Scientist And Health & Wellness Expert Monica Mo Shares Tips for Setting Effective Health Goals For The New Year

“Every year people choose a list of health resolutions for the next year. Generally, these are habits they will try to do every day or habits they will try to avoid for as long as they can. Unfortunately, many of these resolutions are forgotten in a few weeks”, says Monica Mo, founder and CEO of WellSeek, a media company that wants to dispel the myths in the health and wellness world.

Habits are ingrained and automatic. Changing them requires constant effort and a different mindset until a new habit is formed. The following tips can help:

Values and intentions

It is easy for anyone to state a goal, but it’s important to first get clear on the values and intentions that are behind this goal.

Monica Mo says that “We can’t simply focus on superficial metrics and short-term gains, because values and intentions fuel your ability to sustain habits for the long run. So keep your eyes on the long game, and ask yourself first: what do you truly want out of life?”

“This approach will help with staying better connected with your progress as you experience life, such as feeling more energized throughout the work week so you can enjoy downtime with family,” Mo adds.

Health isn’t about rigid rules

 While the media tends to promote diet and exercise with rigid rules and an all-or-nothing mentality, experts agree that if things go to the extreme, eventually it causes more harm than good, which can lead to more guilt, fear, and shame. A healthy lifestyle is about keeping all things in balance.

Mo shares that “Ultimately, how you stay healthy isn’t about obligation or punishment for your body based on what you ate the week before or the current size you’re at. It’s more about feeling energized and happy from the activities you enjoy.”

Breaks should be taken often

 We’re wired to believe we must always be “doing” in order to be healthy, productive members of society.

“When you don’t get enough rest, the risk of heart disease and other chronic diseases go up, and your mental health and cognitive abilities decline. Find the time to rest, it will allow you to unwind, recharge, and keep life in perspective on a day-to-day basis,” says Mo.

Mo adds that “Self-care doesn’t only happen during the weekends or on vacation, and it doesn’t have to involve bubble baths and long hours at the spa. The truth is, even small activities that you enjoy doing count, such as walking your dog or waking up to a hot shower. Every day is an opportunity to care for your mind and body, so you can keep doing more of the things you love.”

Self compassion

We all know how good it feels when others show us compassion, yet we often find ourselves being our own harshest critics. Emerging research shows that self-compassion and self-kindness can enhance or improve your ability to make health-promoting choices.

“Stop spending energy on negative or punishing thoughts and get more out of life by being your own best cheerleader.  Only then, can you start caring for your mind and body in a way that helps you live happy and healthy,” stated Mo.

Obsessing over the numbers and wins

 It seems that health isn’t a goal, it’s a life-long journey. “There’s nothing wrong with setting high expectations or goals for yourself, but stop to listen and ask yourself: is it sucking the energy and joy out of your life? If your answer is yes, slow it down, unpack the layers, and reconsider what really needs to be done. You are a human being with needs that go beyond checking off your to-do list.  Before you carry on blindly, sometimes you have to allow yourself to just be,” Mo concluded.

Monica Mo, Ph.D. is the founder and CEO of WellSeek, a brand and media company on a mission to dispel myths and spread truth in the health and wellness world.  She’s the Curating Editor of the WellSeek Collective and a Council of Directors Member at True Health Initiative, a global coalition of world-renown health experts alongside David L. Katz, Sanjay Gupta, and Deepak Chopra, and has been featured on Thrive Global, ESPN Radio, and BuzzFeed.