Setting Realistic New Year’s Health Goals with Lupus
As we approach the new year, reflecting on our past year’s journey and what we wish to accomplish in the new year is always good.
Setting clear health goals is essential to helping us adopt a healthier lifestyle. The key to successful goal setting is understanding that although the final outcome is important, the journey to reach it is equally important. Therefore, to increase your chances of accomplishing your New Year’s health goals, break them down into manageable steps that you can track.
Watch the Video: Setting Realistic New Year’s Health Goals with Lupus
How to Set Realistic Health Goals
There are different ways to set your health goals, but they always involve working with your healthcare team. Make sure to discuss this with your doctor before deciding on your goals. Your doctor can help you set expectations, so you don’t get discouraged or lose motivation along the way.
Here are some ways to set your New Year’s health goals when living with Lupus.
1. Celebrate your Success and Identify Your Struggles
When setting new health goals, it’s essential to review all the success you’ve had over the last year. Living with Lupus can be very challenging, and it’s easy to lose sight of the accomplishments you’ve achieved. However, reflecting on what has worked for you and everything you’ve learned over the last year can build your confidence and help you see that you can achieve your new goals.
On the other hand, identifying those areas where you struggle the most can help you see where you need to focus your attention next. For example, if past treatments haven’t yielded your desired results, explore other options with your doctor.
2. Consider Using the SMART Goal Method
SMART stands for:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Realistic
T – Time – Framed
The SMART goal technique allows you to think long-term and to set realistic milestones to track your progress, adjust when necessary, and ultimately help you achieve your goals more easily.
Let’s look at each of the categories in the SMART Goal method.
The more specific you make your goals, the better. For example, setting a vague goal, like I want to become more physically active, doesn’t help you see a path to achieving this goal. So instead, try something like, “During January, I will walk 15 minutes around the neighborhood on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays after lunch.” This gives you a schedule that easily fits into your daily routine.
To know if you’re making progress on your goals, you need to measure it. For example, if you want to eat healthily, your new year’s resolution can be to eat five servings of vegetables daily. You know you’ve achieved your goal when you consistently eat those servings daily.
The number one reason people fail to achieve their health goals is that they set unattainable levels.
If your goal is to run a full marathon, then start small. Start by setting a goal of joining a 5k walk within two months. Once you achieve this, you can gradually increase your goals until you are ready to run a marathon.
Before you commit to your new year’s resolutions, you need to ensure they are within your current abilities and that family, work, or social commitments won’t interfere with your ability to achieve your goals.
Being ambitious is great, but remember that impractical goals are the first ones to be left behind.
Time – Framed
This circles back to the first point in the SMART method. Setting your goals within a time frame motivates you to work at them.
What sounds better to you? I will eat better this year, or by the end of January, I will consistently eat five servings of vegetables a day.
Another example could be, instead of promising to drink less coffee this year, set your goal to drink one less cup of coffee a day for the next four weeks.
Using the SMART Goal Method is a great way to set realistic health goals. Remember, the idea is to set smaller, short-term goals to reach that goal you always thought impossible. Additionally, plan to be flexible with your goals and continually reevaluate them, considering your disease’s progression.
We wish you a Happy and Healthy 2023!