How to Set Goals That Stick
We're all looking to make positive changes, but how many wellness resolutions become permanent fixtures in our busy lives? We reached out to Swedish Covenant Health experts to learn how to choose goals that stick, and where you should focus your energy.
Set Positive and Easy-to-Follow Nutrition Goals
Instead of focusing on what NOT to eat, set a goal to eat more fruits, veggies and whole grains (but be specific in your goal setting). By encouraging the consumption of healthy foods, you stay focused on something positive and leave less "room" for unhealthy food choices as a result.
Start Simple When it Comes to Fitness
The most important thing for me is regular exercise—ideally something somewhat challenging, but even simply walking can be effective. A sedentary lifestyle is one of the easiest ways to age quickly.
Physical activity has been shown to help with chronic pain and fatigue, improved mood and better cardiovascular health. If there is one change that I would encourage patients to make, it’s to engage in cardiovascular and strength training activities at least three days a week.
Maintain a Balanced Life; Don't Just Focus on One Area
Get plenty of sleep, think positively, maintain healthy relationships, be mindful and manage your stress, eat a well-balanced diet, exercise daily and minimize bad habits. I think these are key components to a healthy lifestyle.
Remember the Decisions You Make Now Impact Your Future
Over the years, I have made an effort to ask all my elderly patients what their secret is—and they almost all say that they take a daily walk. Incorporate walking into daily life: walk to work, walk your kids to school or take an evening stroll.
If people were more active and obtained close to 10,000 steps daily, they would likely face fewer health problems later in life, especially if combined with healthy eating. I have no stock in Fitbit, but I think it’s a great way to have fun while being active.
Schedule a Wellness Visit With Your Primary Care Physician
Your primary care physician can help you set and achieve your health and wellness goals. Always visit your primary care physician before making significant changes to your lifestyle, including beginning a new diet or exercise routine, or if you have any questions about recent scientific studies that you have seen in the media.
Learn more about primary care at Swedish Covenant Health.
By David Modica | Published April 26, 2019