Goal setting may sound like a simple activity, but when done the right way, it has the potential to enrich your life and push you to grow into a better person. Setting health goals, in particular, can help you become more disciplined in your lifestyle and aware of areas that you can improve on. The great thing about goal setting is that it isn’t just for the new year. You can decide to become an improved version of yourself now.
As the second half of the year begins, it’s a good time to evaluate how far along you are in your health and wellness journey. Whether you’re still trying to unlock the goals you set at the start of the year or plan to start new ones, these tips will help you be realistic, motivated, and more importantly, successful.
Evaluate and adjust your lifestyle
Make sure that your lifestyle has the ingredients you need to make your health goal possible. Before making a new list of health objectives, first take time to check your lifestyle in the last six months. Your day-to-day routines must align with the goals you want to achieve. Ask specific questions, and be honest enough to answer them. For example, if you want to lose weight and shape up before the year ends, look into your eating habits, exercise regimen, and even your sleeping habits. Are you eating a balanced diet? How many hours per week are you exercising? Or if you aren’t working out yet, how many hours can you dedicate per week?
Only you can truly answer how healthy your current lifestyle is, and only you can make the decision to make changes to it. By evaluating your way of life, you clearly map out the specific steps you can take to achieve your goals. It is also an important first step if you have any existing health conditions that you should address. For example, if you have any previous injuries or have trouble with mobility, you should consider using muscle-support accessories like KT tape before you begin exercising.
Have strategic reminders
Once you have identified the goals and the lifestyle changes you need to make, write them down in a journal or on Post-it notes. Put your notes in a visible place around your house or office. Some ideas include putting notes on the calendar or clock on your work desk so you can see your goals every day and remain motivated. You can also attach sticky notes to your refrigerator door so you’ll think twice about snacking on junk food.
Big, dramatic gestures like hiring a professional trainer or investing in an expensive and top-of-the-line treadmill do not guarantee that you will be successful in your fitness journey. It will all boil down to the hard work and commitment you put in on a daily basis, so make sure you have adequate reminders to help you keep your eye on the prize.
In addition to written reminders, you can also ask a friend to be your fitness buddy. Your fitness buddy can help you by going with you to the gym or simply checking in daily to ask about pertinent things like your diet, exercise, and any struggles you may have.
Track your progress
Make sure to keep track of your progress so you stay motivated and disciplined. There are gadgets like watches and mobile apps that can help calculate how much calories you’ve burned and how much physical activity you’ve had for the day. If you don’t feel like spending money on wearable tech, you can simply go the old-school route and track your progress by journaling.
Tabulate your progress and include details like what type of exercise you are doing, how many minutes per day you are working out, as well as your diet. Tracking your progress will help you stay committed by being constantly reminded how far you’ve made it on your health journey. Knowing your progress will also make you think twice whenever you are tempted to indulge in something unhealthy like snacking on junk food or staying up late.
Last but not least, this activity will help you evaluate what adjustments to make in case something is not working in your current health plan. For example, if you have been doing cardio exercises for several weeks and notice that your weight is not going down, you may need to modify your diet.
“Slow and steady wins the race” is a great saying to keep in mind when trying to be healthy. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you feel like your progress isn’t happening as fast as you want it. Being patient means not comparing yourself to others. Just because your friend was able to lose the holiday weight just by doing a detox for a month, it doesn’t mean your body will react the same way. Factors like lifestyle, metabolism, and age will come into play. It is more important to embrace your body and listen to what it needs than to push it to do something that might not be healthy for you.
Being patient also means cutting yourself some slack for those days when you aren’t performing at your 100 percent. For example, maybe you ate ice cream even though you’ve strictly sworn off sugary snacks for a month. Instead of beating yourself up over it, figure out what may have caused you to derail your diet, learn from it, and move on.
Thank you for reading.
*This is a collaborative post*