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When setting goals for the New Year, it’s important to set ones within your reach

Jan 04, 2020 03:13PM ● By Arianne Brown

The city of Spanish Fork recently received a grant from Utah League of Cities and Towns in conjunction with Intermountain Health Care to promote active and healthy living in the community.

The grant was spearheaded by councilman Mike Mendenhall, with the help of Spanish Fork City Wellness Coordinator, Susan Chapman. Together, with the help of several other community members, they run a Facebook group called, “Spanish Fork Active and Healthy Community” to encourage residents to live a healthful life.

According to Chapman, rather than focusing just on physical exercise, people should make goals toward overall wellness. With the New Year underway, Chapman offered the following tips for individuals as they approach this time of year with wellness in mind.

1. Make SMART goals

When setting goals, use the SMART acronym to help make your goals more feasible. SMART stands for: Simple, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timetable. Making goals around these elements can create a more successful New Year’s plan.

2. When it comes to nutrition, don’t diet, but strategize

Diets can be perceived as a temporary mindset and involve only food. Instead, make lifestyle changes with environments of success that are strategic. Choose strategic modifications to food choices that you can maintain. If your goal is weight loss, make nutrition your primary focus with exercise taking a supportive role.

Often people fail in weight loss because they begin to try to achieve weight loss with aggressive exercise routines while neglecting nutrition. In fact, people can eat in five minutes what it takes two hours to burn off in the gym. To see desirable results for weight loss we have to learn how to eat strategically and be patient with the process. 

3. Don’t wait on weights

It’s a myth that cardio is the best way to be fit, especially for women. Strength training, or at least weight bearing exercise, has generous benefits for both men and women.

Women do not tend to build bulk like men, but can benefit from lean muscle mass, especially long term. When you make New Year’s goals, you will see optimal results if you

include strength training and proper stretching in your routine and not just cardiovascular exercise.

4. Fit Mental Fitness into your New Year’s Resolutions

When we think of physical fit- ness, we often think of running, sports, exercise, or even doctor check-ups. When we think of the words mental health, we might think of words like depression or mental health disorders. In truth, we should be thinking about mental health in a more positive, preventative way like we do physical health. This is why I’m using the term mental fitness.

Make goals for regular sleep, self-care, family connection, stress management, appropriate

social media use and community connection. These actions are very much preventative and enhance mental fitness. If you feel you are struggling in this area, don’t wait. Get help now. The app 211 is a great resource for help.

5. Take an online self-assessment and see your doctor

Fitness and health extend further than regular exercise and nutrition. A person should be proactive about their health and be their personal advocate. Know your biological age to determine where you could improve habits by a review of your personal and family history.

Also know appropriate time frames and number ranges for cancer screenings, blood cholesterol, blood pressure checks and other health markers which can help strengthen resolve and direction while making New Year’s resolutions.

6. Fail upward, Fail often

According to a US News World Report 80 Percent of New Year’s resolutions fail in February. Don’t be a person that abandons resolutions at the first missed workout or nutrition mess-up. Expect failure but realize failure is not a terrible thing.

Failure is something that happens to people who are trying to succeed at change. Those who don’t fail are those not working against change. When we anticipate that failure is part of the process of success, we are less likely to let it derail us. (Brown is a Serve Daily contributor.)