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Realistic Health Goals for the New Year

Jan 10, 2024

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Realistic Health Goals for the New Year

Published by Claudia Giunta. 

Be honest– how successful are you with sticking to your New Year's health goals each year? The odds are you are pretty strict with your goals in January, but come February/March you start to deviate from your plan. Maybe you’re setting the bar too high, are looking for immediate results, or are trying a fad diet that appears to work, but only short-term. 35% of people attribute losing motivation as the top reason for giving up on their New Year’s goals, followed by 19% being too busy and 18% changing their goals and priorities.

When we set the bar too high, we’re more likely to fail after not getting the desired results and then fall back into poor health habits. Take, for instance, juice cleanses. They promise big results in a short amount of time, but the truth is the results are short-lived. Your weight may go down (temporarily), but your energy levels will decrease and your cravings will not be satisfied. The same goes for working out. You may set an extreme workout plan in place for January, but then quit out of boredom and exhaustion come February. 

The trick to set you up for long-term success is to skip the extremes when setting health-related goals. Instead of striving to run a marathon after never running for leisure before, implement a beginner running schedule into your routine. Or, instead of trying a fad diet, learn to make healthier food choices and recipes this new year. You may not be able to complete a triathlon next month, but Nova Vita promises to help you make significant progress with your holistic health journey this year. Read on for 7 healthy New Year’s goals you can easily commit to in 2024. 

Nova Vita Solutions

Tailoring your New Year’s wellness goals to your lifestyle will help make your goals a natural extension of your day. Nova Vita’s medical experts and resources backed by science are great ways to help you achieve your goals. From our weight management programs that will help you on your weight-loss journey to our compression therapy that benefits all your workouts, we are here to help. Our hydration facials will benefit your skincare journey and our range of infusions will help you feel your best from the inside out. If you’re looking to strengthen your immune system, muscles, or overall health our variety of IV infusions are here to help your success! No matter your wellness goal, our team will help formulate a wellness plan tailored to your health needs and help you achieve the best version of yourself this year. Contact us today!  

Exercise for a Few Minutes

Adults should aim for 175 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week, or about 30 minutes a day for five days a week. With a 9-5 job, post-work events, a family, and personal to-dos, this number may seem daunting. Don’t let these numbers stop you from implementing fun ways to stay fit into your routine. You can break down your workout time into short sessions and still reap the physical, emotional, and mental benefits. Research has shown that intense workout activities for as short as 10 minutes can produce strong benefits. 

To get results from short workouts, you have to push yourself hard. Consider HIIT workouts that burn a lot of calories in a relatively short amount of time. These workouts typically cause you to burn more fat and build muscle.

Any exercise is better than none at all so explore activities that genuinely excite you. Try a new cycle studio where you bike intensely to your favorite upbeat music, take a stab at a boxing class, or look into pilates. The truth is that exercise can be fun if you take the time to find what works for you. 

Walk to Every Destination Within a Mile

Walking can improve your longevity, mood, and metabolism, and reduce your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other forms of cancer. If something is within a one-mile radius, try to walk instead of drive. Not only will this get some extra steps in, but you are actively spending more time outside and may stumble across new things in your area. If your neighborhood isn’t walkable, consider parking at the far end of a parking lot or walking from store to store within larger shopping centers. Another small goal is to walk whenever you’re talking on the phone. Whether you’re taking a work call or calling a friend, walking around the house or your surrounding area is a great way to stay active while crossing something off your to-do list. 

Spend More Time Outside 

Being outside has a multitude of physical and mental health benefits. From getting Vitamin D, helping your exercise, and relieving stress and anxiety, spending more time outside can significantly boost your health and well-being. Intentionally spending time in nature can even improve your sleep by aligning your circadian rhythm.  

An easier way to be outside is to start or end your day outside. Enjoy your breakfast and coffee on your porch, eat more meals outside, take work or personal calls outside when possible, or plan a family walk after dinner. If one of your goals this year is to reconnect with friends, plan activities that allow you to catch up outside. Try a new hiking trail, walk the town shops, or even venture to a new rooftop restaurant to catch the sunset. 

