How to Set New Year Health Goals

Everybody has their 2021 resolutions, but most of us forget to include health concerns when planning for a new year. Yet health and general wellness should be priority number one for anyone looking to achieve all other goals.

According to a Dec. 2020 poll by, nearly half of Americans have health-based new year health goals to chase in 2021 (making it the leading category among others like money, family, love and career).

Researchers found health as a primary concern for 43.53% of males and 47.45% of females. But how many of us achieve our yearly health goals?

Another poll posted in the Journal of Clinical Psychology found that of the Americans that set a 2020 resolution, 35 percent achieved all their objectives while 49 percent met some of their goals. Only 16 percent did not work towards their resolutions.

Choosing reasonable goals, adequate planning and undying persistence is the secret to setting and meeting your health resolutions. Below are some steps to set workable goals.

Set Your New Year Health Goals in 8 Steps

Maybe you want to set 2021 health goals but don’t know where to start.

How do you decide which resolutions to focus on? And once you narrow down to it; how do you execute from scratch to finish? What else can you do to set achievable goals?

  1. Identify your health concerns

Resolutions are the objectives we set to improve our current status. New year health goals should be based on the things that have a significant effect on your well-being.

Still, you want to focus on overall wellness and practice personal care.

  1. Understand your Course

Whether you’re shifting to healthier eating habits or moving away from a sedentary life, it helps to understand what you’re after.

Understanding your course upfront is essential in developing the masterplan for your 2021 resolutions.

  1. Draft a plan

Planning is key, if for instance, you plan to kick off 2021 to a new year-long workout program.

A proper plan streamlines year-long activities breaking down your goals down into attainable milestones.

  1. Aim higher

Dreaming small can hinder you from achieving your level best. For instance, if “weight loss” is your goal, discuss with an expert to set goals that will see you lose as many pounds as possible.

Aiming higher or dreaming big can motivate you to work towards your predetermined objectives.

  1. Be reasonable

While you want to dream big in whatever you do, it’s important to set reasonable health goals. For instance, will your financial standing favor your decisions if getting “better health insurance coverage” is one of your new year health goals?

Setting reasonable goals paves a clear obstacle-free path to chase your health.

  1. Break goals into achievable milestones

It’s easy to want to quit smoking but you must break down this goal into achievable milestones. Because tossing off your packets or vapes doesn’t work, you’d rather research and adopt a step by step approach.

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Create SMART goals i.e, they must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound.

  1. Prepare to stick to your plan

Lastly, you want to develop a plan that you can stick to all year round. Remember, any unplanned-for changes can affect your potential to meet resolutions as they may affect your budget or schedules.

  1. Involve an expert

A year is a pretty long time. You need professional guidance to plan year-long health goals.

Besides, you may not know what it takes to meet health objectives like “getting better sleep.”

New Year Health Goals to Try

2021 health resolutions must not involve complex or expensive goals. Focus on things that affect you directly. If you struggled with smoking in 2020, perhaps this is the year to cut back or ditch the habit altogether.

Or maybe, this is the year to check on your mental health as a global health pandemic enters another year.

From simple stuff like learning more about diseases like bloodborne pathogens or taking breaks from your seat, to more involving resolutions like regular health checkups, below are some ideas to try this year.

  1. Join a workout program

Workout programs are important for many reasons. They help us maintain weight, keep physically fit and have a good cardiac health.

Still, it’s best to research before joining a year-long workout plan drafting because not all programs fit your specific needs.

Consult with your doctor on which expert on which exercise routines to take on based on your health status and needs

  1. Quit Cigarettes, E-cigs & Vapes

According to CDC, 2019 saw 57 percent of middle and high school students who used tobacco-based were “seriously thinking of quitting dependence on tobacco products.

Tobacco use causes nicotine dependence and other severe health conditions. Stopping the habit reduces the danger of developing smoking-linked diseases.

E-cigs have also gained popularity among U.S. adults and teens. A large number of adults who smoke traditional cigarettes claim to use vaping as an aid to quit smoking despite the lack of clinical evidence proving or disproving their ability to help in smoking cessation.

Though lack of combustion may reduce the chances of diseases that result from inhaling burned tobacco, studies are inconclusive on whether e-cigarettes are entirely harmless.

The University of California has so far spotted cancer-causing chemicals in e-cigs after a 2018 research that discredited the idea that e-cigs are less harmful than traditional cigarettes.

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The study examined urine samples from 104 teenagers, among them; 67 were strict e-cig smokers, 17 used both e-cigs and traditional cigarettes, and 20 were non-smokers.

According to the reports, teenagers who used both forms of tobacco had compounds with toxicity levels three times the ones who used electronic cigarettes.

Also as expected, teenage e-cig smokers also recorded toxicity levels three times than the group who didn’t vape or smoke.

