Healthy Living

Mary’s Guide to Setting Attainable Goals in 2024

Jan 2 2024

Each new year brings with it a renewed sense of purpose and the opportunity to set the tone for the months ahead. As we enter 2024, it’s essential to consider how we can embark on this journey with a focus on health and well-being.

In a recent conversation with Mary Bonner Davis, ARNP-CNP, at Bon Secours St. Francis Primary Care Downtown, valuable insights were shared on how to kickstart this year in a healthy way. Below is Mary’s guide to help you set attainable goals and cultivate habits that promote both physical and mental well-being.

Start small, but think big.

The key to sustainable change lies in setting two to three achievable goals and focusing on the steps needed to reach them. Instead of fixating on the end result, concentrate on the small, daily changes that will gradually lead to success. This approach builds a foundation for long-term commitment and success.

Creating a health plan over resolutions.

Consider ditching traditional resolutions in favor of a comprehensive health plan. This involves creating habits that seamlessly integrate into your daily life.

“Small changes, such as taking a longer route to your car or placing your gym shoes by the bedside, can make a significant impact over time,” Mary adds. “It’s important to make it easy and fun.”

Exercise more and sit less.

Physical health is a cornerstone of overall well-being. Aim for at least 10,000 steps a day or a total of 150 minutes of exercise per week. Find creative ways to incorporate movement into your routine, whether it’s a short walk during your lunch break or a few reps with hand weights. Remember, it’s about consistency, not intensity.

Fuel your body with fiber and hydration.

What we eat and drink plays a crucial role in maintaining good health. Do this by prioritizing fiber-rich foods, fruits and vegetables in your meals.

“Fiber is important for colon and cholesterol health, along with helping you feel full,” Mary shares.

Opt for a balanced plate, with non-starchy vegetables taking up half, healthy proteins a quarter and a modest portion of starch, such as quinoa, brown rice or a small sweet potato.

And don’t forget the importance of staying hydrated—aim for one to two liters of water a day, adjusting for increased activity levels.

Don’t forget to mind your mental health.

Well-being isn’t just about the body; it’s also about the mind. Incorporate self-care practices into your routine, such as prayer, meditation or seeking counseling. Also, be sure to stay connected with friends and family and consider self-improvement activities. Remember, mental health is an integral part of your overall wellness.

Embrace patience and consistency.

Lifestyle changes take time, so it’s crucial to approach them with patience and a long-term perspective. Resist the allure of quick fixes and focus on creating lasting habits. Celebrate small victories and remember that the journey to better health is a marathon, not a sprint.

“Think about this as a lifelong journey, and that by setting ourselves up for success we are helping prevent disease and being a positive example to those around us,” Mary says.

Don’t forget to tap into health care support.

Engaging with health care services can ensure you start the year on a healthy note. Schedule a primary care appointment to address any potential health issues. Also, explore wellness programs and support services offered by health care systems or even those that may be offered through your employer. Take advantage of available resources to optimize your well-being.

By setting realistic goals, embracing a holistic health plan and nurturing both our physical and mental well-being, you can make 2024 a foundation for a healthier and happier future. Remember, it’s not about perfection; it’s about progress!

Learn about the primary care services we provide at Bon Secours.

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