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9 Tips for Setting Wellness Goals for 2024

Make 2024 your “Year of Wellness” by addressing the various aspects of your life that affect your health and happiness. Of course, setting such lofty and generalized goals can be a bit of a trick, especially during the most chaotic time of the year.

Wellness is more than the absence of disease; it is an active pursuit of complete physical, mental, spiritual, and social health. This quest for wellness involves making everyday lifestyle decisions that lead to better overall health — it also requires setting goals, establishing benchmarks, and creating a plan to reach those goals.

1. Create goals that matter to you

Let’s face it — you are more likely to reach goals that are special to you. You may not be as enthusiastic about simply improving your metabolism, but you might put your shoulder into it once you realize that boosting your metabolism will help you lose more weight.

To set goals that will inspire you, reflect on what matters to you now and the benefits wellness can provide you in the upcoming year. For instance, you may want to improve your mental wellbeing by learning Spanish for that big trip next autumn.

2. Set clear, attainable goals

Setting goals creates a path to permanent and meaningful changes to your overall wellness — but only if you set specific goals that you can reach. Creating vague or unrealistic goals can cause setbacks and disappointment. Instead of saying you want to lose weight and exercise more, set specific goals of increasing exercise for a half-hour five days a week and losing one to two pounds weekly for a year.

3. Set goals that improve several aspects of wellness

Some bad habits affect more than one aspect of wellness, so it stands to reason that accomplishing a single goal can sometimes improve more than one type of wellness. Staring at any kind of screen all day can give you a “tech neck,” for example, and cause strain to your back and shoulders. Other issues include eyestrain and mental or emotional effects, such as stress, depression, and loss of productivity. Spending less time on your smartphone or other electronic devices can help improve your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

4. Chart a course for success

Setting goals is not enough — you must create a path to success. If you aim to manage stress better in the upcoming year, you may practice mindfulness and stretch every day. A smart path toward stress management should also include scheduled exercise, taking control of stressful environments, paring down your to-do list, and connecting with others.

5. Establish benchmarks

Working toward a meaningful goal often requires effort and persistence; finally, reaching a goal is fun and inspirational. Establishing benchmarks and smaller goals along the way can help you stay positive and motivated throughout the year.

6. Prioritize self-care

Make your health and wellness a priority by improving your diet, staying active, and enjoying the things you love. Address any aches and pains, stressors, and health concerns that may be preventing you from practicing self-care.

7. Develop one healthy habit

Temporary changes can provide immediate effects, but the benefits may wear off as soon as you revert to your old ways. Developing just one healthy habit that lasts a lifetime can create permanent improvements in your overall wellness. Going to bed at the same time every night can improve the quality and quantity of your sleep; for example, high-quality sleep can leave you feeling fresh, healthy, and alert.

Developing healthy habits is neither easy nor quick. Scientific research shows that it can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days for someone to form a new habit.

8. Develop a daily routine and stick to it

Developing a daily routine helps ensure you’ll set aside time to exercise, eat right, or take other steps toward your wellness goals. Be sure to schedule your favorite hobbies as well as time to relax.

Plan your daily routine with pen and paper or an app or calendar. You may prefer creating a strict hour-by-hour schedule or simply creating checklists of what you need to do throughout the day.

9. Enrich your diet

Food plays a role in nearly every aspect of wellness, from providing nutrients for your body to rekindling fond memories of traditional family meals. Add healthy, nutritious meals that fuel both your body and your soul.

Creating wellness goals is a great way to make meaningful changes beyond just losing weight or exercising more — they can also help improve your mental, emotional, spiritual, and social well-being. By setting wellness goals, you can make 2024 one of the healthiest and happiest years yet.

Note: This article was originally published on December 6, 2021 and was last updated on February 20, 2024.

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