Living a healthy lifestyle and taking care of your health is a form of self-care. It’s essential to take care of yourself so that you feel good about yourself and live a life free from disease and sickness. Setting health and wellness goals is the first step in living a healthy lifestyle.
Why You Want To Be Healthy
There are many reasons why you should live a healthy lifestyle. I’m sure these aren’t anything new to you but as a quick reminder:
- You’ll have more energy and feel better overall.
- You’ll reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer.
- You’ll live longer.
- You’ll be able to maintain a healthy weight.
- You’ll sleep better.
- You’ll have better mental health.
- You’ll be able to do the things you enjoy more easily.
- You’ll set an excellent example for others.
If you’re not sure where to start, there are many resources available to help you. You can talk to your doctor, join a support group, or connect with friends and family with similar goals.
Making healthy changes can be challenging, but it’s worth it. The benefits of living a healthy lifestyle are numerous and long-lasting.
So what are you waiting for? Start living a healthier life today by setting some goals for yourself.
If you’re looking to make lifestyle changes whether it be finding time to exercise, drinking more water, getting more sleep, or eating better- it’s important to set goals for yourself. Setting goals for yourself gives you some direction and something to work towards.
Sometimes when we don’t have anything to work towards or any goals to accomplish, it can seem like we’re just in the motion of things. You can go back and forth between wanting to achieve something because it’s not a goal. It’s just a thought with good intentions. On certain days when you feel good, you may take action towards improving your health, and on other days when you don’t feel as good, you may just skip it.
Goals provide us with:
- A sense of direction
- Serves as motivation
- Clarity about what we’re trying to achieve
Make Your Goals SMART
SMART is an acronym that is commonly used when writing goals.
SMART goals are goals that are:
- Specific – They are clearly defined and have a measurable outcome.
- Measurable – They have a specific target that can be tracked and evaluated.
- Achievable – They are realistic and achievable within a specific timeframe.
- Relevant – They are aligned with your overall goals and objectives.
- Time-bound – They have a specific deadline for completion.
It is a way of helping people write down their goals so that it is specific and realistic.
You don’t want to just say, “Okay I want to be a healthier person,” or “I’m going to get fit this year.” It’s not specific enough and there’s no way to measure if you’re achieving your goals.
You need to be able to measure your goals and make sure that you’re achieving them.
If you say that you want to drink more water, you could drink one glass of water one day and two liters the next. It’s not specific enough. And you’re not consistent enough. There’s no way to tell if you’re hitting your goals.
A SMART goal should look something like, “I will run at the gym for 30 minutes a day, twice a week for four weeks.”
It is very specific and answers all of the questions.
- Who will exercise? You!
- What is the goal? Run for 30 minutes
- When will you exercise? Twice a week
- Where will you exercise? The gym
- How long will you exercise? 30 minutes
- Deadline? There is a deadline at the end of the four weeks to see if you’ve reached your goals. At the end of the four weeks, you can review your calendar and see if you’ve stayed committed to yourself and achieved your goals by going to the gym for 30 minutes a day, twice a week.
The goal is written so that it is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-oriented.
As you’re writing down your goals, you need to consider if this is something that you can realistically do. Don’t throw something out there that is way too wild for you to achieve. You would be setting yourself up for failure and disappointment later.
If you need help or a guide for writing your goals, I have a downloadable printable that you can use to write your goals down. It’s yours to use and keep and I hope that you will find it helpful in writing your health and wellness goals.
Write Down Your Goals
Writing down your goals has a very strong effect on your subconscious mind. When you physically write it down using traditional pen and paper, it changes the chemistry in your brain. Research has shown that people who write down their goals are 42% more likely to achieve them.
After writing your goals down on a piece of paper, stick it somewhere where you see it often. You can place your handwritten goals on your bathroom mirror so you’ll see them every morning and night when you brush your teeth.
You can stick your goals on the door so you can see them as you’re walking out.
You can stick it on the fridge or your coffee maker so that you’re reminded of your goals every time you’re in the kitchen.
Wherever you decide to place your goals, make sure that it’s in a highly visible place where you can’t miss it. You’ll be reminded of your goals every time that you look at it.
