How to Stick to Your Health Goals
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We’re a little over halfway into January, a time when the goals we set for ourselves just a few weeks ago may have fallen by the wayside. Health goals can be especially tricky, as they typically involve a complete revamp of your routine. Whether you want to lose fat, gain muscle or improve your overall eating, fitness, or wellness habits, it’s important to stay on task! No need to give up if things aren’t going 100% as planned, though. These tips can help you turn things around and get back to being that goal-crushing machine. :)
Set Reasonable Goals (and re-evaluate as needed)
If you set out to lose 15 pounds this month, you’re probably going to end up disappointed. The same thingmight happen if you decide to start a raw vegan lifestyle, as a meat lover and pizza addict. Goals that are too much of a shock to the system can be difficult to maintain, which can lead to frustration, and eventually giving up.
While some people thrive on setting lofty goals to achieve, others can buckle under the pressure and ultimately crumble. It’s important to know which type of person you are while setting goals, to be sure that you’re setting yourself up for success. Think hard about whether the goal you’ve set for yourself is actually attainable, and if you’re a few weeks in and not seeing much success (or feeling very good), now might be a good time to re-evaluate what you initially came up with.
The best strategy I’ve found for keeping myself acountable is writing things down. Bullet Journaling is super popular right now for tracking to-do lists, goals, achievements and pretty much anything else you can imagine, but you can pretty much write down your progress in any way possible. Having a written (or digital) map of how you’re doing with a specific goal can be incredibly satisfying. Sometimes, just a simple visualization can add fuel to the fire. I set myself a goal of doing a 30 day yoga challenge, and have been putting a little pink dot in the corner of each calendar day to mark that I’ve done that day’s practice. As silly as it sounds, the thought of breaking that streak and not having the calendar filled in completely has been motivation enough to keep going.
Ticks on a calendar, entries in a tracking app or journal, and plotted points on a graph are all great ways to visually assess how you’re doing in order to stay motivated.
Be Positive & Don’t Stress
I say this a lot to clients – it’s not worth stressing over the little things. Did you go over your carbs today or eat a ton of ice cream? It’s not the end of the world! Stressing about these little perceived slip-ups only leads to more guilt and negative feelings, which could set you back even further. Instead, use the slip as motivation to double down on your goals, and as a learning experience. Even if the lesson is as simple as, “I’m not currently able to limit myself to one spoonful of ice cream,” at least it’s something you’ve learned! Turning these negative thoughts around into something positive can really add some motivational fuel to the fire!
The one caveat here is that letting go of too many things basically rolls you all the way back. You don’t have to beat yourself up over a few days of overindulging, or being lazy, or whatever it is you’re trying to avoid, but you may want to re-evaluate your strategy if it’s happening frequently.
Get Back on The Horse
If you do end up coming up short on your goal, or skipping things you promised yourself you’d do, there’s no need to abandon hope. It sounds silly, but there’s no reason you can’t start fresh the next day. If you feel like you’ve gotten really off-track, just take a deep breath, think about what you learned, and start with a fresh set of goals in mind (perhaps altered based on your experience the first go around). :)