Setting Future Health Goals Should Start with a Look Back at What You’ve Already Accomplished
As we approach the end of the year, it’s often a time to think back about what we’ve accomplished.
Or what we wanted to achieve, but didn’t.
Considering all we’ve been through in 2020, giving yourself a break is justified.
Nobody could have predicted what we’ve had to endure this year. So if your best health “goals” fell by the wayside, don’t beat yourself up.
But if this year’s taught us anything, it’s that your health is everything. And when you do the right things and treat your body right, you stand the best fighting shot of taking a punch and staying upright.
So if you look at your life and your health and you want to make a change, it’s time to face facts.
Changing your habits, starting new ones or leaving bad ones behind, none of it is easy.
It’s not that we don’t know what to do. But information isn’t enough in the end.
I mean, we know we should eat fresh, healthy foods. We know we should move our bodies.
We know we should get some solid shuteye each night. These aren’t new ideas. And I talk about them all the time.
Americans get 60% of their calories from ultra-processed foods. Six out of 10 of us do no exercising at all – none. And a third of us get only 5 hours of sleep each night, or even less.
No wonder we feel so lousy.
But like I said, knowing you need to do something, knowing it’s important, isn’t always enough. We need to change our environments to change our behavior.
Take food for example. It’s one thing to know you shouldn’t eat cookies and chips all the time. It’s another thing to know they’re in the pantry just ready for you to indulge, and find the strength to resist.
So don’t bring them into your home in the first place.
Look, I’m not a zealot. I enjoy ice cream just like the next guy. Maybe more so.
But I only eat it if I’m out with the family, from local ice cream shops.
It tastes better, it’s as much about the experience as it is the taste, and it’s not there at home if I’m just bored, stressed, or vulnerable to a craving that will soon pass on by.
If you want to build a habit, or break one, you need to be honest with yourself, and understand the things that stand in your way of getting there.
Replace nighttime TV with a book, so you tire more easily and get to sleep faster. Commit to a walk after dinner, even if it’s just around the block, and try to start a streak.
Make the dinner table a “phone free” zone so you’re more conscious of what you’re eating, and when you’re truly full.
You can’t control everything in your environment. Boy, did this year prove that. But there’s more under your control than you probably admit.
Take the time to set a stage for success, and any change gets just a bit easier.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and stay safe.