How to Set Health Goals and Stick to Them


September 10, 2013

Setting health goals, and more importantly sticking to them, can be hard. Many people set lofty objectives for themselves and run out of steam before they can achieve them. 

There are several elements that go into achieving goals. The kind of goals you set for yourself, the timeline, and the method you use to reach them are really big contributors to your ultimate success.

Integrative Nutrition students get an in-depth look at how to set and achieve goals. The same guidelines apply for everything from health and wellness like weight loss to business building goals such as creating your own health coaching practice. This helps students set personal goals for their business growth or their health and allows them to help their clients set and stick to their health goals. 

Next time you want to set a health goal that you can actually achieve, follow these simple steps:

1.    Be specific
When you set a health goal, choosing something specific is going to make it much easier for you to reach the end results that you want. Instead of saying, “I want to start running,” say, “I want to train for a 10K.” Defining the goal will give you something much more concrete to work towards. Just think how great you’ll feel after you run a 10K race instead of running a few times and then giving up.
2.    Be reasonable
If you want to incorporate your goal into your schedule, choose one that fits seamlessly into your life. For example, if you are a mother of three with a full time job, it might not be a good idea to start training for a marathon if you don’t have the hours required for training. Instead, choosing a 10K will get you running and feeling great without the major commitment of time that you don’t have.
3.    Set action steps
Goals are much easier to reach when you have small victories a long the way. If you are following a 10K training plan, it’s easy to schedule in action steps by adding on mileage each week. If your goal is to start sleeping better, having action steps like disconnecting from technology an hour before bed or going to bed a few minutes earlier each night could help.
4.    Remember your goal
Set daily reminders for yourself to remember your goal. This will remind you why you are working so hard and encourage you to keep going until the goal is met. You could start each day by saying the goal out loud to yourself in the mirror, or set a daily reminder in your phone. Figure out the best way for you to reflect on your goal and do it daily.
5.    Celebrate!
Once you reach your goal, you should feel very proud! Take the time to acknowledge your hard work and give yourself the appreciation that you deserve. 

Do you have any tips for sticking to a health-related goal?

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