Health goals for 2021
If you take baby steps with your health goals and build up a sturdy foundation, it is likely that you will stay motivated and achieve your goals in good time. When it comes to health goals, slow and steady will win the race. Making drastic changes can either throw off your body’s equilibrium, or you could lose wind and get really frustrated with the new restrictions you’ve put on yourself. The best thing to do with any life change is ease into it and let it become a habit, instead of a chore.
And always check with a qualified healthcare practitioner first.
Stressful conditions can topple whatever good intentions you have to lead a healthier life, so tackle areas of potential areas of stress first. Work is the biggest stressor, and this begins from the time you begin your commute to work, whether you travel by car or by public transport, especially during this time of COVID-19 when every second of your day is geared to survival and safety. Besides the health risk, there is the constant fear of danger, being a victim of theft or a violent crime, which is, unfortunately, part of the South African experience.
Constant worrying about what could happen is a burden in itself. Try to live ‘in the present’ and take things as they come – while still taking the proper precautions to remain vigilant. Allow yourself a break from content, mostly unnecessary stress and anxiety.
A healthy workplace
Now is the time to approach your managers and co-workers while health goals are upper-most in everybody’s minds to see about creating a healthier, people-friendly workplace. This may include adding more plants or a having a cleaner, more uplifting colour-scheme and an outside area with some plants and a bench where people can go for some quiet time-out. If you work in a more eco- and people-friendly environment with co-operative colleagues, you can suggest a healthcare buddy system where you can motivate and encourage each other to stay healthy and safe.
Selfcare and health goals
Self-care is important and that begins with setting boundaries. It is no crime to note that you have limits. You can only give so much time, energy and attention to your job. Whatever is on your work lists for the day, try and complete everything by the end of the day. So when you go home, you leave work on your desk where it belongs. In the commute home, find some ways to debrief perhaps with some soothing music or meditation that you focus on to bring clarity, so by the time you reach home, you are fully present in your own environment and attuned to your family and home life.
Australian psychologist Jacqui Manning says goal setting is crucial to any plan you may have to be healthy, whether it is breaking an addiction, exercising more or beating stress. Having goals and a roadmap for what you wish to achieve will give you energy, clarity and direction.
Ask yourself, why?
Before mapping plans in your journal, it is prudent to ask why you need to make those changes. As eminent psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Dr Viktor Frankl posited: “If you have a ‘why’ to live for, you can live with almost anyhow.” It was with this mindset that he survived the Auschwitz death camp, proving that if you have a purpose or a goal in life, you can survive anything that history, wars, pandemics, natural disasters or destructive leaders throw at you.
Why do you want to be healthy? How do you want to live? Is it to aim to please others or is it for a more noble reason, like staying alive so you can see your clever little grandchildren graduate one day or just to be around to teach them how to garden or to take them on nature hikes? Do you need to have healthier sleep and better work patterns because you want to live well?
Whatever goals you create that have depth, substance, purpose or meaning generally last. Even when you drop the ball or fall off the wagon, at some stage you will be able to pick up where you left off. Yes, goals can be overwhelming, so start out with a few small achievable goals and build those into a sturdy foundation, adding another layer celebrating all victories along the way to your main purpose. If overall health and well-being are your central goal, then start where everyone starts with a good eating plan or a few minutes of anaerobic exercises a day or 45-minute walks every other day around your neighbourhood.
Don’t fear tackling your goals because you fear being wrecked by destructive impulses or fear losing control and pride and be caught without adequate coping skills. By constantly reminding yourself of your purpose, logging entries in your journal and updating your roadmap, you will feel secure in your achievements and the fulfilment of the remaining goals.
And last but not least, stay motivated by accepting a helping hand when needed from colleagues, family, friends or an online group that is rooting for you and what you hope to achieve. And remember to get regular health check-ups to ensure that you are on the right path.
Before making any huge dietary, exercise or health-related decisions, the best thing to do is to speak to a medical professional. This can get costly, but that is why Affinity Health is here to make healthcare and advice accessible and affordable.
Affinity Health can provide you with either a day-to-day plan, a hospital plan, or a combination of both for total peace of mind. You can also benefit from booster options.
Affinity Health has created a range of healthcare products that are designed to protect you and your family when it matters most.
Contact Affinity Health today, and our agent will get in touch with you and take you through all the options available so that you can find easy, affordable cover that is handcrafted for you and your loved ones.