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How to Prioritize Your Health in 2021

For many Hoosiers, 2020 has been a year burdened by unforeseen challenges. The pandemic has had far-reaching effects on quality of life, forcing many to spend more time inside and isolated from friends and family.

For many, the pandemic has impacted their mental and physical health. But 2021 holds renewed hope, and we’re urging all Hoosiers to start the new year by prioritizing healthy living.

Depending on your goals, that could mean focusing on your mental well-being by reducing stress and anxiety. Or it could mean prioritizing physical health through regular exercise or healthy diet. Regardless of your priorities, now is the time to look ahead and start planning. Follow the steps laid out below to get started.

1. Set a realistic goal.

Think about what you want to accomplish in 2021 and set corresponding goals. If, for example, you want to start running, set a goal that seems attainable. That could mean running an entire mile without stopping or running a 5K. Once you reach that goal, you can set a slightly more ambitious target, gradually working your way up to longer distances.

2. Make time for yourself.

One of the biggest obstacles to prioritizing your physical and mental health is finding time. Between work, school and family obligations, it can be a challenge to set aside time for yourself. Look at your schedule and find a block of time you can carve out for yourself. If your schedule is too packed on certain days, wake up 30 minutes early or utilize your lunch break.

3. Keep yourself accountable.

If you’re worried you might struggle to keep up with your new goal, tell a trusted friend or relative what you’re trying to accomplish. They can help to keep you on track, which can encourage you to push through the challenging times.

4. Reward yourself.

With each new milestone, find a small reward for yourself. We encourage you to reward yourself with something that will further your overarching goal. That could mean splurging on a new pair of running shoes or a new gym membership.

5. Build upon your progress.

Once you reach your goal, don’t stop there. Maintain the progress you’ve made and build upon it, or focus on a different health-related priority. If you’ve been focusing on physical fitness but want to reduce your anxiety, explore yoga or meditation.

The freshness of a new year is great inspiration for working on a healthier life. Explore what that means for you, and develop a plan to attain your goal.

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