Schedule Annual Appointments

To stay healthy, it’s important to routinely see your primary care doctor each year. Regular checkups and preventive screenings allow your doctor to detect any health issues before they become serious, long-term problems. Make sure you’re asking your doctor about preventative screenings you need based on your health and age, such as mammograms, colonoscopies, skin cancer screenings, dementia screenings, and more. 

Even if you feel perfectly healthy, book your annual physical appointment to prevent any unknown health concerns from worsening. Don’t forget your routine dentist appointments, eye exams, and other appointments that ensure your overall health is in top shape. 

Implement Screen-Free Time Into Your Day 

“Scroll less” is a common New Year’s goal, but it can be hard to do cold turkey. An easier way to accomplish this goal is by setting physical boundaries to limit how often you scroll on Instagram. Implement a “no phones at the dinner table” rule to reduce your screen time. Silence your notifications or put your phone on do not disturb when enjoying a meal or catching up with a friend. You’ll find that you get way more quality time with your loved ones when there’s not a phone distraction present. 

Cook More, Eat Out Less

An easy way to eat healthier is by staying in and cooking a healthy recipe. Regularly dining out typically means eating larger portions and unhealthy ingredients, and can also be expensive. To make eating out a less favorable option, intentionally go shopping for healthy, nutrient-dense ingredients. When your pantry and fridge are full of healthful ingredients, you’ll be more inclined to whip something up in the kitchen. Make cooking an activity with your partner or family, and it’ll become a tradition you look forward to. Try a new recipe that targets your health goals, such as a paleo, keto, Whole-30, or a heart-healthy meal.

Whether you’re dining in or out, learn to listen to your body and eat more mindfully. Pause halfway through your meal to note how physically full you are and how much more food you’ll need to be satisfied. Eating with more awareness will help you make conscious choices and get more joy out of your meal. 

Get More Sleep 

1 in 3 adults don’t get enough sleep on average in the United States. Adults should aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep, but some people may need more depending on their lifestyle. Good quality sleep strengthens your immune system and promotes emotional wellness, giving your body enough time to rest and recharge. 

You may not be able to easily sleep in, but chances are you can go to bed earlier and implement a bedtime routine that prompts better sleep. Consider setting a “bedtime timer” 45 minutes to an hour before your desired bedtime. Once it goes off, start your relaxing routine by refraining from any screens, taking a shower, reading a book, making a cup of tea, or prepping lunch for the next day. Create a peaceful sleep space by adjusting your temperature, closing any curtains, and using a sleep machine. 

Throughout the day you can take a short nap to recharge. The ideal nap time is between 15-30 minutes to prevent you from falling into a deep sleep. A short nap can be enough to increase your alertness to continue the rest of your day. 

The Bottom Line

Staying committed to your New Year’s goals is challenging. You’re more likely to succeed if you set realistic small goals that fit your lifestyle. Remember that creating healthy habits takes time and expecting immediate results is unrealistic. Here are four tips on staying committed to your goals: 

  1. Be specific: Instead of saying you want to be more active, define exactly how you’re going to be more active. Commit to trying a new workout routine once a month or exercising for 30 minutes five days a week.
  2. Be realistic: Don’t sign up for a marathon if you’ve never run before. Instead, commit to a run club to get more involved in routine running. 
  3. Track your success: Write down your goals and track your progress. Consider a fitness watch if you’re looking to stay motivated. If you’re trying to drink more water invest in a reusable water bottle that tracks how much water you drink.
  4. Celebrate your milestones: Reward yourself after each small goal and all you’ve accomplished. You’ll be proud to look back and track your progress a year from now. 

Making New Year's goals focused on your well-being is an important first step to prioritizing your health. Following these tips and exploring Nova Vita’s resources will help you on your journey to a healthier, and happier, you.