With 2013 drawing to a close, now is a great time to learn how to set goals for yourself in order to make effective New Year’s resolutions! While you may have a vague sense that you should change your habits, maybe by losing weight, being more organized, or some other fuzzy idea, this kind of thinking is not likely to help you stick to your goals. Many resolutions fail before February, but you can change this for yourself by creating goals that put you on the path to optimum health.

First, be sure you have a manageable plan. Create resolutions using specific terminology, rather than vague concepts. “I will exercise twice a week and eat 3 extra servings of vegetables each day” is more actionable than “I will lead a healthier lifestyle”. Lofty ambitions can often derail you, so make your goals small enough to accomplish, and create a clear timetable to complete them. Use common sense and keep your expectations realistic- you’re probably not going to drop three sizes by Valentine’s Day, and making that kind of goal will probably end in discouragement that leads to inaction. If you’re looking for inspiration, Advanta Total Health has some suggestions for New Year’s resolutions that will help you reach your own optimum health and wellness goals.

• Incorporate healthier eating habits as part of your overall healthy lifestyle. Weight loss need not be one of goals for eating better to improve your health. If your diet is already as healthy as it can be, choose a different healthy lifestyle habit- the key is to pick one thing over which you have control, and make it better.
• If losing weight is your objective, make sure your weight loss plan makes sense. Fad diets often create poor health and frustration, but making healthier choices will benefit your whole body in the long run. You may not know how to begin, but the medical professionals at Advanta Total Health can help you find the right weight loss solution for you.
• Replace bad habits with a good ones. You might want to quit smoking, spend less time on the couch, or stop thinking negatively. Frame it in a positive way, cultivating a good habit in place of the bad one, and you’ll see improvement in your health and mood.
• Resolve to exercise your brain. Maybe you’ll want to decide to read one book each month, or maybe you’d like to set aside 20 minutes each day to write, or sign up for a class and learn a new skill. Whatever it is, choose some way to stretch your mind. While you’re at it, make a point to learn from other people.
• Keep your plans simple. If oral health is your goal, make a resolution to floss each night. Small, simple steps can make a big difference in the long run. Plan to carry a water bottle, or park further away from your office, or turn off the television at a certain time each night- even if a goal seems too easy, remember that the little things add up to big lifestyle changes.
• Don’t shy away from asking for help. A support group, a friend who will hold you accountable, or a medical professional with good advice can be a boon to your progress. Sometimes, just listening to another person’s experiences can help you clarify your own intentions and goals.
• Fill your life with purpose. Increase your awareness of the choices you are making, and decide to make them count. The small things you do and say every day add up to the life you are living, so make sure that the choices you are making are keeping you pointed toward the goals you want to reach.

If having a healthier body and mind is your New Year’s resolution, Advanta Total Health can help. With a wide variety of holistic healing practices to help patients achieve optimum health, we offer treatment for a broad range of medical concerns. Whether you’re looking for a medical weight loss solution, relief from chronic pain, or just a path to a healthier life, contact us by calling 770.955.2225.

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