A new year has begun! And with it, new resolutions come to mind that we aspire to achieve. However, initiating and maintaining a new habit can be challenging. In this blog, we will discuss how to develop healthier habits from scratch in 2024 and avoid resting on the laurels!
Why should you set a fitness goal this 2024?
Health is the cornerstone of a person’s lifetime. Being healthy has a huge impact on all aspects of life. Therefore, improving our health status would allow us to have a more joyful lifestyle.
Researchers have shown that healthier meals and physical activity helps prevent both physical and cognitive decline during the aging process.1
This means that if you haven't started your new year’s resolutions, you still have the chance to do so by following these steps:
Setting realistic resolutions
A common mistake we make is not being specific in our goals. Vague resolutions like “lose weight” are often ineffective. As explained earlier, starting a new habit from scratch in 2024 can be difficult. Instead of just stating the final result you want to achieve (e.g., “lose weight”), we suggest being more specific and adding a “why” that will keep you motivated throughout the year.
It is important to mention that habits must be gradual. If you find yourself in a big or drastic commitment compared to your current routine, it is most likely that you will procrastinate, we will explain it in detail in the upcoming section.
With that being considered, try to incorporate a timeframe that will help you stay focused, providing you a deadline that must be met. These elements will help you develop a SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound).
“My goal is to lose weight. I will start to lose ½ – 1 pound per week because I want to increase my energy and self-confidence”
Before setting goals, check your current fitness/health status and avoid making radical changes that can result in procrastination. A habit, at its core, involves making small and gradual steps, so focusing on the long run will yield much bigger and more relevant results compared to making a big leap.
Small changes can go from going for a walk, jogging 15 minutes per day, workouts, starting to avoid some processed foods and so on.
Finally, in terms of health you should always consult with a healthcare professional or nutritionist to create a plan tailored to your needs.
Build a rewarding system
Biologically speaking, the reward system is a group of neural structures that induces pleasurable feelings when you perform a certain action, triggering the brain to produce neurotransmitters such as dopamine.
This reward system operates as a memory muscle, allowing the consolidation of memories about past experiences. It serves as a motivation tactic that reinforces positive behaviors and encourages you to take action. Acknowledge and celebrate each achievement when you reach a certain goal to keep yourself motivated for the next challenge!
Strategies to stay on track
It all starts with proper planning. Set aside time to plan your daily meals and decide how much time you will dedicate to workouts. This planning is very favorable when trying to stay on track, especially with a busy schedule, and helps avoid deviating from your goal.
However, unexpected situations may arise. Always have a plan B! If you can't go to the gym or do a daily walk due to a busy day with commitments, use what you have. Spend 15 minutes following an in-house routine video. The ultimate goal is to adapt and use the resources available at a given moment.
Another useful tool during this process is a habit tracker. It can be a great asset for monitoring your daily progress. There are lots of options for apps that can help you according to your current goals and needs. Remember, the most important thing is progress over perfection.
Wellness is a lifelong journey that we all must embark on. Setting realistic goals and implementing these strategies will lead to a sustainable lifestyle and a significant improvement in your physical and mental health in 2024.
We hope this article is helpful. If you find it so, feel free to share it on social media to help others.