January is always a time characterized by “fresh starts” and “exciting possibilities” as we look forward to everything we might experience in the new year to come. Because of this, the new year is also a natural time to reflect on the past year and set new goals to accomplish. Many people set wellness goals at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, we all know how difficult it can be to actually accomplish the goals that we set.
Through our work at Survivor Fitness, we’ve learned a few tips when it comes to sticking with wellness goals. Whether you’re a cancer survivor, a family member, or simply someone looking to embrace a healthier lifestyle in 2023, here are a few wellness goals to consider for the new year:
1. Own Your Goals.
One roadblock to setting wellness goals is to let external voices play too great a role in choosing a goal to meet. It can be easy to read an article or hear someone on a podcast talk about goals and think, “That’s what I need to do, too.” Sometimes well-meaning friends and family can mention goals they think we should pursue. But goals that are the result of external pressure aren’t as effective as the goals that you set for yourself.
Think about the goals that you want to accomplish this year. Do you want to eat out at restaurants less frequently? Eat healthier? Increase your steps? Get more rest or sleep?
Whatever you decide, it’s essential to own your goals. They are your goals, and you are the only one who can set them.
2. Write Down What You Want to Accomplish… and Be Specific.
Writing down your goals could be the biggest factor in accomplishing them.
Study after study shows you will remember things better when you write them down. Neuropsychologists have confirmed that people demonstrate better memory for the material they’ve generated themselves than for material they’ve merely read. This is especially true when it comes to goal setting. According to a recent study, people are 42 percent more likely to achieve their goals just by writing them down.
As you write out your goals, it’s important to be specific. Rather than saying, “I want to work out more,” consider how you create goals that allow you to measure progress. How often do you want to work out each week? What type of workouts do you want to incorporate? Is there a specific milestone you want to train for?
Here are a couple of examples from Survivor Fitness participants who set a specific goal to compete in a sprint triathlon and hike Mount LeConte.
3. Build New Habits Around Small Goals.
Everyone knows that once you’ve developed a habit, it can be hard to stop. This goes for the good and bad habits in our lives. In many ways, our habits shape our lives.
Knowing this can be incredibly beneficial when it comes to setting and sticking with your wellness goals. If you typically have a hard time achieving your goals, focusing on your habits might be a more helpful approach. Think about your current habits and how they might be impacting your ability to achieve your wellness goals. What new habits could you incorporate into your routine?
It’s important to recognize that it takes some time to make something a habit. Research suggests that, on average, it takes around 66 days to change a habit. Start small and level up slowly to make reaching your goals more likely.
4. Give Yourself Some Grace and Keep Going.
Want to know a secret about your goals and habits? There will come a day (or two or three) when you might mess up. But don’t let that make you quit. Rather than feeling guilty or defeated that you didn’t stick with your goal, it’s important to reset and keep going.
Remember, any step forward takes you closer to your goal.
5. Find Power & Encouragement in Community.
While it’s important to find the internal motivation to own your goals, the reality is that sharing your plans might help your chances of success. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from our Survivor Fitness success stories, it’s that there is power within community. Whether it’s a connection between a participant and a trainer or the encouragement of other survivors, support from others has helped our participants reach their goals.
Looking for Wellness Guidance After Cancer Treatment?
Survivor Fitness works with cancer survivors to help them regain their health and wellness through one-on-one personal training and nutritional support. If you need more guidance on staying motivated and reaching your goals, we are here and happy to help. We walk alongside you during your recovery, empowering you to take control of your healing journey. Connect with us today to learn more!