Written by Audrey S. Geyer
We often think about setting goals at the beginning of each year, but I firmly believe you can set goals at any time of the year when you see a need in yourself. We're just starting May right now, and you still have 7 months until the end of the year to be able to easily measure your progress!
Many goals have a reputation for failing, but you don’t have to fall into the category of people who set unrealistic or unsustainable goals! By using a few mindset hacks and answering a few questions before you commit to your plans, your goals can be attainable, realistic, and help you feel your best.
Here are pillars that successful people use to reach their health goals:
Identify Your Goal & Motivation
The first step in setting health goals is identifying what your goal is, and most importantly, why your goal is important to you.
Here are a few examples:
- If your goal is to lose weight, it may be because you want to feel more confident and healthy.
- If your goal is to be more productive during the workday, it may be because you’ve been in a mental rut or experiencing a lot of stress or guilt.
- If your goal is to practice more self-care, it may be because people-pleasing or lack of boundaries have hurt you in the past.
Understanding why your goal is important not only helps motivate you, but it can also help you see what your goal with a healthy, uplifting perspective: maybe your real goal is your motivation or story behind it.
The woman who is working on nutrition or fitness for weight loss truly has a goal of feeling good in her skin and having better self-esteem.
The woman who is working on being more productive wants to feel satisfied by her work and able to enjoy her life.
The woman who wants to practice more self-care wants to feel that she is worthy and enough.
Your Strengths, Resources, & Capacity
Goal-setting grounds your dreams, hopes, and desires into reality. It puts ideas into action!
Before committing to specific actions to reach your goal, you should consider what strengths and resources you have, as well as the time and energy you have to invest in them. It is ultimately better to take consistent action towards your health goals than to go to extremes that make your results unsustainable.
Create a list of the strengths and resources you already have. This could be a skill set you have that can help you reach your goal, a healthy habit you’ve already developed, a friend or colleague who can help you, or any other tool you have available.
By creating a list of everything you have that makes reaching your goal possible, you’re not only preparing to take realistic action, but you’re able to train your brain to recognize that your goals are possible and that you have what it takes!
Once you know what resources and strengths you have, determine the time and energy you’re able to spend on your goal.
Here are a few examples:
- You already exercise 3 times a week. You decide you’re going to cancel subscriptions to services you don’t need in order to invest in a personal trainer so your 3 weekly workouts are more effective for your goals.
- You usually drink a glass of wine every night, but your energy has been lacking. You’re going to trade your nightly glass of wine for kombucha on weeknights for 3 months to see the difference this makes in your mental clarity.
- You have a friend who meditates a lot! You’ve never successfully maintained a meditation practice, but you’d like to start. You’re going to ask your friend how they built their meditation practice and to be an accountability buddy for you.
Instead of focusing on what you lack, leverage your existing skills, resources, and connections as much as possible. This helps you actually follow through with your goals consistently.
An important, often-overlooked aspect of goal setting is defining what progress means for you! If you can’t identify what making progress towards your goals will look or feel like, it will be very easy to let frustration or lack of clarity deter you from continuing your plan.
Progress can be both tangible, as well as intangible.
For example, tangible progress might be 3 workouts a week, seeing your clothes fitting better, meditating for 10 minutes per day for a week, or not drinking wine during the week for a month. Intangible progress may be feeling more confident and knowing what you’re doing in the gym, practicing gratitude for your body, not speaking negatively about yourself, feeling more focused at work, or waking up feeling more rested in the morning.
As we make progress or achieve new goals, our brains adapt to the level of happiness we experience and return to an emotional baseline. This means, unfortunately, they don’t always make us happy for very long. The best way to combat negativity and to enjoy the process of working on your goals is by creating a daily gratitude practice, engaging in positive self-talk, and reinforcing your success often.
One of the most important mindset hacks to creating successful goals is not waiting until the next holiday season to celebrate them! Check-in frequently to see if your actions are working and to re-evaluate what’s important to you through different seasons of life.
If January is beginning a new chapter for living a healthy lifestyle or achieving a goal, use these pillars to help you understand your motivation, strengths, and progress. If you want to know how Tempdrop can be part of your goals, check out this article. You’ll be surprised at how much you can actually achieve!
Audrey is a High Performance Women's Wellness Coach based in Memphis, TN, working virtually with clients both across the United States and internationally. Leaving nothing unintentional or uninspired, she is a go-to source for women's health, personal development, and lifestyle strategy for ambitious, health-conscious women. She has a fresh perspective on what it means to live a balanced life and coaches women on how to achieve their goals, while making PMS and burnout a thing of the past. Shop Tempdrop with a discount through Audrey’s unique link.