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How to Set Health Goals You can Accomplish

May 18, 2017

One of the top things people resolve to change at New Year’s is their health.  Some desire to lose a few pounds, some resolve to exercise more often.  Others wish to eat healthier or get more sleep.  And while I’m not a huge fan of a New Year’s resolution, per se, I do love the […]

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One of the top things people resolve to change at New Year’s is their health.  Some desire to lose a few pounds, some resolve to exercise more often.  Others wish to eat healthier or get more sleep.  And while I’m not a huge fan of a New Year’s resolution, per se, I do love the idea of setting small, attainable goals in order to achieve a larger one.  I think a big reason why people have trouble keeping their health-related New Year’s resolutions is that they are essentially stating what they wish was different about their life with no long term plan for how to accomplish that change.  
That’s where I come in.  It’s May, soon to be June, and there’s no time like the present (about halfway through the year) to re-assess your resolutions and establish some health goals that you will actually be feeling amazing about come December.  You can do this exercise the old-fashioned way OR you can use the fun printable worksheet I made for this exercise!  Let’s get started.
First, write the numbers 1-10 across the top of a sheet of paper.  1 is going to represent the unhealthiest you have ever been in your life. I’m not talking about a number on the scale, I’m talking about a time in your life where, by and large, you were not prioritizing your health at all.  10 is going to represent the healthiest version of ourselves…again, NOT a number on a scale, but rather a time in our lives yet to come that we will be making lots of very awesome decisions about how we treat our bodies with food, drink, exercise, rest, etc.  
Now put a circle around any number on the scale lower than 10 where you feel you are right now in terms of prioritizing your health.  You could be anywhere from a 1 to a 9…this will be different for everyone, but really take this opportunity to assess yourself honestly.  Once you have your number, write down below it what that looks like in your life right now.  For example:
7:   Doing short workouts 3-4 times per week, drinking more water, starting each day with a healthy smoothie.

Be as specific as you can.  You’re the only one who will see this, and you’ll be the one who benefits from this later.
Next, circle the number 10.  Below 10, write what being a 10 would look like in your life.  Essentially, you are writing what it would look like for you to be in exceptionally good health, making healthy decisions more often than not, but not all the time. Perfection is definitely NOT the goal.  Here is an example of a 10:
10:  Drink tons of water, drink green tea every day, eat the recommended servings of fruits and veggies every day, workout or be active somehow every day, 8 hours of sleep every night.

Now comes the part where you start setting your smaller, attainable goals.  Look at your numbers and circle the next number higher from the one you have circled for where you currently are.  If you started at a 7, you would circle 8.  Now what?  You guessed it…write what it would look like for you to be that number.  In other words, write what it would look like for you to be slightly healthier than you are right now.  Continuing on from the previous example, here is what I could write:
8:  Drink 1 full glass of water first thing in the am and one right after dinner, have one serving of fruit as a snack each day, add one serving of veggies to lunch each day.  

Notice I am writing things I want to add to my lifestyle, not things I want to take away.  Typically, when people write goals that center on denying themselves certain foods or subtracting things from their life, they struggle to stick with them.  Work on adding healthy habits instead, and notice what happens…over time, the unhealthy choices will decrease as the healthy ones increase.  And you won’t hate your life or shame yourself every time you have a treat or skip a day of exercise.  Your Self Care Bestie ain’t about that, savvy?   (Full disclosure:  I am eating a Butterfinger while writing this post…but I had a VERY healthy lunch, so, you know…balance.)
Continue circling the numbers, moving closer to 10 and describing what each would look like in your life.  When you finish with 9, you will have a whole list of small, attainable goals that will help you accomplish your larger goal of feeling healthy and fit.  You can set a timeline for your goals if you think that would be helpful, but otherwise there’s no need to.  Just keep coming back and assessing your progress regularly.  You will be able tell very easily what number you are at and what you need to do to get to the next number.
So what do you think?  Are you feeling a little better about setting some health goals and kicking their butts?  If goals had butts, that is…
Let us know what goals you’ll be slaying this year!  Go get ’em, Besties!

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