Day 5: Setting goals for a healthier you

posted in: Wellness | 0

Yesterday we talked about making healthier decisions each day. Now you are going to learn to set goals for yourself. You want to be healthier – but why? Making goals will help you through the tough times.Plus, let’s get read. It’s Friday. While we don’t have a study at our fingertips to prove this, health goals are more like to get tossed aside during the weekend. That’s why today’s topic is critical!

Do you remember when we mentioned that this challenge is different than the others you’ve tried before? One major difference that we are going to have you make goals for yourself instead of telling you what they should be. Everybody’s different and achieving better health looks different for everyone.

For this particular day you are going to think about what it is that you want and why.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Journal, piece of paper or your mobile phone – you’ll record your goals.
  • Some thoughts about what you’re trying to accomplish and why

Not sure how to make goals that matter? Below are the directions of how to get to the heart of what you desire and stick to it.

How To Make HARD Goals

Don’t let the word HARD scare you away from creating your goals. Anyway you look at it changing behavior is going to be hard, but everything worth doing is going to require you to work for it.

But HARD goals aren’t actually a description. It’s an acronym for a way to make goals. What does HARD stand for? Heartfelt, Animated, Required and Difficult.

Being heartfelt about your goal will help you in the long run. Essentially you need to dig deep inside. You’ll know when you’ve reached those wants because they are harder to put into words and most likely scare you a little.

Not sure if you’ve found yours? These goals are ones that promise to make your life so much better that you absolutely have to make them reality.

Make a list of everything you want. Doesn’t matter how big or small they are – write them down. These goals will have an emotional attachment to them.

Once you’ve written down your goals ask yourself why you care about them. Keep in mind that generic answers or answers made out of obligation (“Because I have to.”) are NOT going to propel you to actually complete them.

However answers with gravity that make you truly feel something will keep you committed. “I’m setting this goal because my doctor said if I don’t work on my high cholesterol then I have to go on medicine to control it. This is scary with all the side effects these pills have.”

You’ve got to want these goals more than anything else. Yes, they are scary – but being animated will help motivate you to accomplish your goals. Nothing will get in your way.

health goals, goals, fitness goals, get healthy
Photo: Melissa Byers

When we talk about animation, we mean they’re goals you can see vividly in your mind. In order to do this step you could create a visual board or another form of visualization. Being able to see your goals is essential. What you can see, you can get to.

Write down what your ideal day would be like. What will you eat, where are you at, who will you be spending it with, how is your health, what activities are you enjoying and participating in. Spend time on this exercise.

When you write them down you’ll identify yourself now with the new you. Keep this somewhere that you can read it often. It will remind you of what you want.

Next, you need to decide this goal is required. Not maybe you’ll do it, but is absolutely necessary for you and your family.

You need to take ownership of your goal. Thankfully by doing the step above you are half-way there. Unfortunately, you still need to get past the four words that can kill any healthy lifestyle change – I’ll do it tomorrow.

Do it today!

That is why you started this challenge. You’ll be working hard on changing small habits daily. But you’ll need to write your goals down in order for your healthy lifestyle to stay with you long after the challenge is over.

Last, create a difficult goal. Not so difficult that you will be discouraged from even trying to accomplish it, but you also don’t want one that is so easy you’ll be able to do it without much effort. In between these two options is your sweet spot.

Working through this process of deciding what your goals will be will take some time, so get a glass of water and really think about what you want and how to get there. Just make sure you WRITE THEM DOWN! Writing them down firms them up and will help you make lasting changes.

Don’t forget you are building onto other small habits, so you’ll also need to get your daily dose of activity, drink plenty of water and make healthier choices today.

Spoiler alert for tomorrow: Have you thought about what you want your healthy lifestyle to look like? Tomorrow you’ll learn to create an action plan that will get you to your vision.