I don’t know about you, but I prefer setting smart health goals over making new year’s resolutions, which research shows are often ditched after the first three weeks. Here are my favorite goal-setting tips:
1. Be specific
Make your goals specific and achievable. E.g., “I want to lose weight” is not as specific and motivating as
“By December 31, I will have [lost 10% of my current weight and be able to fit into a size [X] dress] when I [attend the annual ball]” – just personalize your own goals.
Another idea: Set small to mid-term goals and celebrate small successes along the way – they will motivate you to keep going and build on your goals.
2. Which behaviors will help you get there?
Now, think about behaviors that will help implement the changes in small enough steps to achieve and build on. For example:
– “I will replace soda with lemon-flavored water three times a week”
– “I will walk 10 minutes three times a week”
– “I will get out into nature or head to the beach at least once a month”
– “I will cook at least one healthy meal a week”
– “I will eat one additional serving of veggies X days a week”
– “I will not eat any processed or packaged foods one day a week, and replace with fresh, delicious whole foods because I’m worth it”
– “I will allow myself to sleep at least 8 hours each weekend” (or at least stay in bed for that long)
If you’re already there – great! Just take what you’re already doing to the next level; e.g., if you’re cooking healthy meals from scratch, choose more organic fruits and vegetables. Your thyroid, liver and other detoxification organs will thank you!
3. Write it down
Lastly, be sure to write down your health goals- even on a sticky! Did you know that people who write down their (health) goals are much more likely to achieve them?
“A (health) goal is a dream set to paper. Don’t just think it – ink it!”
Also, I encourage you to do a little exercise. Take time and look back at 2014 in terms of your health and self-care. Are you happy with how you took care of you – body, mind, spirit? If there’s anything you’re not so happy about, get a friend or support buddy (one of the most effective tools!), hire a health coach like yours truly, organize some help at home so you can pursue the things to nourish and empower you on the road to greater health!