Are you feeling ready to start the new year off strong, to set some great goals and ready for a new outlook? Are you ready to feel more confident and determined that this is going to be YOUR year to be stronger in mind, body and soul? To be more active, to eat better and be more consistent?
As you prepare for a new year, these are all great goals and an attitude to have so don't allow yourself to slide back into old habits. We know God wants to see you succeed and we are here to help you too! Here are 7 ways to achieve your health goals in the new year so you can have the best year ever!
1. Examine The Why Behind Your Resolutions
If one of your resolutions is, for example, to eat healthier, why is it a goal? What will you gain by eating healthier? Lose weight, have more energy, regulate hormonal issues, sleep better, experience younger looking skin and more nourished hair, to care for the temple God gifted you with, to live longer and be able to live more independently as possible as you age?
To really set yourself up for success when it comes to sticking with your resolutions, you need to examine your own whys. Digging deep and identifying your why just beyond things like "to lose weight" will help you stick with your resolutions through the new year and beyond!
2. Make Sure You’ve Set Goals
It’s easy to make resolutions like, “I want to lose weight,” or “I want to exercise more.” But the truth is, these statements are vague and will do little to help you go the distance when it comes holding onto your New Year’s Resolutions. Goals should be S.M.A.R.T (Specific-measurable-achievable-relevant-time bound). So for example, if one of your resolutions is to exercise more, think about what your goals might be in relation to that. A great SMART goal would be to write down, “I’m going to exercise for 30 minutes three times this week.”
A larger, overall goal might be that you want to run a 5k in three months. A smaller, weekly goal would be to start running/walking for twenty-minutes, four times a week, or something like that. By setting goals, you really are setting yourself up for success! If you want to learn more about how to set smart goals here.
3. Post Your Resolutions Where You Can See Them
It can be so easy to lose sight of our goals, but if we post them where we can see them on a daily basis, we will allow our goals and whys to stay at the forefront of our minds especially on those hard days when life throws us off course.
Maybe you’re wanting to eat healthier and lose weight so that you can be healthier and live a long life and be present in your family and friends’ lives. That’s a powerful why, and posting that why on your bathroom mirror or even refrigerator can be the motivation you need to keep going even when the going gets tough.
Find a scripture that aligns with your goals and be sure to write it down too so you can be encouraged that God hears you and is always with you to help guide you in a way that only He can.
4. Don’t Keep Your Goals To Yourself
Studies have shown that accountability can be a powerful tool when it comes to sticking with your goals so make sure you’re not the only one who knows about them. Tell your spouse, your kids, or some close friends. You can even ask them to help keep you accountable to your goals by asking for some help and yes even prayer because prayer is powerful. No matter what your resolutions are, just by telling someone else, you are increasing your chances for success.
5. Don’t Quit At The First Sign Of Trouble
A good analogy for this might be marriage. A lot of newlyweds tend to have a hard time during their first year of marriage as they figure out how to do life together and work toward becoming a team. You could say the same thing about you and your resolutions.
It might be hard to stick with your goals in the beginning but if you make the commitment to keep working on them, no matter how many times you feel like you fail or fall backwards, you’ve already won the battle. Know that there will be challenges as you work toward your goals but the important part is to commit while trusting God to help you.
The enemy wants you to believe you have to be perfect but Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 12:9-11 that in our weakness we are made strong through Christ. “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
6. Reward Yourself
Rewarding yourself as you progress toward achieving certain goals greatly increases your chances for success. You could reward yourself on a weekly or even monthly basis. It’s important however to stress that rewarding yourself with poor food choices is not really a reward especially if it's a trigger. For example if your goal is to eat healthier and you are self aware that you struggle with emotional eating, you wouldn't reward yourself with a giant piece of chocolate cake.
Think of ways to reward yourself without sabotaging your progress. Splurge on some new workout clothes (you don't have to spend a ton of money, I love to buy mine at Ross & TJ MAXX), reward yourself with a new book you've been wanting to read, a new pair of workout shoes, a pretty coffee mug, a favorite candle you can light with some favorite bath bombs or salts or a trip to a favorite park or camping spot. You know what motivates you best, so make sure to set up some fun, healthy rewards for yourself.
7. Focus On Fun
It can be easy to get lost in the daily grind of trying to exercise everyday or only think about everything that you’re deprived of if you’re trying to eat healthier but it’s important to remember that your journey to better health should be a joy-filled experience If you’re trying to exercise more, there are plenty of ways to make exercise fun. For example, we have Pazaz dance workouts that will still give you a great cardio workout, but because you’re dancing, you hardly even notice.
We hope you found these tips helpful in creating healthy goals for the new year. It's important to remember you are human and you will have some set backs along the way. You will be tempted by an enemy who wants to use your weaknesses against you but good news is that every day is a new opportunity and God's grace is renewed every morning so make a promise to yourself here and now that you won't beat yourself up when you fall short but instead run to God so that with Him you can finish strong because you were never created to do this alone.
Remember to keep God at the center of all areas of your life. Make Him your personal trainer!
Looking for a community to help support you in your goals for this year?! Learn more about why Faithful Workouts is the BEST online Christian platform for women over 40. We have hundreds of workouts for all fitness levels, easy meal plans, budget friendly grocery lists, simply delicious recipes, fitness app, podcasts and more!
Michelle is the founder of Faithful Workouts and The Fresh Table. She began her fitness career in 1984 and is passionate about helping people break free from fitness frustration and move towards a purposeful life of physical and spiritual health. She lives in Colorado with her husband Jeff and is a mom to 3 amazing children.