Start Reaching Your Goals Today!
We all have the best of intentions. Whether it’s surrounding health, education, careers, family or our social lives, creating smart goals and tracking them is the best way to turn your intentions into reality and make them happen. Setting goals can mean the difference between success and failure. People who make goals and track their results are more likely to reach their goals then those who don’t.
Create SMART goals
The key is to develop realistic, well thought out goals that keep you motivated and on track. Avoid goals that seem overwhelming and may discourage you. The way to do this is by meeting the following criteria:
· Specific: Include details! Saying you are going to start exercising isn’t specific, but a plan to walk every day for 30 minutes after work is. You’ve decided what exercise you are going to do, which days, for how long and the time of day. This will allow you to easily plan ahead for each day’s activities.
· Measureable: Being able to effectively measure your goal is how you will determine how well you are meeting it. Instead of saying you are going to eat better, say you are going to eat 1400 calories a day, including 2 ½ cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit. This can be easily tracked and measured.
· Attainable: This is very important! If you don’t have extra money, having a goal of buying a new road bike and riding 20 miles a day isn’t attainable. Instead use the bike you already have or choose something that won’t cost you extra, like running 5 miles a day, walking 30 minutes a day or swimming 20 laps in the community pool three times a week.
· Realistic: For most people who need to lose weight, a realistic initial goal is 5 to 10 percent of their current body weight; a weight loss goal of 20 pounds a month is not. Working with your health care team to develop a nutrition and lifestyle plan will help you reach your goals.
· Time-Based and Trackable: Make sure to include a timeline and a way to track your progress. If your goal is to consume 1400 calories daily, keep a food and beverage log each day. This will hold you accountable and keep you on track. If you want to run more, decide upon an amount and a time frame – run 100 miles each month. Divide it up and log your miles each day. Seeing the results and how far you’ve come, will motivate you to continue working hard.
Long-term vs. short-term goals
Long-term goals are good but can sometimes seem overwhelming. It’s important to break these goals up into short-term goals. Your long-term goal may be to run a marathon, but how are you going to do it? Start with training for a 5k, then work your way up. The same holds true for weight management. You may want to lose 10 percent of your body weight. If that’s 15 pounds, it seems manageable. If it’s 50 pounds, it seems overwhelming. Meet with your healthcare team to formulate a plan that will help you lose a certain amount each month.
It’s also important to anticipate setbacks and keep moving forward. Life is filled with unexpected events. Don’t get frustrated if you miss a day of running. Evaluate what happened, learn from it, and run tomorrow. This is a perfect time to reassess your goals and see if changes need to be made. If you consistently miss your walk after work, you may need to plan on walking before work. Finally, evaluate your progress. If you have mastered your goal of eliminating sugary drinks from your diet, make a new nutrition goal such as eating a healthy breakfast that includes fruit, vegetables and lean protein every day.
Stay focused and continue working towards the end goal!
For help reaching your health and wellness goals, visit https://enhancehealth.org or call 603.448.0055