How to Set Sustainable Wellness Goals for the New Year

Find a focus and set reasonable goals so next year can be a new set of challenges
January 7, 2021 Updated: January 7, 2021

With the new year on the horizon, many people are rushing to try to shed the holiday fluff. Unfortunately, these well-intentioned behavior changes tend not to last long.

On average, 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February. Is this because of a lack of willpower? Do old habits die hard?

The more likely cause for a failed New Year’s resolution stems from the moment your pen hits paper to write down your goals. If you set unrealistic health goals, they aren’t likely able to be achieved through building sustainable habits. The key to finally maintaining your healthy new habits is to create a realistic plan of action that will propel you forward. Imagine: next year, you won’t be writing the same goals you wrote today, because you’ve actually achieved them!

The first step to setting wellness goals that will last a lifetime is to think about the overarching focus you want the year to have. This will keep your goals concise and pinpointed to becoming a new person by 2022. Choose an intention word, such as “presence,” “joy,” or “vibrant.” This word should encompass the feeling you want the year to be centered around. If you have different aspects of health you want to tackle this year, choosing an all-encompassing word will keep you on track.

Next, choose 3 to 5 goals that align with the focus of your upcoming year. Aim to keep these goals realistic enough to accomplish with enough dedication. When you look at your goals, you should feel a bit nervous and excited, but confident that you can tackle them.

If your focus of the year is vibrant health, an example of an aligned goal would be to aim to eat at least three different colors of plants at every meal. If your focus of the year is presence, a goal you could set would be to meditate for 20 minutes every day. Each goal you choose will feed into the feeling you want this year to have. What are the things that will make you feel different? If you want to feel more joyful, trying to take up running when you hate it might not be the best choice.

Finally, it’s time to create a plan that will allow you to crush your 2021 goals. A goal without a plan is just a dream. Write out the action steps that you need to get your goal done. If you have the goal of eating three different colored plants at each meal, what do you need to do to succeed? You would need to have a variety of vegetables in the fridge, set aside time to make your meal, choose meal options if you’re eating out, and decide on why you want to do this. After you have a plan, all you need to do is commit to following through.

You don’t have to be a statistic. You can be in the 20 percent of people who actually achieve their New Year’s wellness goals. Imagine approaching next year knowing that you did everything in your power to achieve your goals. Imagine that the goals you set now actually stick for the rest of your life! By setting realistic, actionable wellness goals that mean something to you, you will achieve them.

Sacia Ashe is a dancer, health food lover, and blogger who has a passion for wellness and living a healthy lifestyle. Through sharing recipes, glimpses into her own life, and wellness tips and products, she strives to help others find a life that aligns with their values and health vision. Follow her on Instagram @sacias.plate and on YouTube at Simply Sacia.