Updated December 08, 2023. Medically reviewed by Morgan Spicer, Medical Communications Manager. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
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The beginning of a new year means taking the time to reflect on the year that’s gone by and beginning to plan for the year ahead. This can include developing healthy lifestyle changes, giving up bad habits, and improving your overall well-being. We're here to help you make a plan for the year with a checklist you can use to get ahead of your health goals and succeed in making them happen! Here are 6 things you can do to help set yourself up for a healthy new year (and believe it or not, check off your to-do list before the end of this week).
Instead of 'new year, new me' think of the upcoming year as the next step in your journey to reaching your health and wellness goals. Not a reset, but a recharge. It’s time to celebrate the progress you’ve already made, both the big and the small wins, and build on it. Some of the most common health resolutions are focused on improving fitness, losing weight, eating healthier, supporting mental health, and reducing stress. [1-2]
Research shows that setting weekly and monthly goals using SMART (specific, measurable, assignable, relevant, and time-based) goal setting is one of the best ways to see behavior change.  Research also shows that tracking your progress in a health journal, goal tracker, or app may improve motivation.  You’ll also want to make sure you’re discussing long-term goals with your healthcare provider, who can provide additional insight, support, and resources.
Losing weight is a common health goal for many Americans. [1-2] Not only can losing weight make you feel better, but people with obesity who lose even 5% of their body weight can experience improvements in metabolic function, improved glucose levels, decreased cholesterol, and other benefits.  According to the CDC, the best way to lose weight is to do so gradually by setting realistic goals and committing to regular physical activity, stress management, and healthy eating patterns.  Learn more about how to start a weight loss journey
Health goals don’t always have to be physical. Mental health and stress management are extremely important parts of a healthy lifestyle and are often prioritized less than weight loss or physical activity.  Supporting your mental health and finding healthy ways to manage stress may include the following :
Another common health goal is to improve fitness or increase physical activity. [1-2] There are many different options for increasing your physical activity, including various sports, workout classes, walking, running, biking, and much more.  You can even start by making small changes to your daily routine, such as walking to work or school instead of driving, getting off the bus a few stops early to walk, joining an exercise group, etc. 
Remember to always check in with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your usual routine.
One of the best ways you can prioritize your health in the upcoming year is to regularly monitor important health metrics. Why settle for once-a-year (or fewer) lab tests when you can regularly get insight into your health at a reduced cost? Whether you aren’t sure what aspect of your health you want to prioritize, or if you want more knowledge about your overall wellness, you can stay up to date with Everlywell at-home lab tests. We’re making it easier than ever to regularly monitor your health with the Everlywell+ monthly testing membership. With this membership, you have the option to re-test your priority metrics every month or switch between a variety of lab tests to get a sense of your overall health. Save money on tests, enjoy exclusive discounts on additional tests, and recieve physician-reviewed results regularly! Monitoring your health metrics regularly can give you an idea of what areas you can focus your efforts on. Be it heart health, thyroid health, vitamin levels, etc. If any of your tests elicit additional questions or concerns, you can speak with a healthcare provider through a telehealth appointment. During these virtual care visits, a provider can work with you to create an actionable, personalized care plan that may include prescriptions, lifestyle changes, and additional testing recommendations.
Your health record is an important and confidential way for you and your healthcare provider to track your health history. This includes all of your past and present medical conditions, family history, illnesses, treatments, vaccinations, prescriptions, and more. If you’ve visited multiple healthcare providers or taken a new lab test (like one of our at-home lab tests) since your last visit with your primary care provider, you’ll want to update your health records to ensure your information is up to date. In addition to health-related updates, you should also inform your provider if any of your personal information has changed, including your name, address, phone number, etc.
With our new app, keeping track of your results has never been easier. The iOS app makes it possible to access all test results in one place to track your wellness. Learn more about the Everlywell app, like how to register your test, set reminders, track your results, and more.
Whether you chose to stick with the same plan as last year or you are new to the insurance world, take some time at the beginning of the year to familiarize yourself with your benefits package at the beginning of the year. This means combing through the provided coverage information, understanding how to optimize your benefits, and reaching out to your benefits provider if you have questions.
All health insurances are different, so it's important to determine what services or portion of services (routine check-ups, medical appointments, mental health resources, prescriptions, and medical equipment) your plan covers.  Some packages may even include fitness memberships and digital wellness resources like apps or online programs. If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or a Health Savings Account (HSA), you can use your funds for a variety of health and wellness products and services, including Everlywell at-home lab tests.
It’s not always easy to understand insurance terms, even if your insurance provider tries to break down your plan for you. Here’s a list of some common insurance terms you may need to know when navigating your health care :
Vitamins and minerals are essential substances that the body uses to function normally.  Low levels of certain nutrients can lead to negative health effects and symptoms, including fatigue, muscle aches, anemia, headache, mood changes, weakness, temperature sensitivities, and others.  While research shows that a balanced diet is likely to provide all the necessary nutrients a healthy person needs, studies show that some groups may benefit from taking additional vitamin or mineral supplements.  Remember that you should always consult a healthcare provider before making any changes to your diet or supplement routine.
So, are you hoping to make 2024 the year you finally commit to taking vitamins and supplements? Sticking to a routine has gotten a lot easier thanks to the Everlywell Daily Multivitamin — a meticulously formulated gummy made with high-quality ingredients for a whole you, every day. The formula includes vitamin A, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, biotin, folate, iodine, and zinc to support a healthy immune system and overall wellness and nutrition.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, one of the best ways to stay on top of your health is to prioritize preventive care, yet millions of people in the United States fail to get recommended preventive care services.  Preventive care and annual checkups are a great way to find problems early, ask your healthcare provider questions, prevent infections, and much more. Preventive care services can include screenings related to any preexisting conditions or illnesses, dental and vision checkups, and other age- or sex-specific screenings, like mammograms and pap tests.  Another great way to ensure you and your provider is having an up-to-date conversation about your health is to bring your Everlywell test results with you! Our lab tests were created with you, the user, in mind. Your test results can help you gain insight into different aspects of your health and wellness and you should collaborate with your healthcare provider to understand how you can take action on your results. Here are a few vaccinations, exams, and screenings you may want to consider scheduling or discussing with your provider this year :
Fun, but not-so-fun fact: According to Forbes and the U.S. Travel Association, more than half of Americans don’t use their paid time off, and over 760 million vacation days have gone unused. [13-14] Forbes has also reported that over half of employees utilizing PTO will still actually work when they’re supposed to be off the clock.  You deserve to break away from work, whether that means traveling somewhere new or planning a staycation at home. Your mental health plays a big role in your overall well-being, so take the time you need to recharge throughout the year.  Whether that is by taking a half-day every once in a while, taking an extended weekend trip to visit family, or going on a week-long vacation. Mark your calendar with days you know you’ll want or need off, and set reminders throughout the year to take your PTO. You deserve it!
Originally published December 30, 2020.
Morgan Spicer, PhD, Medical Communications Manager is a scientific and medical communications expert. She attended graduate school at MUSC, focusing on the mechanisms behind human health and disease. She now works with Everly Health overseeing Medical Communications, where her passions for scientific and clinical literacy across all communities align with her skillset in biomedical sciences.