4 Ways To Set And Achieve Health Improvement Goals
One of the few universal truths of humanity is that we could all be healthier. This is true for everyone, from fitness models to sumo wrestlers. There’s no such thing as perfect health, but the pursuit of self-improvement is always a worthwhile undertaking.
Many people associate their overall health with their weight. Maintaining a healthy weight is certainly a key aspect of living a healthy life, but being overweight is usually a symptom, not a cause. Many people over-eat or under-exercise because they are short on time, stressed, depressed, or all the above. Creating a healthier you involves the mind as well as the body. Luckily, if you work on them both together in a consistent and effective manner, you should see and feel results in both. Here are some helpful ways to get started, and some tips to help you as you move down the road to self-improvement.
Start with an Honest Self-Evaluation
Surprisingly, many people jump headfirst into a diet or exercise routine without a plan. We’ll talk about planning shortly, but before you can set goals, you must understand what you’re trying to achieve. Enrolling in a circuit training class or starting to use a Thrive Patch may be what you need, but first you must understand why you need them.
The key to all of this is to conduct an honest evaluation on yourself to determine your current health and fitness level. You can start by having a physical or wellness exam with your family doctor; this is an excellent opportunity to ask questions about specific concerns. If you don’t have time for this, start by creating a “stat sheet” about yourself. Log your weight, your BMI, and how much water you drink daily. If you smoke or drink alcohol, note how much. From here, you can start setting goals.
Set Specific, Measurable, and Realistic Goals
The three most important components to a health goal are these: It must be specific, measurable, and realistic. Specificity is the easiest of these. Start by putting a number to the amount of weight you want to lose (or gain, if that’s your goal), the amount of drinks or cigarettes you want to scale back to, or the amount of sleep you want to get in the habit of getting nightly. Specificity and measurability should go together. If there is a number associated with the goal, it can be measured.
Now we get to the hard part: being realistic. This is a harsh truth, but the sooner you accept it, the sooner you will be on the road to improvement: change takes time. You can’t lose 50 pounds in a month, or train for a marathon in two weeks. If you are looking to break an unhealthy habit or start a healthy one, it will take three weeks to three months to make it stick. Don’t get discouraged; get started. Make a long-term goal, maybe six months out, and use small short- term goals to tide you over. If weight-loss is your aim, a pound per week may not seem like much, but it is realistic, and it will add up.
Track Progress Honestly
The whole point of setting measurable goals is to be able to track your progress. Of course, it only works if you do it honestly. For diet and nutrition, track your calories, water consumption and weight daily. You may see ups and downs, but you will at least know where you stand and how you need to adjust your efforts and goals if necessary. The more disciplined you become with this, the more consistently you will begin to see results going in the right direction.
Set Up a Reward System for Milestones
Finally, be kind to yourself and reward yourself when you achieve a goal. If you lose 25 pounds, it may be counterproductive to have a cheat day, but perhaps you can go shopping for some new clothes to fit your healthier body. You’ll have to decide what will motivate you and help you celebrate but it’s important to build this into the plan.
Lots of people want to be healthier. Lots of people talk about it. Taking an honest self-evaluation, setting goals and planning are tools that separate them from the ones who make it happen!
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