Chances are you've already thought about some goals you want to focus on this year. Maybe you want to finally start a meditation practice, make a better effort to keep in touch with your loved ones (and yes, we mean with more than social media comments!), or perhaps you want to hit your happy weight so that you feel like the healthiest version of yourself. Awesome—deciding WHAT you want is an important first step!
Anyone who's ever set a new goal for themselves knows that there's work ahead—adjusting habits, shifting mindsets, actively making different choices, most likely on the daily—and all of the above takes time and effort. Thankfully, there's one tool that you've got within reach (if not, right in your hand), and it's a powerful one: your phone. Read on for four ways that you can use your digital sidekick to help you stick to—and hit—every single goal.
1. Download goal-oriented apps that will help you succeed.
Apps are to wellness goals what warm leggings are to outdoor running: The former makes it so much easier to achieve the latter. Goal-tracking apps like Way of Life and Strides make it easy to input the healthy lifestyle habits or changes you want for yourself, stay motivated, and check your progress, but the beauty of apps is that you can get pretty specific. Want to cut down on food waste? Bulk and No Waste are two of our favorite apps that make sustainable living much more doable. Want to start using more natural products? There are tons of healthy eating apps that you scan the bar code of almost any household, skin care, or food product and tells you about any potentially harmful ingredients it contains.
But for an app that keeps you on track with all of your holistic health and wellness goals in one place, WW's app is the one to know. Recently, the science-backed, community-centered brand re-imagined the app to include new features to help users eat healthier, move more, develop a positive mindset, and ultimately live a healthier, happier life. The SmartPoints system in the app, for example, encourages healthier eating habits by assigning nutrition-based points to foods (aka no calorie counting). The app even has a bar code scanner that shows the food's exact SmartPoints value, plus has over 4,000 healthy recipes for members to try out.
But even if you come for the healthier eating habits, stay for the wellness benefits. WW's new partnerships with leading digital fitness company Aaptiv and mindfulness brand Headspace add even more cool new features—from on-demand audio workouts to tons of new meditations customized for users.
2. Share your wellness goals on social media.
You know those folks who are constantly posting photos of their #Whole30s or #Cook90s or whatever fitness challenges they're doing at the moment? Yeah, they're on to something.
Research has shown that publicly sharing your goals may help motivate you to actually achieve them. When you're held accountable, the studies explain, you're more likely to follow through with your goal simply because you may not want to look or feel lazy in front of others. Plus, getting that extra dose of encouragement from your friends and followers can often be the swift kick in the butt that you didn't even know you needed.
Up for reaping the benefits yourself? Post a photo where you publicly announce your wellness goals, and then explain why they matter to you. One scroll through that hashtag, and you'll be inspired by the community of thousands of people who are right there on this journey with you.
Have you picked up your FREE New Years Mantra Bracelet yet? Throw it on with a stack of your favorite bracelets, snap a photo, and tag Ethereal Summer to help encourage other members of the #ESbabetribe throughout the new year!
3. Change your phone background to a reminder of your "why."
Of course, you could hang an inspirational photo on your fridge or in your bathroom cabinet—but you know what you see way more often? Your phone. Take a step back and consider why you're working toward your goal in the first place. The experts say that one of the best ways to make sure you stick with your wellness goals over time is to remind yourself of your "why," aka the reason you want to reach your goal in the first place. To do this, they suggest creating a physical representation of your "why" so that seeing it acts as a trigger and helps keep you motivated.
Try simply changing your wallpaper to a photo that will trigger your reason why so that every single time you use your phone, you're actively recalling your wellness journey. Hopefully, that reminder will prompt you to follow through with your goals—and stick with them over time.
4. Scroll through your photos frequently—it's a great way to practice gratitude.
You already know that gratitude is an undeniable wellness darling. Practicing this intentional kind of thankfulness can help you achieve basically every wellness goal under the sun, from lower stress levels to higher happiness vibes to a more stable emotional well-being. That said, for gratitude newbies, taking the time to "practice" can seem daunting—do you really have to write in a gratitude journal? Do you really have to meditate to make it happen?
The answer, fortunately, is no. Practicing gratitude can be as easy as scrolling through the photos stored on your phone (yep, the ones you always mean to print out but haven't gotten around to it). Simply seeing all of the memories you've created—places you've been, people you've hung out with, laughs you've shared—is just the visual evidence your brain needs to remember how much you have to be grateful for. And that gratitude will, in turn, make it easier for you to stick with most of your other wellness goals, too (unless, of course, your ultimate goal is to practice more gratitude, in which case, you're welcome).
*Originally posted on mindbodygreen.com.