Setting goals for good health is a great strategy, but don’t just stop there. See your goals through to the finish line with these tips. Read on to say goodbye to broken promises and hello to consistency!
Identify your “why”
It has been said that when you know your “why” the “how” is easier. Be clear about your motivation to nail your goals. What will accomplishing them mean to you and why does that matter? What will be the benefit and how will your life change? Take some time to ask and answer questions that get to your underlying motivation. Motivation can take all sorts of forms. What matters most is that whatever your motivation is, it deeply matters to you.
Know what you’re doing
By now, most everyone has heard of SMART goals. Well the S in SMART stands for specific. It isn’t enough to say you want to get healthy, lose weight or exercise more. Go a few steps beyond the basics to say what you will do and by when. Maybe you want to lower your cholesterol a certain number of points before your next checkup. Maybe you want to walk 30-minutes, five mornings each week… whatever you decide make sure you are setting specific goals.
Get to the point
You wouldn’t get in your car with no destination in mind. So why set health goals with no benchmarks? Is it reasonable to expect to lose two pounds each week? That checks off two more of the SMART goals criteria – measurable and achievable. You can’t say you met your health goal if you haven’t started by defining what success will look like.
If you’re new to running, set a goal of completing a 5-k or fun run rather than a marathon. Setting goals that make sense for your schedule and fitness level will help you make progress. Making progress will encourage you to keep at it.
Eat the elephant one bite at a time
That’s not to say you can’t go for the marathon…eventually. The key to success is to start where you are and take steps toward where you want to go.
Ask for help
Join a fitness center, keep a fitness journal or set up a system of accountability with your friends. It is harder to cheat or slack off when you know someone is watching (or when you have to confront blank journal pages). Besides, a little friendly competition will help you to work harder. Competing against a buddy or your own personal best counts. You’re more likely to reach your goal if you always strive to do better.
You don’t have to wait until you get to the finish line to celebrate the journey. Every step you take toward your goal is a reason to feel proud. Go ahead and toot your own horn. Announce your progress on social media or tell your accountability crew. Kudos is encouraging, just don’t over celebrate with cake.
Let this be the time you nail it. You have it in you to get healthier. Why not start now?