Smoking cessation is covered under the Affordable Care Act. You can achieve your smoking new year health goals through the following plans.

  • Medicare.
  • State Health Insurance Marketplace Plans.
  • Medicaid.
  • Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.


Treating tobacco dependence involves multiple treatments but you can join one of the above programs to remedy your addiction.

  1. Eat whole foods (avoid processed foods)

Your food choices remain a central part of ensuring proper health. This year, consider natural or whole foods like natural grains, fruits, veggies, seeds and fish are rich in the nutrients you need to function optimally.

Studies show that taking whole-food diets help reduce the risks of contracting heart diseases by maintaining excellent body weight and correct blood sugar levels. These diets also help reduce the danger of developing conditions such as  diabetes type 2.

This is something you can practice slowly. For instance, if you hardly include greens, you can begin adding your best vegetable time and again.

  1. Avoid processed foods

Also, avoid processed foods.These can be described as uncooked agricultural products subjected to washing, heating, canning, cooking, drying, pasteurizing, blanching, mixing, dehydrating, and many other processes that deprive food of its natural form.

Such foods could undergo either minimal or ultra-processing depending on the duration the manufacturer expects the products to stay. Foodstuffs that have undergone minimal processing are meant to last for shorter periods while those with ultra-processing stay longer.

Besides the composition of most processed foods (sugar, calories, preservatives, and salt), they also lack essential vitamins, roughage, and minerals that help prevent heart-related ailments.

Some additives included in fast foods can cause weight gain, inflammation, or lead to prediabetes. All these conditions are fatal to the heart’s well-being.

Taking processed foods that are healthy

Here are a few tips for selecting healthier fast foods and other processed foodstuffs;

  • Ensure that you select foods that meet the set nutrition certification requirements, such as picking food packages with the AHA Heart-check symbol.
  • Check labels to know the composition of added components in the foodstuff you purchase. It advisable you select those having low levels of salt, fats, and sugar composition.
  • Go for refrigerated and canned foodstuffs. But remember to watch out for sugar, sodium, and fats too. Check dates to avoid picking overstayed products.
  • Be keen on what you eat in eateries.

It’s best to eat in restaurants that prepare food depending on your order or offer an array of healthier menus.

  1. Reducing Sugary Foods

Reducing the intake of sugary foods and sweetened beverages is one of the easiest-to-achieve

new year health goals.

Sugary foods are tied to the development of conditions like obesity, fatty liver, cardiac illnesses, insulin resistance, and teeth cavities in young ones and grownups.

And while it’s difficult to ditch these drinks and beverages, reducing your sugar intake gradually is a significant step to positive health.

Food stuffs that are rich in sugar tamper with your appetite causing the body to release proteins that promote belly development.

Complex sugars are the worst. Always check the labels on your favorite snacks to avoid consuming these in excess.

  1. Take a break from your seat and move more

Sedentary lifestyles that involve long hours of sitting without moving around to stretch body muscles or handle some activity is a risk factor for conditions like obesity and cardiac illnesses.They may also worsen the situation for people with conditions like arthritis.

Whether you work at home or go to the work premise, leaving your seat time and again for some physical activity is one way to better your health this year.

Ditching the seat from time and again is also an excellent way to remain healthy if you find yourself binge-watching more often.

  1. Get better sleep

As much as we desire to work extra hard and get the best out of it, it helps to remember that

sleep is mandatory.

Most metabolic processes occur while the body is at rest which explains why we need to spare at least 5-6 hours of our day enjoying a night of good sleep.

Depriving yourself of this significant health determinant can cause severe consequences like extra weight, poor cardiac health and depression.

To make “better sleep” your 2021 resolution, it helps to understand the reasons or causes of your poor sleeping habits.

Sleeplessness can be triggered by several reasons so you must analyze your timelines and lifestyle to discover the best ways to better your sleep patterns.

Another way to improve sleep quality is to cut back on screen time ahead of sleep hours. Catnaps are also vital in ensuring proper physical health. Avoid staying late at night or sleeping late into the night.

Lasty, seek medical attention in case you face any difficulties getting a night of good sleep.

  1. Identify a physical activity you love

2021 is the year to live an active life and focus on overall wellness. Identifying a physical activity you love is good both for your physical health and happiness.

It could be a favorite sport, evening walks with your dog or total commitment to your garden. Such activities can keep you active and reduce the danger of cardiac illnesses and weight gain.

Every time you take on a favorite physical activity, you maintain proper health and find happiness.

This combination is essential in living a complete and healthful lifestyle.

  1. Prepare most meals at home

This is one of the simplest new year health goals to achieve.

If you’re not a cook-at-home fan then you almost certainly rely on junk and processed foods known to be risk factors for certain conditions.

Such foods are less healthy than the whole or natural foods you cook at home which explains why you must rethink your strategy.

