Date: January 11th, 2013
January is a great time to start fresh and set new lifestyle goals. Many New Year’s Resolutions revolve around eating healthier, losing weight, and balancing work and personal lives. Although the busy holiday season at work has passed, it still takes an effort to make lifestyle changes, however small or big they may be. Corporations and employees alike can benefit from making healthier choices in the New Year. Corporations can work with a wellness vendor and provide wellness programming for employees to lower health care costs and boost office morale, while employees who utilize these wellness resources can work towards achieving their resolutions with the support offered by their employers.
Employers: Wellness Options for Your Employees in 2013
A great way for employers to promote a healthy workplace in the New Year is to implement wellness programs. A big misconception is that it takes a tremendous amount of resources to carry out such programs. However, the reality is that even small-scale programs can have huge impacts on corporate health and morale. Walking meetings, stretch breaks, and meeting energizers are just some of the small ways employers can encourage more activity in the workplace. Larger scale efforts may include holding health fairs, offering biometric screenings, and organizing active team-building retreats periodically. A company seeking a more health-conscious culture is most likely to succeed by starting with small, achievable goals and achieving support from upper management.
Sometimes it is difficult to start on the path to success without advice from someone who has been there before. A wellness vendor can help your company assess which programs will really work for your employees and which can be easily implemented into the corporate culture. For example, if your company has an onsite café, a wellness vendor can design programs to encourage employees to make healthy lunch choices. Perhaps your company would like to offer onsite fitness programs to encourage a more active workplace. A wellness vendor can help design and manage programs that employees will most enjoy. You may want to offer other special programs focused on stress management or smoking cessation. The good news is that there are so many wellness options out there geared toward improving employee health. The difficulty in this comes down to choosing which ones will resonate the most with your employees and how they will be implemented and managed. Consider working with a wellness vendor and you will receive expert advice on the programs that will fit your culture best.
Employees: Achieving Your New Year’s Resolutions
While setting goals in the form of New Year’s Resolutions is the first step on the path to individual success, only some goals reach fruition. Unfortunately only 46% of New Year’s Resolutions are maintained six months after being made. “So much for making a permanent lifestyle change,” the other 54% tell themselves. People can give thousands of reasons for why they failed, however, those who succeed in their goals will tell you that the guidelines to success are pretty simple. Whether your goals are health-related or are geared toward happiness in other areas of your life, the same principles to achieving success hold true. We’ve compiled seven simple tips to achieve your goals not only for the next year, but also for the rest of your life:
1. Make a goal as specific as possible. Just setting a goal to “lose weight” or “get healthy” will not serve as motivation to a desired end. Instead setting a goal to “lose 10 pounds by March 1 by exercising 4 days a week” will more likely lead to success. The best questions to ask when setting goals include:
- Is this goal attainable?
- Is this goal relevant to me?
- How much time will I give myself to achieve this goal?
- How can I measure my progress?
2. Think goals through. What are the skills needed to achieve this goal? How much information or knowledge is required for success? Do some research using trusted websites and reading materials to get a better sense for the options out there for achievement. Talk to a close family member or friend to get advice on how you can best plan for success.
3. Express your goals positively. The way you speak about your goals will help determine success. Phrase goals positively, such as “I am going to make healthier food choices”. This will serve as greater motivation than negatively phrased ones, such as “I am not going to eat any junk food.” Picture how you will feel once your goal is met and not on the things you must give up along the way.
4. Plan ahead. This goes hand in hand with making your goal specific. The more you map out an exercise schedule or think about your meals ahead of time, the less time you will spend burning off the extra calories from last minute unhealthy meals. If you are serious about your goal timeline, structure your week to start working towards it. Send yourself calendar invites for the gym so that appointments are harder to break. Plan all of your meals for the coming week and shop for them on Sunday. Starting out with set plans as these can help these behaviors become part of your routine and more effortless over time.
5. Prioritize your goals. Categorizing your goals according to priority can help you focus on the most important ones first. It is of course tempting to reap the immediate benefits of a short-term goal, but instead focus on how you will feel if you continue to delay the goals you want most. The sooner you make strides toward the larger picture, the sooner you can move on to the next step.
6. Enjoy! Once you’ve reached your goal, take the time to enjoy your accomplishment. Reward yourself based on the significance of the goal – purchase the new watch you’ve been eyeing or invest in some new fitness equipment to stay motivated. Whatever the reward, make sure its magnitude fits with the significance of the goal. In other words, a large reward for a small accomplishment will not help you stay motivated in the long run.
7. Review. Once your goal is met, review your progression during the time period working towards it. This will show all of the small accomplishments you made on a daily or weekly basis when working toward your goal. This will also serve as proof of what you can accomplish during a given time period and prevent excuses for delaying any future goals from being fulfilled.
Analyze whether your goal was achieved too easily or if it took longer than expected. Perhaps your plan was a little overambitious or did not push you enough. Instead of telling yourself you should have worked harder, use this information to plan your next goal more in line with your abilities and time commitment.
MediFit has been helping corporations and employees achieve their health and fitness goals since 1995. Our team of fitness professionals works to develop programs that evoke positive behavior changes for each individual. Our research-driven approach allows us to educate employees on the best ways to plan for and achieve their goals. Our team of health and fitness professionals works closely with each corporation to integrate health into every aspect of the corporate culture. To learn more about our corporate health and wellness programs, contact us, here.