Looking for some health goal examples to pad your new year’s resolutions?
This is the time of year when everyone examines life goals, including health goals. If you’re in this same boat, you’re probably looking for ways to improve your mental and physical health. Both are equally important and must be balanced in order to live a fulfilling and healthy lifestyle.
If you need a little inspiration, we have you covered.
Below, we share 25 health goal examples to motivate you. Of course, you don’t need to tackle them all, but do consider working on the ones that truly resonate with you.
Read on for motivation to make this year your healthiest yet.
25 Health Goals Examples To Aim for in 2022
1. Create a Morning Routine You Love
Want to keep on top of your daily to-dos, including your health goals? Start your day with a morning routine you love. The daily habits you start your day with can lead you to feel either overwhelmed and rushed or productive and proud.
When you’re running around and always feeling flustered by tackling what’s next, it can lead to feeling sad and frustrated — not a good feeling physically or mentally. Consider starting your day with some sort of movement to get blood flow going — whether that’s a run or a yoga routine — and think about other ways to integrate an organized flow into your day.
That may include making a to-do list, meditating, journaling, or listening to a podcast. You get to decide how to make your day look and feel healthy for you.
2. Make Time for Self-Care
How often do you put off taking care of your emotional and physical needs? Not this year. A prime health goal example to include in your own list is to make time for self-care each day or week. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Many aspects shape your self-care routines — from your food choices to your activities — and all support ways for you to feel healthy. Examples of easy self-care include taking daily walks, talking with a friend, exploring a new hobby, making health appointments, or even quietly sipping a cup of tea.
3. Explore Art Therapy
Art is a beautiful way to not only create something new but also express your innermost feelings. Art therapy is often used as a coping mechanism for those with terminal or chronic illnesses, but you don’t have to be ill to enjoy the therapeutic mental perks of creating. In recent years, studies have found art therapy to reduce stress and anxiety, stimulate mental function, and help individuals deal better with pain.
4. Find a Supportive Community
It’s important to have friends to lean on during difficult as well as good times. This year, make it a personal health goal to find or continue to thrive in your supportive community. That may be a church group, hobby club, neighborhood association, or other organization. It may just be a group of two or three friends you truly trust. Plan regular get-togethers and cultivate those relationships deeply for more satisfying social health.
5. Aim for Seven to Eight Hours of Sleep
Not only does the physical body require sleep, but our mental health needs it, too. Sleep repairs cells and allows the body to fully unwind and recharge — mentally and physically. Those who skip sleep or sleep poorly have a higher risk of developing issues like high blood pressure, kidney disease, diabetes, and more. Make sleep a priority this year!
6. Use a Pedometer
With many of us working from home these days, sitting too long has become a problem more than most of us would like to admit. A pedometer is a great way to track how much — or how little — you are taking steps. Seeing it tracked can help you set step goals and aim to move your body more if you feel you’re being too sedentary.
7. Workout At Least Three Days a Week
Whether you want to lose a few pounds or just feel stronger, consistently working out is the way to achieve most fitness goals. At a minimum, shoot for 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity weekly or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week. You can also combine moderate and vigorous activity, according to the Mayo Clinic. Doing so keeps your heart strong, your muscles active, and your waistline trim. Once a month (or a week!), think about how you can switch up your workout or try a new activity. Doing so will keep your body from plateauing and keep workouts from getting too boring.
8. Try Using a Food Journal
Looking to get a better understanding of your good and bad eating habits? A food journal is a health goal example that can help you do that. Food journaling helps you identify if you’re an emotional eater, how often you eat, if you eat balanced meals, and more. Studies have proven those who record their food intake often have great success with losing weight and keeping it off.
9. Unplug Often
Think you and your phone spend too much time together? Or maybe you’re tethered to your computer? Take time to unplug. It may be hard at first, but eventually, you’ll look forward to the break from tech. In fact, it’s essential to your health to take those breaks. Research has shown on brain scans that screen time actually activates the very same neural loops that narcotics do. Unplug at least a few hours each day and fully once a week to break your tech addiction.
10. Learn How to Meditate
Meditation is for everyone. Really. And if you haven’t explored the benefits of it, this year may be the year to set this as your personal health goal. This ancient practice involves focusing the mind on the present moment and is known to reduce stress and anxiety. All it takes is a few minutes each day of the practice to start reaping the benefits. You can do it at home, at work, or even in your car during rush hour.
11. Experiment With Different Stress Management Techniques
Another great health goal example? Get hold of your stress. Yes, the past two years have been tumultuous and overwhelming, to say the least. But research shows those who put an effort into tackling their stress can lower the risk for health conditions like obesity, depression, and high blood pressure. Make this the year you start using helpful, science-backed stress and anxiety relievers!
12. Dress Up to Feel Better
This may sound like a silly healthy goal, but it isn’t. If you’ve been remote working since the pandemic, you may be part of the masses who have favored stretchy pants. Think about how you feel when you dress your best. Probably more confident and energized, right? There’s a term for that, and it’s called “enclothed cognition,” which describes the influence clothes can have on the wearer's psychological processes. Experts advise you wear clothing you love to feel focused, upbeat, and overall more confident.
13. Stretch Daily
How often do you stretch throughout the day? If you’re like most workers, you probably sit for much of the day, which can lead to stiffness and muscle pain. Don’t overlook the importance of stretching for overall physical health. The fact is, remaining flexible may reduce injuries and provide an overall feeling of well-being.
