Setting Healthy Goals for 2022... and actually sticking to them!

3 things you need to keep up with your goals for the new year

JACKSON, Miss. (MISSISSIPPI WEEKEND) -

We’re in the middle of the first month of the new year, so it’s time to check in with your goals! Most people can’t start a new year without thinking of new resolutions to go along with it. A Stockholm University study lists the most common resolutions as physical health, self- improvement, and psychological health. But according to a survey from Discover Happy Habits, out of the 41% of Americans who make new years resolutions at the beginning of the year, only 9% of those people feel that they are successful in keeping them. Shea Hutchins with Canopy Children’s Solutions shares tips to create healthy attainable goals, and actually stick to them!

Hope is a thinking process. That’s important because if it’s a thinking process, that means we can teach hope. It’s something we all need as depression rises amongst people of all ages. There are three pillars to hope: setting a goal, creating a pathway, and having will power.

—  Shea Hutchins - Canopy Children's Solutions

It can be easier to identify the things you want to change in your life, than figuring out the steps you’re actually going to take to get there. That’s where Shea says pathways come into play. Creating a pathway to achieve your goal makes it way more manageable, and you’re actually able to hold yourself accountable along the way. She gave the perfect example of making healthy choices for the day. The pathways to help you get there are making a list of healthy foods, going to the grocery to buy them, and packing food through the day to keep you from making a bad choice.

Having a healthy lifestyle is very important- getting enough sleep at night... you have to feel good. Nutrition plays a big role in hope. It’s not just about weight loss, but the food we choose to eat supplies energy for our body and our brain.

—  Shea Hutchins - Canopy Children's Solutions

Once you have a goal and a pathway, it can still be a challenge to keep up with them. Willpower is important to help you see your goals through until the end. But we all have busy lives, and it’s easy to drop the newest thing added to the list, especially when it’s not apart of your routine just yet. Shea mentioned one of the best ways to maintain your goal, is to never try to go at them alone.

I think it’s important that you tell a trusted person in your life what your goal is, and ask them to hold you accountable or check in on you... and don’t get mad at them when they do!

—  Shea Hutchins - Canopy Children's Solutions

That part is so true-don’t get mad at them when they do! We all have our lazy days and that one friend nagging us to get that extra work out in TODAY, instead of tomorrow- or starting that meal prep NOW, instead of Monday. Sometimes that extra push is all we need to get back focused. It’s important to return the favor because you never know when your reminder could be the one thing motivating them to take steps toward their goal for the day. It’s easy to let yourself off the hook, but once you have someone else checking in, it tends to keep us motivated to keep going. What’s so special about Monday anyway?

Sometimes you don’t have to wait until Jan 1st. There’s nothing magical about Jan 1 or Monday... you often hear “Oh, I’ll start on Monday” It really is about starting today. It could just be one thing that you want to do differently. It doesn’t have to be huge. It can be one small thing to help you get to that goal.

—  Shea Hutchins - Canopy Children's Solutions

A visual way to keep your goals on your mind daily is by creating a vision board. I love to go through magazines and look online to find images and words that relate to my goals. I cut or print them out, then arrange them on a board. This process allows me to get creative with and personalize my goals in a way that makes sense to me. Some people like to make them completely online which works out as well. I always like to leave room on my vision board because goals change as we gain new experiences and evolve. You could combine this visual reminder of your goals with the accountability partner by hosting a vision board party where you set goals with your friends and use that group to keep everyone on track. Whether it’s a vision board or as simple as writing your goals down, it’s important to define your “why” and be constantly reminded of it.