The new year brings the opportunity for setting new goals that will help foster a healthy lifestyle throughout the year. But do you know how to set goals that allow you to be challenged, yet successful? This blog aims to dive into how to set goals and how to incorporate new habits into your life to reach your goals.
Goals need to be purposeful in order to be successful. Imagine making a goal that you didn’t care about or that didn’t mean a lot to you. You would probably never reach this goal because it doesn’t mean enough to you. To do this, think about what is meaningful for you and what would be the most rewarding to achieve. Then you want to make each goal SMART, that is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and trackable.
Eating healthier sounds like a good idea, but this is not specific enough to be successful. Aim for specific ways of eating healthier such as eliminating soda, eating 5 servings of vegetables a day, or limiting sugar intake to 30 grams of added sugar a day.
Make your goal one you can measure. Walking more is not a measurable goal, so instead try walking 30 minutes 3 times a week.
This is important because if a goal is not achievable or too achievable then it won’t be meaningful, or you won’t ever reach it. Avoid aiming too high or too low, make sure that it is challenging, but also achievable. For example, if you haven’t run in 30 years, it wouldn’t be attainable to make a goal of running a marathon in a few months. Start by making a goal of running 3 miles a week instead.
Losing 10 pounds of weight a week sounds like a great idea, but that is not realistic or healthy. By making this a goal, it will leave you feeling discouraged because you won’t be able to meet it. Choosing a goal that you can meet will help reinforce your efforts to keep you moving forward. Try choosing a goal such as losing 1 pound per week.
Trackable and Timely
Choosing specific, measurable goals means that you can track your goal progression. Writing your goals in a journal and then writing your effort and progress towards each goal allows you to track how far you have come. This will give you the motivation to keep going.