Take Baby Steps
When you’re making lifestyle changes to live a healthier life, you may want to do everything at once. But take it easy and start small at first.
Establish ONE area that you want to improve on, work on improving that, and once you’ve got it down, work on your next health and wellness goal. Take it one step at a time.
You don’t want to say, “I want to go to the gym six days a week, drink two gallons of water, and eat six small meals of chicken breast and broccoli every day.” Slow down there tiger.
That’s an overwhelming, dramatic change. You may have the energy and enthusiasm to do that for a few days or a few weeks. But you’ll burn out quickly and want to give up.
Instead, perhaps you want to start eating better. Establish a healthy, eating routine that works for your body and lifestyle. Once you’ve done that successfully for a few weeks and have gotten used to it, start incorporating an achievable exercise program.
You want to take things slowly. If you go too fast and too hard all at once, you’re more likely to burn out and want to throw in the towel sooner. Slow and steady wins the race.
It’s easier to break up your healthy goals into small, achievable steps. Instead of saying, I want to go to the gym six days a week. You may want to start by going two to three times a week for only a half hour. Don’t discredit 30 minutes of exercise! Exercising for even 30 minutes a day has many great benefits for your cardiovascular health and mental health.
Have an Accountability Partner
Tell someone about your goals and what you are looking to accomplish. It can be your partner, sister, parent, or friend.
Telling someone out loud what your goals are solidified what you’re trying to achieve. They can also check in with you from time to time and ask how your progress is going.
Having a friend or confidant in your corner can be a source of support, and encouragement, and helps to keep you accountable.
When I first started my blog, my husband would often ask me about it and how my writing was coming along. I would happily tell him about what progress I was making and it kept me accountable to keep writing and publishing blog posts knowing that even one person was interested in my work. LOL Granted it was my husband but I’ll take it.
Show Up Even On Tough Days
There are going to be days when you’re tired, exhausted, had a bad day at work, things are going crazy and you just want to throw in the towel.
You’re tired. I get it. You want to take a day off.
Even on those tough days, show up. Show up for yourself.
You are so important. You deserve a healthy life and a healthy body and mind.
Train your mind and your body to show up for yourself even on days when it would be easier to sit in front of the TV and veg out. You will never regret a workout and you will never feel bad about following through with your commitments.
I’ve learned from my own experience that when I follow through with my commitments on rough days, I feel better afterward. It gets me over this hump of feeling bad. And I break out of my weird funk.
Trust me. I’m telling you. When you don’t feel like doing something, go and do it. You’ll feel better afterward and it may get you out of whatever funk you’re in and get you back into your groove again.
“I regret that workout. “ -Said No One Ever
Celebrate Small Wins
If you worked out twice a week, every week for four weeks, you deserve some praise. Celebrate all of the small wins and achievements that you make.
If you’ve been able to have meatless meals once every week for a month, you deserve to give yourself some credit and praise. You can celebrate by taking yourself out, visiting an animal farm, or buying something nice for yourself.
Every milestone deserves recognition.
As a parent, I celebrate all of my kids’ milestones. I tell my husband about our kids’ achievements and share them with our family members. I want them to be recognized and celebrated for their milestones.
I feel as though we’ve lost that touch of excitement and wonder as we’ve gotten older. Why have we stopped celebrating ourselves and one another? Let’s celebrate the small wins and give yourself credit for pushing yourself to reach your goals.
Make it a Lifestyle Habit
Making healthy changes a lifestyle habit is a process that takes time and effort. It is important to be patient and consistent with your changes to see results.
You want to build sustainable habits that will last a lifetime. This is a journey, not a sprint.
It may be a challenge at first but it is possible. A you continue to make healthy lifestyle choices and work on improving your health and wellness, it will get easier. Slowly, it will become second nature to you and you’ll start reaching for water or going to the gym like a no-brainer.
With time and effort, you can make healthy choices that will improve your overall health and well-being.
You Deserve a Healthy and Happy Life
Remember that you’re doing this for you. You deserve it. You deserve to live your best life at your healthiest and fullest.
I want you to be healthy and happy. So go for it and do this for you. You are your best investment.