Goal setting for a healthy lifestyle is the foundation for success in weight loss, health and longevity. Once you have made the decision to live a healthier lifestyle it becomes important to filter out the old habits and remember to stick to your routine in order to make it a new second nature. It doesn’t matter if you are just starting an exercise routine, or building on a plan you have already started but it is important to keep these goals in mind.
Goal setting is a powerful tool for all aspects of life. However, it is not something that acts alone, but instead is a partner for your overall wellness, and success. Goal setting requires the following steps in addition to taking the first step of making a decision to achieve your goal:
- Discuss your plan, to use goal setting to better your health, with your health practitioner.
- Gain the support of those around you.
- If you can, find others that have used goal setting for health and learn from their experience and motivation.
- Set your goal. Define the outcome you desire as specifically as possible.
- Document your goal.
- Identify any secondary gain you have from not being totally healthy (something you will gain aside from weight loss). Determine whether or not you are prepared to give up this secondary gain.
- Understand how your life will change when you reach your goal.
- Understand how your life will change as you strive towards your goal.
- Visualize the perfectly healthy you.
- Determine the action you need to take to achieve your goal.
- Develop a program for undertaking and monitoring this action.
- Constantly remind yourself of the goal.
- Constantly remind yourself of the benefits of achieving the goal.
- Focus on the positives.
As you set out towards your new goal, we have a few more tips to help you get there. Go here for a free Goal-Setting Worksheet to get started!
Keep a Journal – Keeping a journal of your exercise and eating habits is a good way to stay focused, and a great way to plan ahead. Choose something that includes motivational quotes for a long-term option or something specifically designed to chart goals. Use your journal to write down how many minutes of exercise you do, and to jot down realistic goals for every day, week or month. Be sure to establish a baseline and using this At Home Fitness Test. By keeping track of your goals, and progress you will be able to improve upon what you did in the past, and what you do in the future. For example, if you did 25 sit-ups when you started, plan increase these my 5 every week.
Be Honest With Yourself – Oftentimes, starting a new routine or adapting a current regimen means that you will start to wonder if you are working hard enough. Am I doing enough exercise? Am I trying hard enough?
These are common questions and when it comes to fitness just remember the following tips:
- Be sure to increase your heart rate during exercise.
- When you exercise watch your breathing to be sure that it is deeper than usual, but not rapid.
- Your body temperature should be higher than when you are resting, and sweating is a good thing but you should not be dripping with sweat. If you are dripping, slow it down.
- You should feel comfortable during exercise and be able to speak normally. If you are completely out of breath to the point where you cannot say a full sentence, you need to slow it down.
Take Care of Yourself – Nobody knows your body better than yourself. If you are starving yourself, overworking your body during workouts or not putting forth the effort to achieve your goals (and then adapting them to make them more attainable) you will be the only one who knows. Cheating yourself out of a meal to loose weight is not a healthy choice and neither is gorging on cheat foods only to overwork yourself the next day in the gym. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle means that you have to balance all of the elements properly including eating, working out and staying positive and disciplined. This is the single most important aspect to living a healthy life, and you must always put your health and wellness above the number on the scale.