Make Realistic Wellbeing Goals and Keep Them Alive!
We are in the new year and it’s so easy to make resolutions… but very hard to keep them. Most of the goals that are termed New Year’s resolutions unfortunately hardly last till February. In 2023, let’s try and get to February and beyond with our goals rather than resolutions.
One major reason most resolutions fail is the tendency to aim too high. The road to success involves downsizing your expectations and setting realistic goals.
The employee health and wellness unit within the University of Zululand
- Get Real
Set realistic goals with tangible outcomes. Instead of claiming to want to “become healthy”, be specific and take a stance to reduce take aways and cook at home, and spend at least 30 minutes a day being physically active. Even walking is a doable milestone. Eliminate self-sabotaging behaviour and practise positive thinking. Don’t stock unhealthy food if you struggle with self-discipline. Prepare your fitness gear the night before and place it in plain sight so that you don’t forget to take it along with you the next morning.
- Plan for the Next January Now
Nothing puts a damper in the new year excitement than an empty bank balance – especially during the long-winded month of January. If your credit card bills have piled up from your holiday overspend, be savvier with your money this year by saving for the upcoming festive season (or for those unexpected financial needs that often come by with January). How much did you overspend this past holiday? Divide this total amount by 12 and you’ll know how much you’ll need to save each month. Don’t forget to add inflation as things always go up. Though small, these resolutions you’ll find it will be much easier to stick to, though they are small. Remember, small resolutions you stick to can make a much bigger impact than dramatic goals that burn out before Valentine’s Day.
- Integrate Health and Wellbeing into Your Everyday Life
Try daily to do something that will stimulate you like taking the stairs instead of an elevator, swapping that tempting slice of cake for a fruit or replacing sugary drinks with water. Finding solitude in today’s fast-paced world can be difficult, but a little stillness can go a long way in helping revitalise your body and mind. Set aside 10 minutes of solitude to reboot and unwind – it could either be reading a book, meditating, taking a walk, completing a crossword puzzle, or soaking in a hot bath. The aim is to take a break and reboot daily.
- Avoid the Me-too Syndrome
When your neighbours, friends or relatives buy something (a new house, car or gadgets, etc) don’t feel pressure to also buy that specific item. Yes, you could probably find a way of buying that item, or perhaps something even bigger or better, but be honest with yourself and set goals that you are certain will be achievable. Everyone is running their own race, so aim for what is achievable for you financially, physically and emotionally to avoid falling into the trap of being over indebted and feeling stressed out as a result.
- Remember your why!
Experts say it takes 21 days to form a habit and six months for it to become a lifestyle. If it happens that you fall off the wagon, do not be hard on yourself, but get up and start again. Remember, consistency is key! Make your “why” and your knowledge of the benefits of setting healthy and realistic goals your daily motivation.
- Get Support
Support is important, don’t keep your health and wellbeing goals a secret. Once you share with friends and family, they will help you to account – especially when you feel the urge to buy something you didn’t plan for or make an unhealthy food choice. Positive support is important for you to press on.
If you or your loved one needs support during this time, reach out to your Employee Wellbeing Program via your toll-free number to seek counselling support. Toll-free: 0800 111 150 (free on both landlines and mobile phones)
Employee Health and Wellness
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