When was the last time you looked at your New Year’s resolutions? If you’re like many, you may have forgotten them long ago. Now that summer is here, though, some of those goals may be resurfacing. There’s only so much time left to work on that beach body before you hit the sand.
The problem is that motivation can fizzle out as quickly as it arrives. And wellness and health goals can take some time to achieve. If you really want to make positive changes, you’ll need a prolonged effort backed by strong motivation. Below are a few methods you can use to stay on top of your health and wellness goals this summer.
Load Up on Resources
Access to helpful resources makes it a lot easier to prioritize your health. If your goal is to beat your college benching record, you’ll need access to a gym — even if it’s at home. Make sure you understand what equipment your goal requires so that you can get everything you need before you start.
Apps can also help ensure you stick to your goals. No matter what your objective is, there are apps that can help you. Whether you need reminders to try mindful breathing or you want to do a guided meditation, apps have you covered. To get started, all you have to do is turn on your phone.
Technology in general can be your best friend. It can help you streamline your daily tasks so that you can focus on achieving your wellness goals. Rather than taking a trip to the pharmacy, for example, get your birth control online. There’s half an hour you got back that you can use to practice yoga instead.
Keep Your Goals Realistic
Chances are, you won’t become an Olympic athlete after a single summer. When people set their goals too high, they’re more likely to get discouraged if they don’t see immediate progress. Remember that the act of taking care of yourself is a benefit unto itself. Improving your body and mind is hard work. So make manageable goals with reasonable time frames.
You also want to be wary of the flip side of that coin. While your goals should be realistic, they should also be challenging. Setting goals and meeting them can improve your self-confidence. Pushing yourself can lead to more personal growth. Pick a goal that leads to the best you.
Setting goals that build on one another is a good way to find middle ground. They can work as a staircase toward your ultimate destination. Struggling to eat right? Try adding fruit to your breakfast. After a bit, replace your daily bag of chips at lunch with some carrot sticks or sugar snap peas. You can celebrate these smaller accomplishments along the way, which will keep you motivated.
While finding the willpower within is important, you may need more than inner strength. Accountability will work wonders for staying motivated. You’ll likely be more successful if you share your resolutions with friends and family. There are even added bonuses to telling them: They might assist you or begin to pursue better health, too!
Fitness goals are a tried-and-true example of how the buddy system helps people stay motivated. When you know someone is expecting you at the gym, you’re less likely to ditch the weight room that day. Reporting what you eat to a friend will prompt you to stick to a new diet as well. Plus, your friend might have a word or two of encouragement to motivate you.
If you don’t have a buddy to hold you accountable, turn to the internet. There are tons of social media groups full of people who will virtually support you on your journey. You might not want to dole out all your personal information, but you can still get the support you need.
Form Healthy Habits
When you first make a wellness goal, you might feel super motivated. It’s easy to feel excited when you’re starting something new. However, when fatigue, distractions, and obstacles get in the way, that motivation can quickly dissipate.
Rather than aiming for short-term weight loss, work toward healthy habits that have staying power. Once a habit is ingrained into your mindset and daily routine, it won’t be as easy to shake off. It may take time to develop a habit — one study shows it takes anywhere between 18 and 254 days. But the results are lasting.
Scheduling your wellness habits, like morning meditation, will help these activities become routine. Your brain will associate these times and places with your daily health habits, and they’ll become second nature to you. Despite the effort, developing a routine is worth it. People are creatures of habit, so take advantage of that.
Make Time to Relax
As Covid-19 restrictions lift, the temptation is high to take full advantage of summer. However, packing every moment of your schedule isn’t healthy. Taking a break and giving yourself time to rest will actually help you achieve your wellness goals.
Rest includes sleep, the lack of which can be dangerous. Sleep deprivation can lead to increased levels of anxiety, high blood pressure, or even weight gain. All of those side effects will make it difficult for you to keep health goals on your radar.
A day off from both work and socializing will do your body and mind good. Schedule a personal wellness day this summer to evaluate your health and your goals. If you can’t take a full day, schedule an afternoon. Taking this time will decrease burnout and mental fatigue. You’ll accomplish more when you’re well rested.
Work Fun Into Your Goals
Getting physically and mentally healthy doesn’t have to be a chore. You can maintain your motivation by making the pursuit of these goals a pleasure.
If you absolutely despise running, you’re going to have a hard time forcing yourself to do it every day. It might be a good cardio workout, but it’s certainly not the only option. Instead, find an activity that you actually enjoy. Biking or swimming are great for improving cardio, and you might find them more fun.
Taking care of your mental health can be enjoyable, too. If you don’t love hanging out by yourself, there are guided meditation classes you can take in person. Have you been staring at your computer screen at work for far too long? Invite a colleague to do five minutes of chair stretches. Even if you think you look goofy, it will really relieve the tension in your back.
The seasons may change, but that doesn’t mean your health goals do. Your physical and emotional health allow you to get the most out of life. Prioritizing them isn’t always easy, but by staying motivated, you can make sure you’re putting wellness first.