When you think of a new year, you immediately think about the goals or resolutions you hope to achieve. It might (or might not be) hard to believe, but only 9% of people actually achieve the resolutions they set each year! If one of your goals is to conceive, we want you to be successful — which is why we suggest breaking this huge “goal” down into smaller, more attainable goals. Each month, pick one item to focus on during your fertility journey so that you aren’t overwhelming yourself all at once with a ton of changes to your life. These can be done in any order, but we’re giving a general guideline to help set yourself up for success in 2019 —
January: Start The New Year Fresh
Instead of quitting every bad habit you have cold turkey, try focusing on one habit at a time. Whether it’s cutting back on caffeine, not smoking, eliminating alcohol, or something else, spend time this month really thinking about which habits you want to break or work on. If you have multiple habits you want to change, try making the habits each monthly goals so you can really focus on them one at a time.
February: Get Your Doctor’s Approval
It’s a good idea to have a pre-pregnancy health exam before trying to conceive to be sure your body is ready for pregnancy. This month, focus on making and attending (if possible) fertility appointments and getting routine check-ups and fertility tests done, if needed. By knowing where your body stands, you’ll be able to develop a goal plan with your doctor on the best ways to conceive.
If you’ve already been to a professional or are aware of your fertility, spend this month honing in on your fertility schedule. Work with your body’s natural flows and rhythms to give yourself the best chance of becoming pregnant.
March: Find Your Support System
Whether you’ve just started your TTC journey or you’ve been at it for a while, it’s always easier if you feel supported. RESOLVE has great resources on how and where to find any level of support you may need throughout your journey. Spend this month finding resources or support groups so you can know who to turn to if things get difficult.
April: Focus on Your Finances
We can all agree that one of the biggest stressors in life is money. Conception and pregnancy are both huge financial commitments, so it’s a good idea to get your finances in order as soon as possible.
April is already associated with money because of taxes, so you can make it a goal to kill two birds with one stone by speaking to your financial advisor or professional this month to make sure you and your bank account are ready to support your journey.
May: Focus on Food
A balanced diet is not only good for you but also your baby! In a study performed by a Harvard research team in the School of Public Health, women who switched to a fertility-focused diet experienced an 80% increase in their fertility. You may also want to if you’re trying to conceive.
Early summer and pre-bikini season is also a time when dieting goes full-swing. If you’re trying to conceive, make sure you’re focused on feeding your body what it needs instead of on an extreme body goal.
June: Focus on Fitness
With the weather warming up, you may feel more inclined to get active. There’s really no perfect amount of exercise needed, so we recommend setting a goal to spend time this month really figuring out what your body needs. Whether you already have a routine or not, check out our guide to exercise and fertility as your focus this month. As always, it’s best to get your doctor’s opinion before starting a new exercise routine, but this is especially important if you’re trying to conceive.
With half of the year gone, you may start to feel or put a lot of pressure on yourself if you haven’t conceived yet. Instead of getting discouraged, utilize the tools you’ve created these past few months to keep your momentum going. For instance, reach out to the support group you found, or talk to your doctor about any changes you’ve experienced these past few months. This is a great time to remind yourself of how far you’ve come in your journey and to switch out things you don't believe are working.
This might also be a good time to start thinking about your other options (if you haven’t already). By knowing what options you have in terms of fertility treatments, you can feel more at ease knowing you’re not alone.
August: Tighten Your Sleep Schedule
Constant exhaustion or fatigue can be a warning sign from your body that something isn’t right. Sleep and fertility go hand in hand— through our hormones, stress levels, and your body’s triggers. There’s some research on how keeping our circadian rhythm on track is related to our reproductive rhythm, so a great goal would be to take time this month to focus on catching those zzz’s.
September: Master Meditation
We already know meditating for even a few minutes each day can help lower stress—whether you’re trying to conceive or not—but some research has found meditation can be great at improving fertility. If you haven’t quite mastered the art of meditation, spend time this month to focus on it and incorporate meditation into your day.
October: Focus on Self-Love
The end of the year can be chaotic in terms of deadlines and holiday stressors. Take time this month to develop self-love habits you can use during your upcoming busy weeks.
If you’re feeling extremely discouraged, this can also be a good time to think about taking time off from trying to conceiving. By giving your body and mind a break from the pressures of fertility, you can spend the rest of the year focused on yourself, your health, and your happiness.
November: Revisit Relationships
Stress from work, family, friends, and life in general can really take a toll on you mentally, emotionally, and physically. Spend time this month identifying what is bringing stress or negativity into your life. Trying to conceive is emotional enough—you don’t need extra pressures from outsiders while you’re on your journey. It can be hard to deal with relationships, or even letting a friend go, but by taking the time this month to mend things, you can instead focus on starting your family.
December: Celebrate and Re-Group
Even if things haven’t gone the way you wanted, take time to celebrate your journey this far. Whether you’re celebrating a long-awaited pregnancy or not, you can find some joy in looking back on how far you’ve come. If you feel like giving up, remember why you started this journey in the first place. If you’re still trying to conceive or are making the decision as to if you will want to try again in the future, you can look back on the past year’s experience to help you later on.
At the end of the day, stressing about pregnancy will only make things harder. Since you know the overall goal for you is to conceive, make changes little by little this year to give yourself the best possible chance of success.
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