Happy 2020! Can you believe it’s the start of a new decade? I say it every year, but where does the time go? And as I get older time seems to fly by even faster.
With a new year, usually comes new resolutions as well. A new year can be the perfect time to refresh by setting new goals for yourself and getting into healthy habits.
While this may seem like a daunting task, don’t let it overwhelm you. Start small and be specific. Those who fail at their goals tend to set too many goals, set goals that are too general, and don’t have a plan of action. It’s easy to say, “I’m going to eat better this year,” but what exactly does that mean?
To start the new year off right, set one to two specific goals and come up with an action plan. Are you hoping to develop better eating habits? Consider making a goal of getting five servings of vegetables and three servings of fruit daily.
Do you want to workout more? It may not be realistic to suddenly start running for 30 minutes every day of the week. Start small, consider setting a goal of walking for 15 minutes twice a week. Once you have mastered that and feel confident you can do more, try going for a longer period of time, adding an extra day each week, or picking up the pace to a jog.
New Year’s resolutions don’t just have to focus on physical health. Maybe you want to focus on mental health or overall wellbeing.
There’s no denying most of us spend too much time in front of a screen — whether that’s your phone, computer, or television. Consider replacing a certain amount of your screen time with something that you enjoy doing but “just don't have enough time for.” Making time for yourself is important!
Did you know that when you start something new, it can take up to three weeks for it to become a habit? So don’t give up on those new goals too quickly. Stick with it and once it becomes a habit you’ll ask yourself why it took you so long to start it in the first place.
And last but not least, pick goals that excite you! Don’t choose to make changes that you feel like you “have” to do. If you’re not motivated it's going to be a long road to a healthier and happier you.
Now that you’ve got some tips on how to start setting goals, get to work!
Jordan Luxa is a Food, Nutrition and Health educator for Nebraska Extension in Washington County. She can be contacted at 402-426-9455, email@example.com, or visit the Washington County Extension website at www.washington.unl.edu.