Achieving our health goals can feel like a downright battle against our bodies. Even with all the will in the world, a lack of progress soon becomes a huge source of demotivation. Yet, if we are to reach and surpass our health goals, we are going to need to suck up all the motivation we can get along the way!
More often than not, this happens because you have set yourself up for failure from the start. By setting incredibly ambitious goals and deadlines, it is going to be an uphill struggle the whole way.
Why Breaking Down Goals Actually Helps You Achieve More
Having big dreams is great, but it’s extremely difficult to ever reach them without setting milestones or goals along the way. The trick is to break things down into smaller, highly actionable and achievable steps.
One particular Havard publication discovered that goal setting increases motivation and achievement academically. But the power of goal setting can be redirected to almost any aspect of life including business, health or fitness. Behind almost any great achievement you’ve seen, it’s likely that goal setting helped them achieve it!
The Common Pitfalls of Overly Ambitious and Vague Goals
You may have set yourself a single, highly ambitious goal such as having a 6-pack before summer. But without smaller goals along the way, it’s likely you’ll lose your way or motivation before reaching it.
Similarly, setting vague goals such as “I want to lose weight” or “I will be more healthy” provides little guidance or accountability to help you achieve it. It doesn’t provoke action and it’s not at all clear how or when this can be achieved.
Instead, you need to set yourself a series of goals that will guide you towards your ultimate goal, providing support along the way. Make them specific and action invoking to maintain accountability.
Never Feel Stuck With Achieving Health Goals – Simple 5 Step Process
1. Harness Your Desire for Good Health
Any person’s actions are based on fears and desires. Most of us don’t desire, we do things out of fear, hence we leave things half done. Fear is a powerful motivator, but it will not help you achieve greatness.
You’ve got to ignite your desire to become healthy and allow this fiery driving force to keep you on track. With the right mindset in place, you will absolutely guarantee your success.
Visualizations Are Powerful: Try to imagine how good and amazing your life will be once you learn to achieve your health goals. Perhaps picturing a well shaped you with your spouse on a beach somewhere sunny? Imagine how good you will feel!
2. Create SMART Goals
To set yourself up for success, your going to set smart goals that will fuel your motivation along the way. They should incorporate healthy eating and exercise habits. Remember to break things down into smaller steps – no more zero to hero!
Mention specifics and make them highly actionable. For example, these may include:
- Increase water intake to at least 4 liters per day
- Quit eating junk food for snacks – only fruit, vegetables and nuts
- Cook meals at home and stick to healthy meal plans
- Begin to taper down portion sizes
Don’t try to take on the world at once. Work step-by-step and ultimately you will train your body and mind to work that way. See here for further advice for setting healthy action plans.
3. Small Lifestyle Changes Go a Long Way
Transitioning into a healthier lifestyle will support and reinforce your progress towards your goals. Again, there’s no need to go from zero to health freak the first day itself. Slowly adopt small changes and you’ll reap great rewards. These may include:
- Always using stairs instead of elevators
- Walking or cycling in place of driving to work or to the shops
- Allowing yourself only a single cheat meal per week
4. Set Schedules and Stick to Them
Keep short and easy schedules in the beginning. This will encourage you and your body without getting overwhelmed. Remember to keep them realistic and things will continue to run smoothly. See here for further guidance on setting schedules and goals.
Focus on Practice Instead Goals: Your main focus should be on the practice and not the goal. Yes, we need to achieve the goal, but performing the daily habits are going to get you there!
5. List All Obstacles Along the Way
It’s an unavoidable fact that you’re going to encounter obstacles along the way. It’s how you choose to deal with them that affects your progress. The most successful people are those who have complete information. So start by listing down obstacles you encounter throughout your journey, for further examination. Instead of avoiding these issues, consider the difficulty level and try to come up with a solution.
If your obstacle is not having enough time to go to the gym, you could consider getting up a little earlier and going there before work or you can perform bodyweight exercises at home. If your friends frequently come over and order unhealthy pizza, you could limit this event to once per week and practice ordering a smaller meal.
Use an “If-Then” Strategy: As I mentioned earlier, it is easy to plan, but how to act in the moment is what leads to success. The best bet is to stick with an “if-then” strategy to mitigate setbacks. For example: “If I’m going out of dinner with friends in the evening, I’ll have a light salad for lunch”. We all need to let loose once in awhile, but remember to take control of the situation first.
If we do not exercise or diet correctly, you’re ultimately going to struggle and stall. Once you have programmed a desire of thought into your mind, the subconscious mind will do the rest. Trust that it will find the power needed to achieve your goals no matter what.