One day you woke up, looked at the piled-up candy wrappers on your bedside table and the running shoes that haven’t seen the light of day since you bought them and decided today was the day. Today was the day you decided to turn your life around and start living a healthy lifestyle. Have you abandoned your goal yet? If there are so many barriers to healthy living, how can we possibly meet our goals? It turns out that we’re not doomed to failure, we’re just going about the pursuance of our goals all wrong. Here’s how you can set a goal you can stick to no matter what time of year you set it.
Set Realistic Goals
Let’s be honest — you’re not going to have the power and stamina of an Olympic athlete six months from now if you’ve never worked out a day in your life. When you’re setting your goals, make sure they’re actually attainable to avoid succumbing to the same fate you’ve met with all your other goals — giving up due to lack of results and discouragement.
Be specific about what you want to accomplish. Rather than setting a vague objective of getting in shape, aim to do a pull-up, complete a 5K, or reach a certain body fat percentage.
Be clear about how you plan to achieve your goals. If you want to get in shape, what days and times will you commit to working out? If your goal is to save more money, how much cash will you set aside each month? You might consider using home gym equipment to both save on gym fees and keep yourself motivated to work out.
Hold Yourself Accountable
If your goal exists only in your head, you have no one to hold you accountable when your willpower starts to slip, making it easier to talk yourself out of sticking with it. Share your goals with trusted friends and you’ll not only be less likely to call it quits, but you’ll have a support system when you start to struggle. Write down your goals and post them in a place where you will see them on a daily basis. Not only is this an easy reminder, but studies have shown that those who write down their goals are 1.2-1.4 times more likely to achieve them.
Too shy to share your goals with people you know? Use a habit-building app to keep yourself on track. Apps like HabitBull chart your progress, give you friendly reminders, and offer a supportive community of people working toward self-betterment.
Track Your Progress
A big reason we all tend to fail to meet our goals is that we fail to set a target date or deadline to work toward. When you are first starting out, it’s easy to feel like there’s plenty of time left to start working on your health goals. But before you know it, months have passed and you’re still not where you want to be. To avoid procrastinating, break down your long-term goal into a series of short-term goals. That way, you can track your progress and reward yourself for little successes you encounter along the way.
All work and no play can equal major burnout. If your goal is to lose weight, schedule cheat days into your journey. If you’re a shopaholic trying to save money, allow yourself a small splurge once you’ve socked away a certain amount. For example, if you love to listen to music while you’re working out, spend a little money on a good pair of earphones that provide excellent sound quality and are sweat resistant.
However, some goals don’t lend themselves well to cheat days. If you’re trying to quit smoking, find a way to treat yourself that doesn’t put your progress at risk. Instead of a cheat day, calculate all the money you’ve saved by not indulging in your vice and use it to go on a fun trip or buy something you’ve been lusting after.
Don’t Give Up
Everyone hits roadblocks and plateaus on their path to progress, but don’t let setbacks get you down. If you slip up, forgive yourself and get back on track instead of using it as an excuse to give up. Reaching goals takes persistence and patience, and it’s inevitable that you’ll make mistakes along the way.
And if you’ve already ditched your goal? It’s never too late to make a new goal and start again. The only thing stopping you from a fresh start is yourself.
Image via Pixabay
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Always remember one of my mantras., “The more you know about how your body works, the better you can take care of yourself.”
For more details about the natural approach I use with my patients, consider reading the book I wrote entitled: Reclaim Your Life; Your Guide To Revealing Your Body’s Life-Changing Secrets For Renewed Health. It is available in my office or at Amazon and many other book outlets. If you found value in this article, please use the social sharing icons at the top of this post and please share with those you know who are still suffering with neurobehavioral issues or other chronic health challenges, despite receiving medical management. Help me reach more people so they may regain their zest for living! Thank you!