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  • Emma Nuttall

7 steps to achieving your health goals

Why goals are good for you

Setting goals can bring direction to your life. Striving to achieve those goals can increase your productivity. Not to mention the boost in confidence and new opportunities that arise as you master each step of the journey.

Why goals fail

Goals connected to your health can be particularly challenging as they often require you to exercise your body and your willpower. These goals require a level of planning as well as strategies to support and motivate you along the way. New daily habits need to be built and you must remain committed and consistent. This can be difficult in today's modern world, where we are constantly bombarded by external distractions.

Values-driven meaning when it comes to goal setting?

The biggest factor in achieving a successful outcome is having a clear understanding of what drives you. A values-driven approach involves setting goals that are aligned to your purpose.

It is much more powerful to set and achieve a goal that means something to you.

How to set value-driven goals

Heart-centred goals that are driven by your values, lead to inspired action. Take the time to reflect on your values and determine your priorities in life. Consider such areas as family, self, career and health.

If family and health are two of your core values, losing weight in order to be more active with your children and to live a long, healthy life, may inspire you more than simply fitting into your skinny jeans.

It’s easier to get up when the alarm goes off in the middle of winter, if the goal really matters to you.

The following 7 steps will help you to see real change;

1. What are progress goals and why are they important?

An epic, life-changing goal may initially feel overwhelming, which in turn, can decrease motivation. Start by setting a small goal that will take you one step forward. Once you have achieved it you will build the confidence to challenge yourself even more.

Set a series of progress goals that each take you another step forward on the journey towards your big-picture vision.

2. Why goals need to be realistic

In order to be successful, goals need detail and timelines and above all, they need to be realistic. If you were to apply the S.M.A.R.T. framework (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and timebound) to the goal of meal planning for the week ahead, it may look something like this:

Schedule 2 hours in diary every Sunday afternoon to shop and prep for the week ahead. Pin recipes and make shopping list prior to going to supermarket.

3. Schedule daily tasks & actions

A goal remains a goal if you don’t take action. Goals need action plans and daily success habits in order to be successful. Consider 2-3 tasks or activities you need to complete daily in order to achieve your goal. Schedule these activities into your diary or planner to ensure consistency.

You might find this planner helpful. I'm still a paper diary girl and love this planner as it supports you in setting short and long-term goals and writing daily intentions.

Affiliate link disclosure: If you purchase via this link, I may earn a small commission. Please know that I only include resources I personally recommend and truly feel will deliver value to you.

4. Review regularly

Revisit your goal & action tasks regularly (every week if possible) and identify if you need to make any changes. Is it realistic? Are you achieving it? Do you need more structure in place?

Are there any barriers or procrastination triggers you can identify and how can you remove them or prevent them from holding you back? If, and when, procrastination does rear it's ugly head, revisit your values again to reinforce your intrinsic drivers.

5. Celebrate each step along the way

Boost motivation by rewarding yourself once you have successfully achieved each goal, whether big or small. When attempting health goals, consider non-food related rewards such as a new audiobook, a facial or a walk along the beach.

6. Give yourself permission to fail

Trying something new involves trial and error and there will be bumps along the way. Some days will feel like a complete disaster and there will be many times when you want to throw in the towel.

In order to move forward with your goals, you need to expect there will be set backs and get comfortable with discomfort.

There is a fantastic TEDx talk by Adam Kreek called ‘I seek failure’, that illustrates this point beautifully. Kreek, a Canadian Olympic rower, attempted the first-ever row from mainland Africa to North America with three other rowers, that didn’t go to plan. However, during his Olympic days, he had learnt from a fellow athlete that the space between your comfort zone and failure is where the magic happens.

By giving yourself permission to fail, you can reframe mistakes and failures as the learning experience they are.

You start to naturally push your comfort zones, attempt difficult tasks and put less pressure on yourself if you subsequently fall short.

Practice self-compassion when you have a set-back or when life gets in the way, then pick up where you left off.

7. Enjoy the process

No goal is worth compromising your health for, so being realistic also means not pushing yourself too hard. A healthy, happy life requires balance. Growth should never equal burnout.

It is important to enjoy the process as you work towards your goals. Appreciate your life where you are right now, rather than waiting for future happiness to suddenly strike once your goal is complete. Watch yourself grow as you work towards your big vision and enjoy each step of the journey.

Are you ready to master your mindset, stop procrastinating and step into your potential? Then check out my online behaviour change course 'You Don't Need More Willpower'.

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