14. Get Outside Daily
There’s something about the great outdoors that is great for your overall health. Time outdoors helps you soak up vitamin D, lessens anxiety, and may even improve your sleep. Whether you want to explore forest bathing, nature walks, hikes, or yoga outdoors, take time at least a few times a day to enjoy all that nature has to offer.
15. Work on Your Memory
It’s true that as you age your memory recall can become a challenge. While you certainly want to remember your favorite recipe of mom’s or a precious childhood memory, other areas of recall — like remembering where you live — are another reason to keep your memory sharp. Genes do play a part in memory loss, but so do lifestyle choices, according to Harvard Health. Maintaining healthy cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels are all important. Equally as important as regular exercise, eating well, not smoking, and staying mentally active. Try new activities that challenge your brain: Drive without your GPS on; learn a new language; explore memory games and more.
16. Try a Heart-Healthy Recipe Once a Week
Give your body some heart-healthy meals to enjoy as you go through 2022. Whether you already have heart issues or you’re looking to prevent them, starting with cooking a new heart-healthy recipe each week is a great way to explore eating well. You may find that your new once-a-week recipe turns into a favorite meal staple in your household. You don’t need to eat bland foods, either. Heart-healthy dark leafy greens are great in stir-fries and grilled fish tastes great when seasoned right. Check out the American Heart Association for recipe ideas!
17. Give Hugs
When was the last time you had a really great hug? If it’s been a while, it’s time to find someone to hug. Research indicates that hugging others has a ton of benefits to include reducing the stress hormone cortisol to lowering blood pressure. Other research shows it may also strengthen your immune system, too!
18. Schedule All Your Doc Appointments
It’s the start of the year and a perfect time to schedule all of those endless doc appointments that you always put off until the last minute. Get your primary and specialty appointments on the books now — including the ones that require multiple visits throughout the year, like a dentist — so you don’t have to squeeze them in December like everyone else. Doing so early on can help you catch any serious health issues and keep continuous care going for other chronic issues you have. Consider an anchor date — like your birthday or an anniversary — to schedule your appointments around so you’re less likely to forget.
19. Don’t Forget Follow-Up Doctor’s Appointments
Just as important as scheduling your physician appointments is to follow up. Make it your health goal to not only go to the doc this year on time but also schedule those mandatory follow-up appointments ASAP. That may include blood work, X-rays, and other labs or specialist requests by your primary doctor.
20. Give Therapy a Try
One of the smartest health goal examples is to invest in therapy. Talking to a professional about your life difficulties can alleviate anxiety and stress. Therapy also provides an outlet to explore problem-solving and stress-management techniques as you adjust to new life circumstances or trials. Plus, it gives you a chance to understand yourself better, which is always a good way to grow.
21. Read More
Bookworms, you have one more reason to buy all the books you want: It’s good for your health. Aside from expanding your vocabulary and improving your ability to empathize, reading also has mental and physical health perks, too. Mayo Clinic docs recommend reading as part of a nightly routine to prepare the mind for sleep. Reading also strengthens the brain, according to one 2013 study where researchers used MRIs and found that the brain connectivity increased during periods of reading.
22. Stop Black-and-White Thinking
How often do you beat yourself up because you’re a stickler about staying on your diet, exercise routine, etc.? The occasional slip-up is not a reason to berate yourself and won’t wreck your progress long-term. If you often have black-and-white thinking when it comes to your health goals, it can minimize any achievements you make — big or small. Be proud of your accomplishments and resist belittling your efforts. Instead, write down what you’re proud of when you’re working through specific health goals to keep you focused on your efforts.
23. Eat the Rainbow Daily
Want optimal health? Then there’s no denying it’s essential to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Doing so gives your body a healthy mix of nutrients and vitamins. It also offers anti-inflammatory protection and improves immune health. Eating plenty of veggies and fruits also can curb your risk for chronic illnesses like diabetes or heart disease.
24. Prioritize Gut Health
When you eat well, your gut is generally happy. Researchers are also finding out more details on the mind-gut connection and how gut health contributes to mental health, immunity, and more. Consider small changes that can help improve gut health, including adding a probiotic, trying fermented foods like kimchi, and stressing less.
Related: Nutrition and Mental Health: What's the Connection?
25. Cut Down Your Sugar Intake
If you’re keeping a few pounds on and can’t seem to shake them, think about cutting sugar out of your diet. It’s probably added to more food items than you think about — everything from crackers to coffees and smoothies to salad dressings. All that sugar adds up and can lead to weight gain and increase your diabetes risk. Consider other ways you can naturally sweeten your drinks or baked goods. Honey and maple syrup are both great sweeteners when used in moderation.
Make Time to Focus on Your Own Health Goals
These health goal examples are a great starting point for kicking off the new year in a healthier way. Focusing on your health in the post-pandemic era is a smart move as those who stay on top of their health have stronger immune systems and better mental health to deal with any illness that may come their way.
Remember that the more specific you are with your goals, the more likely you are to stick with them and achieve them. Write them down, view them daily, find an accountability partner, and do whatever it is you need to do to keep your health number one.
Your health is a valuable asset and once it starts going downhill, it can be a tiring and slippery slope to get back on the road to good health.
What will it take for you to get healthy this year? How can you break your health goals into small baby steps so it’s not so overwhelming? Talking with a friend who can hold you accountable and getting advice from your primary doc can help you start diving deep into how you can become a healthier, happier you in 2022.
Want to stay healthy and strong? Give our Simple 4-Week Immunity Booster Challenge a try!