If this proves difficult, start by cooking twice or thrice a week until you get used to preparing your meals at home.

  1. Learn more about personal care

Spend quality time learning more about personal health and wellness. It’s easy to ignore your well-being amid the struggle to maintain a living. Yet the consequences are detrimental and can threaten to ruin your bottom line.

Because the human body is complex, research more about personal care and how to make sustainable health decisions that will improve your general wellness.

Be sure to use credible sources when researching information on personal care to avoid misinformation. Learn more about the different diseases including bloodborne pathogens that you can contract from infected people through exchange of body fluids.

  1. Reduce binge-watching

Though researches haven’t done much on the topic, one 2017 poll posted in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine gives clues into the weight of the matter. During the interview, staunch binge TV-watchers cited problems like increased tiredness, poor sleep, and signs of insomnia.

Binge-watching or marathon viewing is when an individual watches several TV shows or multiple episodes of a Series over a very long period of time.

Apart from staying glued to television, it can also refer to streaming in one sitting position with your laptop, phones and tablets.

And though an endless trove of entertainment sources may sound like the best idea ever, medics have linked binge watching to certain negative health effects so parents must monitor their kids.

With so much content available, and long hours of screen time— eating into the time we should devote to physical workout, socializing and sleeping — the possible health dangers of binge-viewing are getting more apparent.

Several professionals agree that long hours of screen time can take a toll on your cardiac health, sleeping routines and social life, all which may trigger other complications.

According to Sophia Tolliver, a physician at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, the number one worry is “it drives you to a sedentary lifestyle.”

“Research links multi hours of sitting to increased danger for metabolic syndrome, known to heighten the risk of stroke, cardiac-related ailments and stroke.”

it could heighten the danger of illnesses like deep-vein thrombosis or blood clot in the limbs that can worsen if it bursts off and flows to the heart.

  1. Reduce alcohol

Most of us still can’t go without a bottle of beer despite several studies blaming alcohol as a primary contributor to belly fat accumulation.

It’s even harder to swallow that taking a glass of wine daily will add up to a scary 36,000 calories in your body a year.

Alcohol-based fats accumulate at different places in the bodies of males and females. For instance, in men fats will mostly be deposited in their bellies. While in women, excess fats from calories are found on thighs, arms and hips.

Cutting alcohol intake therefore tops the list of health resolutions to try this year. But if you can’t do without a bottle try to reduce your per-day intake.

  1. Visit a doctor regularly

You’ve heard it time and again that it’s important to visit your doctor regularly. These visits are a must-do even when feeling okay because some conditions can develop and worsen silently in the body.

Visiting your doctor now and then can help you monitor your health status especially if you suffer from chronic conditions eg. those caused by viruses from bloodborne pathogens that require extra attention.

It is also a more proactive personal care strategy to spot and deal with health conditions before they worsen.

  1. Check your reproductive health

Do you care for your reproductive health? How often do you test for STIs or just do a general check up to confirm your well-being.

Remember STIs are not the only challenge ahead, watch out for conditions like cancers, sterility and other diseases that affect sexual health.

These diseases can pass from one person to another via sexual contact or through bloodborne pathogens.

While STDs are widespread, the right test for you might vary based on your risk profile.

Still, you should priortize reproductive health if you engage in sex actively with more than one mate. This year, practice safe sex (use a condom) and do STD testing from time to time.

The sexually-active should test regularly because having sex with more than one partner increases exposure to STDs. And victims who are reluctant to test may harbor an STI for a long time (without their knowledge) especially if the condition is asymptomatic.

How to Which Test is Right For You?

But which STD tests should one take to achieve your new year health goals? And how frequent should you visit a testing facility? Well, the right test for you depends on these three factors;

  1. Sexual habits; whether you are sexually active or inactive

People who relate sexually with more than one partner are obviously likely to get an STI than those who rarely engage in sex. For that reason, regular screening is almost a must-do for the sexually-active.

  1. Age; young people are sexually active than older adults

Adolescents are sexually active compared to older adults. Plus, STD rates are higher among youths which is why you should test from time to time if you’re young.

  1. Risk profile; what STIs are you at the risk of contracting?

More often than not, we have an STI risk profile for the areas we live in. Symptoms can also be a guiding factor for which tests to focus on.

Your Physicians may never suggest an STI test, unless you (the patient) asks openly for it.

Anyone who is sexually active should consider regular testing. Only that way can you learn about any asymptomatic STIs and begin early treatment.

Discuss with your doctor your concerns and which STDs and bloodborne pathogens you’d love to test for.

The Takeaway

Setting and sticking to new year health goals is easier said than done. You want to be specific and reasonable in your dreams.

Also, remember to draft a budget for your health resolutions as some of these goals may involve some financial commitments.

Lastly, remember to expand your knowledge on health matters. Learn some basic first aid skills and more about bloodborne pathogens.