Establishing wellness goals can be tough enough, but ensuring that those goals are realistic and achievable can become its own challenge. Whether you’re looking to shed some weight or pack on muscle, keeping your goals reasonable and realistic is key. Here are some tips on establishing wellness goals that you can attain with some hard work and determination…
Make them Specific
Rachel Fiske, a Nutrition Consultant from California, recently broke down some of the keys to Vitamin World. One of her first tips was to ensure that your wellness goals are specific.
“Clear and concise is key for success. Do you have a wedding to attend over the summer and you’d like to lose weight? Instead of stating your goal as “I will lose weight,” try stating “I will lose 4 pounds per month.” Map out exactly how you will lose those 4 pounds (workouts at 8am on Monday and Wednesdays), and make sure you are taking a holistic approach to weight loss. If you have trouble sleeping, for example, try a natural and gentle melatonin supplement. Sleep is essential for weight loss.”
Priscilla Rodriguez, a Yoga Instructor with The Endorphin Effect, agreed with keeping your goals specific.
“Start with a small goal and build up to your ultimate goal,” she said. “Maybe start by setting a small weekly achievable goal like not eating past 8 pm and then building off that goal for the following week.”
Keep Goals Attainable
“Setting attainable goals might just be the single most common mistake people make in their goal setting,” Fiske told the site. “Remember that what is attainable for someone else might not be for you, so not comparing yourself to others is first and foremost. For example, striving to lose five pounds per week is not attainable nor it is healthy. Do you suffer from a physical condition or symptom that require you to move a bit slower? Take that into account when setting your goals. Support your body by cooling chronic inflammation, and be kind to yourself.”
Founder of The Endorphin Effect Miwa Gardi had this to say about attainable wellness goals.
“Don’t look at your overall goal but break it up in smaller segments. Want to run a 5k, set a goal to run 1/2 mile and build up from there. Want to lose 20 pounds? Break it up in 4 5lb increments and set deadline dates.”
Look to Social Support
Having a social support system can make a difference when trying to reach health and wellness goals. Often, when we try to go it alone, we don’t put ourselves first. A support system creates both accountability and encouragement.
For example, if you’re tired from a long day you might be tempted to skip your evening workout. If you had a workout buddy though, you’d be accountable to that person and more likely to complete your workout with them. A support system can be just one person, like a spouse, close friend or wellness coach. Or you can join a fitness club or other support group with many members to help you stay on track.
Getting your goals in writing or someone that you will frequently see them is a great way to hold yourself accountable in your wellness journey. Here’s what Yoga Instructor Angela Salazar had to say.
“Take the first step by writing all your goals/intentions down on paper. Create an action plan and surround yourself with people who can hold you accountable as well as support you every step of the way.”
It’s all too easy to put your health and wellness on the back burner. Often, we feel too busy to exercise or too tired to cook a healthy meal. When you make yourself a priority, you make time for those things. There are other alternatives to consider if you are struggling to get started. Consider scheduling time with a personal trainer to hold you accountable with your exercise regimen. You’ll have the added bonus of working with an expert who can tailor the routine to your goals.
If you cannot find the time to cook every night, prepare some meals ahead of time and store them in your refrigerator or freezer. You will only need to reheat a prepared meal on evenings you get home late. You can also look for a meal delivery service in your local area so you have a backup option for extra busy weeks. Choose to put yourself first each day.
This can be hard for some people, especially women, who are used to putting others’ needs above their own. You can’t take care of others if you don’t put your own health and wellness first.
“Jack of All Trades” Jose Barrera had this advice when asked about setting realistic wellness goals:
“The first step to change,… is accepting your reality right now. Honoring your process. Compassionate self-awareness leads to change; harsh self-criticism only holds the pattern in place, creating a stubborn and defensive Basic Self. Be gentle with yourself as you would with a child. Be gentle but firm. Give yourself the space to grow. But remember that the timing is in god’s hands, not yours.” Give them the Dan Millman Quote”