It’s a new year and a new decade. And you may be looking for ways to improve your health and wellness this year. While setting wellness goals can sometimes be an elusive process, making a plan to get healthier in 2020 doesn’t have to be difficult. Knowing how to identify your wellness goals and create a plan to achieve them is the key to achieving your wellness goals this year. Below, I’ll show you exactly how to get started with setting wellness goals and how to create goals in several areas to improve your health and wellness in 2020 and beyond.
A S.M.A.R.T. Start to Setting Wellness Goals
Whether you’ve been plugging away at your goals for a while or just getting started, it’s important to be clear on your main goal. You may have multiple goals you would like to work on, but ask yourself, “Are all of these goals a priority?” After all, if everything is a priority, you’ll find that making progress is very challenging. So start by identifying what areas you would like to work on and place them in order of priority. Then, focus in on that top area. It could be a general area of wellness or something very specific. Below, I’ve listed six areas of wellness that many people set goals around. Perhaps your goal falls into one of these areas. Once you know the area you’d like to workon, you’ll want to craft your S.M.A.R.T. goal. Here’s how.
Setting wellness goals for 2020 can be as easy as remembering the SMART acronym. SMART goals contain 5 components. They’re:
- Realistic (and relevant)
- Timely (and or time-limited)
Making changes to your health and wellness routines can support a healthy lifestyle for the long term. As you think about setting wellness goals for 2020, focus on the specific goals you’d like to achieve and the outcomes you hope to gain. When you use SMART goal setting, your goals will be specific, detailed, and clear. You also reduce or remove any stress or doubt as to how you will achieve your goals.
We’ve identified six categories of wellness goals. Use our ideas for wellness goals to help you set SMART wellness goals for 2020 and create a clear plan to help you accomplish your goals this year and beyond.
Once you’ve identified your main goal, you will need to break this goal into smaller, step-by-step milestones.
Setting Wellness Goals to Manage Weight
If you have an overall goal to achieve or maintain a healthy weight, you’ll want to create goals around this. Here are some sample goals to help you manage your weight.
- Prep healthy lunches for the week every Sunday.
- Pack a healthy lunch three days per week.
- Include 50% fruits and vegetables with each meal.
- Create a meal plan once per week.
- Go for a 15-minute brisk walk twice per day, 5 times per week.
Setting Wellness Goals for Physical Activity
Setting goals is a great way to increase your physical activity. Many people are leading a sedentary lifestyle, whether it’s sitting all day at work with little movement or bingeing on your favorite series. Setting wellness goals around becoming more active should be a part of your wellness plan for 2020.
Your goals for physical activity might look something like this:
- Go for a 15-minute walk before work 5 days per week.
- Have a walking meeting with co-workers rather than sitting in the conference room.
- Bring workout equipment to the office to encourage a more active workday.
- Aim for 10,000 steps 5 days each week.
- Engage in moderate intensity physical activities 5 days per week for 30 minutes.
- Take a 5-minute walking break every hour during the workday.
- Use an activity reminder app to help you sit less at work.
- Stand for phone calls. Walk as you talk.
Setting Wellness Goals for Healthy Eating
Setting a wellness goal around eating healthier is a great way to make positive changes to your overall health and well-being. As more people realize the pitfalls of fad diets, there is a movement towards adopting sustainable lifestyle habits (including healthy eating) that they can maintain.
When setting your goals for healthy eating, choose 1 or 2 areas to focus on at a time such as planning healthier meals or boosting your consumption of dark, leafy greens. Here are a few more goals you might consider for healthy eating in 2020:
- Add an additional serving of fruit or vegetables four days per week between lunch and dinner.
- Start your day with a healthy breakfast 5 days per week.
- Add an extra serving of fruits or vegetables every day.
- Eat two servings of dark leafy green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, kale, romaine, etc., three days each week.
- Avoid added sugars in foods two days each week.
- Go vegetarian one day per week.
- Pack a healthy lunch for work or school three days each week.
- Swap out refined grains for whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice, or millet at one meal per day.
- Drink a glass of water before each meal.
Setting Wellness Goals to Manage Stress
Stress is an unavoidable part of daily life. And stress can show up in many forms, such as chronic illness, conflict with family members, pressure at work, and more. Stress can even show up in positive experiences, such as planning a wedding or getting a promotion at work. Regardless of the source, stress can lead to physical and emotional imbalance.
Creating wellnes goals to manage stress can help to mitigate the effects of stress in your daily life. Here are some goals that a stress management plan might include:
- Maintain a calendar to help you manage your time.
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine.
- Write out and prioritize your tasks each week.
- Create a daily meditation routine.
- Keep a gratitude journal and write about all of the things that you are grateful for every day.
- Go electronics-free three evenings per week.
- Get adequate sleep. For adults this is 7-9 hours per night.
- Start a nighttime journaling routine.
- Engage in relaxing hobbies such as gardening, reading, dancing, or other fun activities.
Setting Wellness Goals to Manage Finances
Financial wellness is a very important part of an overall wellness plan. But what is it? Financial wellness essentially means that you are satisfied about your financial circumstances. It’s no secret that finances can be a source of stress for many and being able to improve your financial situation can improve your overall wellness.
Here are a few goals to consider to address your financial wellness this year:
- Start a savings account and add a set amount to it on a regular schedule (weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly)
- Create an emergency fund within the next 3 months.
- Avoiding using credit cards.
- Save on your food bill by making meals at home.
- Track your spending for 30 days.
- Examine your debt and create a plan to pay it off.
- Examine your spending history.
- Look for ways to increase your income.
- Eliminate unnecessary expenses.
- Create a monthly budget.
Setting Goals to Improve Family Wellness
You probably don’t give much thought about setting personal goals. For most of us this is automatic, especially at the beginning of the year. But have you ever thought about setting goals for your family as a whole? Probably not, right?
But why shouldn’t we set goals for our families? After all, setting goals for the entire family to work on is something every family can benefit from. Creating a vision and working towards it with the ones we love the most helps us to focus and remember the things that matter, strengthen our relationships, and have a deeper sense of purpose.
Here are a few goals for family wellness that you can set for 2020:
- Designate one night per week as “family fun night” to spend quality time together.
- Eat meals together as a family 5 nights per week.
- Find hobbies you enjoy together such as arts and crafts, reading, or something that all family members can engage in.
- Start and maintain a family garden.
- Hug or kiss your family members goodbye in the morning before the day gets busy.
Stick With Your Wellness Goals for 2020
As you work on setting wellness goals, remember to keep your plan SMART and dimple. If you want to achieve sustainable lifestyle changes, set wellness goals that are clear and actionable. Getting clear on your overall goals, breaking goals down into micro-goals, and identifying specific actions to achieve your goals are the key. Good luch with your wellness goals for 2020!
Alicia Hyatte is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Family Wellness Advocate, Health Educator, and a Diabetes Prevention Lifestyle Coach. She helps parents to build healthier habits and routines to better balance home and work life. Her website, WholeFamilyLiving.com, provides motivation and simple strategies for handling everyday challenges like managing stress, being active, eating healthier, losing weight, and more. Alicia is a beach lover and gardening geek in her spare time.