Goal setting is an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle. Most people embark on fulfilling their wellness goals with a vision of how they would like to look and feel. For some, this vision remains abstract and disconnected from their everyday choices. Defining what you want and why you want it is part of learning how to set goals. This understanding can mean the difference between positive changes and remaining unchanged.
Ideally, you are already treating yourself with love and kindness. If you aren’t, it’s time to start. Goals should not be punishing or restrictive, but rather inspiring and liberating. Adopt an encouraging tone as you challenge yourself to try new things and make positive changes. This is not about perfection; it’s about small changes that over time will move you closer to the life of wellness you’ve envisioned.
Now that you have a vision for yourself, it’s time to make specific goals — the more specific the better. Eating better and exercising more is too general. Examine each of those and declare more specifically what you would like to do. Write it down to solidify your thoughts: I will eat vegetables with two meals every day starting Wednesday, and I will join a yoga class this week.
Most goals have steps within them. If you want to eat vegetables with two meals every day, you will also need to shop for them, prepare them, and plan your menu. Under your goal, you now have actionable steps. Be realistic about where you are now and the likelihood of being able to follow through on the goal. You don’t want your goals to be so ambitious that you can’t achieve them. They need to be just challenging enough to keep you motivated and inspired. Listen to yourself and take an honest assessment of your lifestyle before setting goals.
Now you have created a specific goal that is actionable, measureable, and exists within a timeline. Every day you can work through the steps under the goal, check in with yourself and note what you were and were not able to accomplish and adjust accordingly.
To further advance your goals, it’s wise to enlist a health coach or a supportive partner in the process. Accountability goes a long way and sometimes the sheer act of saying your goals out loud makes them all the more real. Think of your health coach or trusted partner as an ally who will support and encourage you every step of the way. When you face challenges or become discouraged, it is important that someone who values your vision for wellness, can remind you of your original vision and make sure you’re aligning your daily practices accordingly. Just as you are to be a loving encourager to yourself, so should your accountability partner.
Change is hard and there will be times you will be discouraged that you weren’t able to follow through on a goal. Accept where you are, what has happened, and try again. Every day is a new chance to meet your goal.
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Stay Ever Well,
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