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Wellness Wise

How to set healthy goals for this New Year

For many of us, New Year’s resolutions are grandly made and easily broken. Why? Because a resolution is only a decision. To make a life change, you need more than a decision; you need a plan. The plan is the guide to put your decision into action so you can reach your goal and it’s up to you to take the necessary steps. Learning how to set realistic goals takes practice.

Whether you resolve to lose weight, save money, or adopt a healthier lifestyle, New Year’s resolutions can be hard to keep. By Valentine’s Day, most New Year’s resolutions are a distant memory. It takes time and commitment to your plan for your resolution to become a habit.

Setting a small goal, like getting up half an hour earlier in the morning so you can get where you need to be on time, may be challenging at first. After a few weeks or months of practice, it will just be a positive habit. Knowing you can make small changes can give you the motivation and confidence to tackle a bigger goal. An adult may choose to become a nonsmoker or start exercising regularly. A child could choose dribbling a soccer ball or practicing multiplication tables on a daily basis; help your child understand that time and patience are usually involved in making changes.

Setting realistic goals can lead to a healthier lifestyle and improved self-esteem. The temptation to make New Year’s resolutions can be strong, but you can set all kinds of goals at any time during the year. Pick a day that’s meaningful for you—your birthday, your anniversary, your child’s birthday, or any personal date.

Children also benefit from learning how to plan and reach goals. It helps them learn how to manage their time and make good decisions—skills that can have a lasting and positive impact on their future. Together with your child, set a healthy goal and create a plan! Working toward goals can improve your life in many ways. Once you’ve accomplished a goal, be it big or small, you’ll know it can be done and you’ll have confidence for your next goal.

The following tips can help you and your children successfully plan and achieve your goals:

Having clear goals and a plan can bring your family together and help you be healthier all year. All positive changes—tiny or drastic—can improve your everyday life. Make this New Year count, and create a plan to follow through on your resolutions!

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Personal Health Manager and Work–Life Balance:
With a wide range of online tools and information, you can better manage every aspect of health and wellness for you and your family with a program that are for UT employees, retirees and their dependents. Start by taking the health risk assessment to better understand your current health condition, identify potential issues and reinforce what you’re doing right! See below some of our resources/services:

  1. Employee Assistance Program (EAP)- Visit the UT System EAP main page for a directory of all institutions' EAP.
  2. Online Personal Health Manager provided by Blue Cross Blue Shield- your source for health and wellness information, such as

Additional Resources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Motivation (tips for setting goals, including downloadable worksheets)

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