It is the tail end of another year. However, 2020 isn’t just any other year, it has been a most challenging one for most people due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Whilst achieving smart career and financial goals was the major focus of most people in the previous years, staying alive was the paramount goal in 2020. This is why it is of utmost importance that smart health goals are included in the plan for 2021.
Oftentimes, when health goals are mentioned, it is very easy to attribute to weight loss but it is substantially more than that. Basically, setting health goals include integrating intentional selfcare into your goals and prioritizing physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. Interestingly, health goals are arguably the most paramount goals to set, as a healthy body and sound mind enables an individual generate more income and drive personal, organizational and national growth.
In setting your health goals, you must ensure they are SMART like the goals you are setting for other facets of your life. Your health goals must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.
S-Specific: Don’t set vague goals like ‘I want to lose weight’ or ‘I want to reduce my sugar intake. Set health goals like “I would be cutting down carbonated drinks and unhealthy calories in 2021,” “I would be eating more protein-based breakfast daily” “I would be having a food journal in 2021 so I can monitor how I eat weekly.” All of these goals would eventually lead to weight loss but they are much more specific hence achievable. The likelihood that you will procrastinate on a generic goal is very high but a specific goal encourages evaluation which propels you to do them.
M– Measurable: Your health goal must be quantifiable for you to measure progress as you work towards your goal. For instance, your food journal can have a tracker where you evaluate your protein-based breakfast weekly. If your goal is to sleep 7 hours daily in 2021, you can track the time you go to bed daily and the time you come awake.
Attainable: While it is easier to say I want to lose 30 pounds before the end of the first quarter of 2021, you might be setting yourself up for disappointment in terms of execution. Rather than the former, you could say “I’m cutting out late night dinner and junks in the first quarter of 2021.” Your set goals should be easy for you to achieve.
Relevant and Realistic: Your goal should be important enough that it inspires you to succeed. This is the reason you must ask yourself the ‘Why’ question when setting any goal. Why do you really need to lose weight? For instance, having a goal to lose weight when you are nowhere close to being overweight might not be so relevant to you as the year unfolds. However, having a goal to keep fit through regular exercises and a healthy diet, so you can cope with stress and fight illness is a more relevant goal.
Timely: Your goal should have a target time. When do you plan to achieve this goal? First quarter of the new year? June, 2021? This would enable you track success and maybe take a detour if the goal isn’t working. Saying I will sleep more in 2021 is too vague but saying I will sleep for 7 hours in the first quarter of 2021 more quantifiable.
Health Goals That You Should Have in 2021.
- Reduce Screen Time: We are in that era where digital devices are connected to work, fun and even relationships. However, excessive screen time has been found to increase the risk of diseases like obesity, diabetes and sleep problems. This is because when you are on your or laptop, you’re most likely sitting or being sedentary in some way. Furthermore, a research by CNBC has also shown that the overuse of devices and social media can be linked to an increase in loneliness as well as depression. Putting your devices away will help you develop deeper relationships with likeminded people which would improve your metal health.
- Practice Portion Control During Meals: oftentimes, we finish everything on our plate, even if we’re full. This is possibly because we feel a sense of guilt associated with wasting food after we’ve prepared it. Interestingly, research shows that 92% of people tend to eat what is on their plate. But if you’re satisfied after eating just 60%, that’s a great opportunity to wrap up the rest and have a meal to eat at another time.
- Include Preventive Care Appointments: aside from the regular checkups with your primary care doctor, get a dental appointment bi- annually, get all of the routine tests and exams that suits your age, and get vaccinations to boost your immune system.
- Walk Everywhere Within a Mile: Because of the fast pace manner of urban living, there is always the temptation to seek faster options of transportations like vehicular, air and water transportation. However, if you barely have time for exercises then walking is your best bet. If you’re headed out to run an errand and it’s less than a mile away, leave your car at home, don’t hire a cab or motorcycle and walk there. This is a realistic health goal that you can easily adopt and do consistently.
- Get Health Education: It would be amazing to have a personal dietician however, many of us do not have the funds or time to hire one. Therefore, you have to leverage available resources to know more about your health. Consistently read health blogs, research on topics around healthy eating, exercises, the importance of getting a good night’s sleep, the proper form of exercise and recommended levels of physical activity and others.
We hope you find some of these health goals to be habits you want to adopt in 2021.
This article was developed by Temitope Olawunmi drawing from the reference below:
Consumer News and Business Channel 2020 available at https://www.cnbc.com/ Retrieved on December 30th, 2020
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