At the turn of every year, we often create New Year’s resolutions. As 2022 starts, you may have already made your own list…and possibly already failed to meet a resolution or two. But there is still hope! Chances are you can still make some new changes and set some new goals for the year. Check out six tips for helping you stick to those goals!
1. Start small and manageable. The resolution you might want to make is just too lofty, like going to the gym every single day, or even 5 days a week, especially if you’re starting from 0 times a week. Start smaller—focus on moving your body more each day, then working up to a bigger goal once you have achieved the smaller goal. This helps with motivation.
2. Motivation may not be there, and that is okay. Some ways to fight feeling unmotivated is to make the new goal part of your routine. Remember the first step, start small, so scheduling your 10 minute walk during your lunch hour, gives you 50 minutes to do whatever else you wanted, but still gets in that 10 minute walk. We don’t want you to schedule 60 minutes of walking during your lunch break because then you won’t be able to do anything else but walk, which might feel like a chore.
3. Oftentimes, once we start we are more likely to keep going. Again, the goal of moving our bodies more. You might have a goal of that 10 minute walk, but once you get 10 minutes in, you may continue. Again, that motivation might not be there, and that’s okay if you only do the 10 minutes, but if you do more that’s a bonus!
4. Make it interesting and fun. If you are trying to eat healthier, a smaller first step might be adding more fruits and vegetables. You may want to find a new recipe that sounds interesting, maybe you remember a dish from a restaurant you had, or maybe you saw a fruit or vegetable you’d never seen before in the grocery store. This may also help with moving your body. Maybe try a YouTube dance class—it has little risk as others won’t be around if you feel self-conscious. You can schedule it during a time that works for you, and, if it’s really not your thing, you put no money into it so finding something else to try will be easier to do.
5. Be flexible and creative. If COVID has taught us anything, it has been that we have to be flexible and creative. If your gym shut down because of COVID, find an alternative. Maybe take a walk at a local walking path or find an exercise video on YouTube. If the grocery store is out of your favorite healthy snack or an item is now just too expensive, try new ones to replace them or get creative in finding new stores or new ways to obtain the item—like getting the whole chicken and breaking it down for a recipe or finding some friends who will split a Costco size bottle of olive oil.
6. Get social, when you can. Even with COVID, we can get social with our goals. Even if we can’t do them together, we might check in for motivation or share something that might be helpful. Let’s say you want to save money by bringing lunch to work, maybe ask your friends that do that as well to share recipes or ideas, and make it a routine on Sundays to check in with each other. This can be done with exercise as well. This can also help with depression or feelings of isolation which might be contributing to the issue causing the need for the goal.
Hopefully these tips will get you to your goals, but if you ever need a bit more help, it also might be good to schedule an appointment to speak with a therapist if you are having a hard time with keeping yourself healthy. COVID has been challenging. Depression and isolation can impact your health and making healthy choices. From all of us in the counseling program, we want to wish you a healthy and happy New Year!
Looking for more tips and guidance? JFS Orlando’s counselors are specialized in various areas and are here to support you. Telehealth counseling appointments now available! Medicare, Medicaid, and almost all insurances are accepted. Sliding scale available for those who do not have insurance or have an insurance we do not accept. Call 407-644-7671 or complete our online form to request an appointment today!
Ashlyn Douglass-Barnes, LCSW is the Clinical Director and a licensed clinical social worker at JFS Orlando. Ashlyn has worked in a variety of settings including outpatient community based mental health, inpatient/admission psychiatric hospital, substance abuse/DUI, dialysis/medical, and in home/office outpatient therapy.