Abbey Droessler, Southwest Health
We know that goal setting is important, but we often don’t realize how important they are as we continue to move through life. Goal setting does not have to be boring. There are many benefits and advantages to having a set of goals. Setting goals helps trigger new behaviors, helps guide your focus, and helps you sustain that momentum in life.
Goals help align your focus and promote a sense of accomplishment. In the end, you can’t manage what you don’t measure, and you can’t improve upon something you don’t properly manage. Setting goals can help you do all of that and more. In this article, we will review the importance and value of goal setting as well as the many benefits. We will also examine how goal setting can lead to more success and performance. Setting goals motivates us and can improve our mental health and our level of personal and professional success.
Let’s take a common goal, weight loss.
The majority of the US population reports they would like to lose at least a bit (5 lbs) of weight. If this is a common goal you have year after year, it can be frustrating not to make any progress. What’s a common barrier? Waiting for the perfect opportunity to start.
Having a SMART goal, something that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound, is a great jumping-off point.
If you have a plan to reach your goals, like walking daily for 30 minutes and reducing your diet by 300 calories a day, that’s a great start. However, if you wait to start until Monday, the start of a new month, of the 1st of the year, you are missing out on opportunities to reach your goal, only putting you further behind.
So what can you do if you constantly wait for the right moment? Don’t let perfect get in the way of good.
Here’s an example: You eat a healthy breakfast, meal prep a nutritious lunch that you finally remember to bring to work, and drink enough water. When you walk into the breakroom to eat your lunch, you notice one of your coworkers brought in cupcakes to celebrate their birthday. You grab a cupcake to enjoy with your lunch.
Don’t beat yourself up for that cupcake.
Continue with your day as planned, eating your nutritious dinner and going for a 30-minute walk with your family at night. That cupcake will not ruin your plan, but abandoning your plan altogether will.
Deciding to lose weight, change your lifestyle, and become healthier is a big step. Start by committing yourself to your own goal. Many people find it helpful to sign a written contract committing to the process. This contract may include your goal, why you want to accomplish that goal, the steps you will take, and the desired completion date.
Whatever it is that works for you, the key is to find a routine and activities that you enjoy and can continue in your everyday life. These small changes will help you take control of your health today and beyond.
By forming a new routine that includes activities like exercising, journaling, practicing portion control, or whatever you choose, you can live a longer, healthier life. That means more time with your family, friends, hobbies, and passions. You can now have more time where you feel good and are able to do the things you enjoy.
Developing a new routine takes time and patience. It means trying every day, even when you don’t want to, and it means surrounding yourself with people who support you. Most importantly, remember that it’s never too late to start living a healthier life.