Make health a focus of your holiday season

Use the days leading up to the New Year to set goals that focus on a healthy lifestyle.

Here we are again, at the end of another year. We are heading toward the end of 2016 with days filled with baking, entertaining, holiday parties, cooking and shopping. During the hustle and bustle of these last days and weeks of 2016, spend some time to focus on good health. Being healthy can mean many different things to each of us. Good health can encompass physical health, including nutrition, physical activity, safe food, emotional health, and spiritual health. Thinking about all the areas related to our health gives us lots of options to consider when trying to add a small health focus to your daily life.

When working with individuals who want to make changes to their lifestyles, Michigan State University Extension educators remind people that taking small steps toward their goal is the best way to make progress and eventually achieve that goal. 

Tips to structure your health goals for success:

  • Schedule time in your daily calendar to work on your goal.
  • Set a small, measurable goal for each week. For example:
    • I will drink one less soda each day.
    • I will walk for 20 minutes, 4 days this week.
    • I will eliminate one lunch trip through the drive through restaurant this week.
    • I will eat 1 cup of vegetables each day this week.
    • As you make progress on your goals, then continue to add additional goals.
    • Keep a journal to write down thoughts/successes/challenges about your journey.
    • Use an app. There are so many smartphone apps available that can help you reach your goal.
    • Remember every success is something to be proud of, no matter how small it seems.

Don't be afraid to start now, a resolution to focus on good health does not need to wait until the new year! 

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