy, better digestion, etc... And don’t forget to hydrate! 

Record Your Progress

What better way to stay motivated than to record your progress? Say it is a fitness journey, taking pictures is a great way to track your physical changes throughout the months as a scale is not always an accurate way to measure progress. Journaling daily is also a great method to look back on your mental health journey. Recording progress will allow you to see details you might miss as the days and weeks pass. Our brain plays tricks on us, and we do not always perceive things as they are. Recording your progress and tracking your journey is a great way to reward yourself as you are still working on your journey.

Seeking Help

Here at Dr. Messina and Associates, our compassionate team of professionals are qualified to help you at our Flower Mound, Texas, and Southlake, Texas, offices. Our Psychologists, Psychiatrists, and Counselors specialize in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychological testing, and medication management for a variety of emotional and behavioral health needs. All services are available in-person and online (telehealth). If you or a loved one are seeking help with mental health, we are here to help.

Author
Dr. Michael Messina

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