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How to Make Lasting Health Changes in 2023 According to Science

By Camilla Moore December 29, 2022 Health and Fitness

Every year, millions of people around the world make New Year’s resolutions with the hope that they will make positive changes in their lives. But without a clear plan or structure for implementing these changes, it cannot be easy to make progress and stick with them.

This blog post outlines an evidence-based method for implementing new changes and sticking to them so you can make real progress in 2023.

Step 1: Set Goals That Are SMART

It’s essential to set goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

This increases your chances of success because it helps you stay focused on what matters most. For example, rather than setting a vague goal like “I want to be healthier this year,” try something more specific like “I will walk 3 miles on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday before work/daily chores.”

SMART goals can be applied to all aspects of lifestyle changes. Here is an example of a SMART plan for each element of a healthy lifestyle.

Healthy eating: “I will add 1 cup of spinach to lunch three days per week.”

Exercise: “I will walk daily for 45 minutes at lunch with my colleagues around the block.”

Stress: “I will practice meditation using “Three Minutes to Calm” each night before bed for the next four weeks.”

Sleep: “I will shut down my computer 1 hour before bed each night to allow my mind to unwind before bed for the next four weeks.”

Alcohol: “I will limit alcohol to 1-2 drinks per week for the next six weeks.”

SMART goals are used in clinical settings to help patients achieve clarity on health goals and to have measurable outcomes to reference.

Step 2: Break Down Your Goals into Manageable Chunks

Once you have set your goals for the year, break them down into smaller chunks that are easier to manage.

Research suggests that breaking big tasks into smaller ones makes them seem more achievable and increases motivation. So, if your goal is to run a 10K by June 1, consider following a training program that matches your experience level and time commitment.

Step 3: Track Your Progress and Celebrate Successes

Keeping track of your progress is essential to stay motivated throughout the process. Studies show that tracking progress helps maintain motivation even when goals become challenging or tedious. Additionally, celebrate successes along the way!

Acknowledge when you reach a milestone or complete a task – no matter how small – to keep yourself motivated and on track for achieving long-term goals.

Step 4: Find a Buddy

Finding a buddy can make your efforts more fruitful if you try to achieve a goal and want to do it with others. Having someone with similar purposes whom you can share the journey with can give you extra motivation, create accountability, and open up new opportunities for learning and growing together.

When people get help from others on their goals, they are much more likely to reach success. So don’t be afraid to find someone who can be your partner in achieving greatness!

Conclusion

Making New Year’s resolutions is difficult; staying motivated throughout the process can often feel like an uphill battle. However, following an evidence-based approach can help increase motivation levels and make it easier to stick with your goals over time.

By setting SMART goals, breaking them down into manageable chunks, and tracking progress regularly, you can set yourself up for success in 2023!

Let’s Have a Conversation:

What about you? What goals do you want to set for 2023? What is your plan for achieving them? How will they change your life?

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Jen

What a great article, with some good advice! Break things down, it will make our goals totally achievable. All the best for 2023, ladies. Jen πŸ‡¦πŸ‡Ί

The Author

Dr. Camilla Moore is a Lifestyle Medicine Chiropractor and a freelance medical and health writer. She is a self-published author and you can read her other articles at her blog, The Wellness Cabinet where she writes about exercise, fitness, nutrition, and mindfulness.

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