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Setting goals for 2024: 5 ways to recommit to well-being in the new year

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

As we step into the new year, let's ignore the pressure of coming up with a bunch of new goals we don't really care about. Instead, in 2024, let's get back to the stuff we know are good for our well-being but might've slipped through the cracks in the chaos of the year.

This year has been one hell of a ride. Dealing with a second bout of cancer left me feeling like I had no control. And as I step into 2024, I'm still stuck in uncertainty. Turns out, I'm not cancer free, and I have no idea yet what a new round of treatment will entail. But, I've decided it's time to stop dwelling on what I can't control and start thinking about who I want to be.

I know I've spent too much time missing the old me—the one who felt unstoppable, the one who cancer took away. But that version of me is gone, and I can't keep looking back. Cancer changes everything. I have to accept that it changed me.

So, this coming year, I'm not making big promises or setting unreachable goals. Instead, I'm taking small steps and celebrating tiny victories. It's about making choices that feel right for who I am today.

I know my journey is all over the place, and that's okay. Healing is not linear. It's a long, winding, rocky road with a lot of detours. I am still coming to terms with being a two-time cancer survivor. I am still learning to adapt to my changed body—to make sense of the new symptoms, the new signs, the new ways it will betray me.

But I'm choosing to find joy in the little wins. I'm choosing to honor all my beautiful, imperfect moments. And I'm choosing to recommit to my well-being—to take an honest assessment of my daily practices and give some love to those areas I've neglected.

2024 is not just a new yearit's a chance to rediscover and reshape who we're becoming. Here are 5 ways we can make that happen:

1. Know your health story.

Do you have one kidney, deal with thyroid issues, or have a chronic illness? Are you coping with cancer or facing other health uncertainties? Take a holistic look at your health journey. Celebrate your wins, understand what might hold you back, and find areas where you want to improve. Knowing all this helps you set realistic goals for the year.

Actionable steps

Journal about your health experiences, noting successes and struggles. If you have one kidney or no thyroid (or, like me, both), reflect on how it has impacted your daily life and health decisions. Honor those moments when you've navigated challenges successfully. Then, use what you’ve learned to make a list of what you will need to achieve your goals. (Do you need your family’s support? Does your schedule need to change to get more sleep?)

2. Make your own health goals this new year.

It’s that time of year when fitfluencers far and wide saturate social media with nonsense resolutions that are in no way achievable and make you feel terrible. Ignore the noise. Instead, when you set fitness goals, think about your health needs first. Make clear goals that put your well-being first, like building muscle in a way that works with having one kidney or creating a cardio program that accounts for fluctuations in your energy levels. Chase sustainable progress with workouts that fit your health situation.

Actionable steps

Consult with a health professional to define specific health goals tailored to your circumstances. If managing thyroid issues, set objectives like maintaining consistent thyroid hormone levels. If concerned with kidney health, commit to learning more about the latest nutrition guidelines Consider hiring an experienced coach to design a customized exercise program that aligns with your unique health needs.

3. Take it slow and safe.

No matter what's going on with your health, focus on moving forward slowly and safely. Don't rush to build muscle or lose weight quickly. Instead, go for a steady approach. Make your workouts tougher little by little, so your body can get used to it without hurting your kidneys or causing unnecessary injury. Prioritize sustainability over quick results.

Actionable steps: Gradually increase workout intensity while monitoring your body's responses. Instead of aiming for rapid muscle gain, focus on steady progress. Increase weight and reps incrementally. For example, if you can’t go 10 pounds heavier in the last set of an exercise, then try 5 or even 2.5 pounds. If you can’t add 3 more reps to a set, then settle on one more rep or consider pumping out half reps. Small progress is still progress because at the end of the day, consistency wins out.

4. Drink enough water.

I know way too many people who do not drink enough water, and it breaks my water-loving heart. Water is vital to your health—it protects your kidneys, keeps your metabolism in check, and helps your muscles recover. Not enough, and you could suffer from kidney stones, constipation, headaches, poor mood, lack of focus, or urinary tract infections. Too much, and you could experience brain fog, cramps, headaches, nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness or spasms. Adjust how much water you drink based on what your body needs, but make sure you drink water throughout the day.

Actionable steps

Calculate your daily water intake based on your health conditions. Educate yourself on how water supports metabolism, contributes positively to kidney function, and aids muscle health. Then, work with a health professional to tailor your hydration habit to your needs. Also, evaluate your regular routine and find ways to make water more a part of your day-to-day. (Carry a water bottle everywhere, set a reminder for hourly water breaks, switch out soda for water at dinner time.)

5. Take care of your whole self.

Health isn’t just about your body—it’s about how you feel inside too. So, listen to your body. Pay attention to how it responds to exercise and nutrition. Your body knows what it needs. If you’re tired, take a break. Change up your workouts if you’re feeling how on energy. If you feel any discomfort or unusual symptoms, talking with your doctor right day. Knowing your body gives you valuable feedback so you can stay healthy and balanced.

Actionable steps

Check in with your body daily. Keep a log of symptoms and sensations—good and bad. Are you tense? Bloated? Strong? Flexible? Note the moments when these feelings occur so you can pinpoint—and address—the causes. Also, consider adding meditation, yoga, foam rolling, and other recovery practices to your routine to help you stay in tune with your body.

In 2024, let's focus on the basics that make us feel good. No need for complicated resolutions—just a celebration of your awesome, one-of-a-kind self.


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