Setting Healthy Goals

Mind

The New Year gives you an opportunity for a fresh start. If you’re ready to start setting your well-being goals today, we’ve got some tips to help you make and keep those resolutions.

Step 1: Make a list of your healthy goals, here are some examples:

  • Get more sleep
  • Learn something new
  • Pay off debts            
  • Manage stress
  • Quit smoking            
  • Volunteer
  • Get organized            
  • Get a better job

Step 2: Transform your resolutions into goals you can actually achieve

  • Be specific. Instead of saying, “I will lose weight,” give yourself a specific target and timeframe, such as “I will lose 4 pounds per month for 12 months.” The more focused and measurable your goal, the easier it will be to achieve.
  • Be realistic. Don’t expect to quit smoking, learn Japanese and run your first marathon all in one year. Instead, set attainable goals and take smaller steps along the way. Once you start making a little progress, you’ll be motivated to do even more.
  • Have an action plan. Let’s say you’re trying to reduce stress. You can’t just tell yourself to relax and assume it will happen. You need a game plan. Decide what steps you’re going to take, such as: sign up for yoga classes, play soothing music at work, meditate once a day and/or learn breathing techniques.
  • Make it public. A great way to hold yourself accountable is to share your goal with others. Consider posting it on Facebook or Twitter, or make an announcement at a holiday gathering. Studies show you’re more likely to achieve your goals if you tell others what you’re doing.

Step 3: Track the goals you’ve set

  • Repeat your goal. State your goal out loud every morning to remind yourself of what you’re working toward. By hearing yourself say the words, you’re training your brain to manifest your desires.
  • Track your progress. Find a way to measure your progress using a calendar, goal-tracking app or chart you’ve made yourself.
  • Reward small achievements. Working toward a goal is easier if you create small incentives along the away. Treats like a piece of chocolate, massage or event tickets will keep you motivated.
  • Remove temptation. If your goal involves healthy eating, you probably won’t want to keep your house full of junk food. Use common sense and remove obvious stumbling blocks.
  • Stay positive. Don’t be discouraged if you slip up. Everyone has setbacks; it is a normal part of the process. Just get back on track and keep going! Up to 7 percent of successful goal-setters say their first slip actually strengthened their resolve.

People who explicitly set goals are 10 times more likely to achieve them than those who don’t. Ready for a New Year? Let’s GO make it a healthy one!