How to achieve your health goals
Updated: May 8
A heart-centred approach
Setting goals can bring direction to your life and 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.
Goals connected to your health can be particularly challenging however, 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. The biggest factor in achieving a successful outcome is having a clear understanding of what drives you.
Taking a heart-centred 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.
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.
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.
Keep goals SMART
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.
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.
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.
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, DIY facemask or a walk along the beach.
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. Practice self-compassion when you have a set-back or when life gets in the way, then pick up where you left off. Watch yourself grow as you work towards your big vision and enjoy each step of the journey.