Over the last couple of years, we have all had to adjust to a new normal. However, certain parts of our new normal might have set our health goals off track. After all, if you’ve had to work from home, your lunchtime walk around the office may have gone out of the window. The healthy lunch you used to pack in the evenings has turned into a rushed affair made out of whatever you can throw together once you’re hungry. Our lives have changed, and in the stress of it all, we may have replaced these good habits with unhealthy coping mechanisms.
Bama Health Foods shares some ideas you can use to get and stay healthy.
Set SMART Goals
The first step in any self-improvement journey is goal setting. However, not all goals are created equal. Mind Tools points out that the concept of SMART goals can help you set goals you’ll actually reach. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Based. When your goals have all of these attributes, you’re much more likely to stick with them until they’re done.
So say, for example, you want to clean and organize your house. On its own, that’s not a very good goal. Instead, come up with a SMART goal version, such as “I want to find ways to keep my home from getting cluttered and causing extra stress.” This is much more specific, so you’ll easily gauge whether or not you’re on track.
Now, the odds are good that you won’t reach your goals perfectly, especially when starting out. That’s okay! Part of the point of SMART goals is the evaluation process. Let’s say you set a goal to walk thirty minutes every day. Once you start, you might realize that your schedule is too hectic to make room or that your shoes aren’t comfortable enough for sustained walking.
Once you recognize roadblocks, you can learn to overcome them. In this example, you might buy new shoes or set a specific time for your walks. Or if you don’t have enough time to prepare meals at night, you can spend time over the weekend meal prepping and stocking your fridge with healthy options. There might be trial and error as you find the best solutions, but that’s okay. As In The Rooms notes, the point is not to achieve perfection, it’s to build effective habits.
A healthy diet is a critical component of a healthy life. As much as possible, you should try to eat a balanced, nutritious diet. This includes forgoing chips and bars in favor of healthy snacks like nuts and fruit, as well as delicious products from Bama Health Foods. This will ensure your body is properly fueled and will include a mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and sources of healthy fats like seafood. Eating well will help you stave off illness and keep you feeling confident. It’s also crucial that you drink plenty of water. Not only will this keep you from becoming dehydrated, but you won’t be as hungry so you can avoid overeating.
Respect the Process
In that spirit of habit-building, being gentle with yourself and respecting the process is important. Change doesn’t happen overnight for anyone. It’s always a matter of finding what works through recognizing what doesn’t. It’s important to come into your journey with an “imperfection” mindset. You’re substantially more likely to give up when you hold yourself to an impossible standard. When you don’t, you can recognize setbacks as setbacks, not failures.
Finally, set a time to evaluate and update your SMART goals as you go along. Your original goal can be too easy or difficult, lose relevance as circumstances change, or simply not reflect your personal desires anymore. Adjust your goals to suit your life, and as the Wellspring Renewal Center suggests, try to resist the urge to cling to old goals or judge yourself harshly for your progress. After all, you cannot undo a goal not met: You can only move forward to the next one.
Health is a valuable resource, and we have to dedicate time and effort to keep ourselves well. You deserve to feel your best and reach your wellness goals. Give yourself the best start possible, and stick to your plan—you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve.