Anyone who has ever tried to set wellness goals knows that it can be tricky to create ones that actually work. After all, we all have different needs and wants when it comes to our health, so how can one size fit all?
Maybe the reason we fail with our goals is because they aren’t properly set to begin with. After all, “a goal properly set is halfway reached”, according to motivational speaker Zig Ziglar. Luckily, there are a few tips you can use to set up your own wellness goals that work for you. Keep reading to learn more.
The definition of wellness is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, but how does that relate to each of us personally? To some, physical fitness is more important than social well-being. To others, their mental health takes precedence.
Write down each category and fill out what each one looks like to you. For example, physical fitness may mean climbing a set of stairs without having to stop to take a breath. Or maybe you have always had the dream to run a 10k.
Socially you may believe that your wellness means being able to say no to events that you find overwhelming. Conversely, you may want to step out of your comfort zone and meet more people.
Mentally you would like to work on your anxiety levels or find a better way to deal with work stress. Whatever you define as wellness is what will help you to better achieve your goals because they are personal to you.
Now that you know what you would like for your wellness you can work on setting realistic goals. Eatsmartproducts.com goes beyond the wellness definition above and has you answer questions about yourself based on other wellness categories.
Then it gives you suggestions of how to start. For your physical wellness, for example, see a physician and talk to them about any health concerns you may have. Or perhaps you’d like to better understand your health through an epigenetics test such as we describe in this post.
Rather than just signing up at a gym and exercising blindly, get a fitness evaluation first and have a professional show you how to use the machines. And as nutrition relates directly to our physical fitness, talking to a dietician can help you discuss your needs and gain some guidance.
More than ever now, mental health has seen a drastic increase in individuals needing help. According to Mental Health America, approximately 19% of the population, or roughly 47 million Americans, experienced some form of mental illness in 2021.
And while there are many ways to manage mental health, the first step is recognizing the need for help. Seeing a therapist to guide your mental wellness can also help set up your personal mental health goals and create a path to a better, healthier you.
After you have done the initial setup of your goals it’s time to make a plan of action to achieve these goals. This often involves deciding on specific steps to follow. Partnermd.com suggests setting up S.M.A.R.T goals.
But what does that look like? It looks as follows.
A plan of action should have specific steps including why this is important to you. It could start simply as you want to lose 50 pounds to be healthier for your children and then continue with specific steps. For example:
And build from there.
Further to this, partnermd.com suggests having a backup plan for when things don’t go according to your plan. For example, if your wellness goal focuses on weight loss and you intend to do this through running, do you have a backup plan for the days when you can’t?
Maybe you are exhausted from work or maybe there is a snowstorm preventing you from getting out. The point is to have a backup plan to keep you moving forward. An indoor treadmill for times of inclement weather or a gentle restorative yoga class you can take when exhaustion hits.
This step is critical for success. How do you plan to track your progress? Do you intend to use a calendar or journal? Do you want to use an app? Find what works best for you. If fitness is your focus, a step tracker or a scale can help you track your progress.
For mental health, why not invest in a wellness journal where you can work on gratitude, habits, and how your self-care practices are coming along. Divide it up into manageable chunks. For example, maybe you track for one month or maybe you break it up into four three-month chunks.
See where you are at the start and compare it to where you are at the end of your timeframe. Celebrate any accomplishments you have made, even if they seem small. Maybe you didn’t lose weight but because you took your measurements when you began and you can see inches lost.
According to the American Psychological Association, tracking your progress increases your chance of success. Specifically, they state, “If you are trying to achieve a goal, the more often that you monitor your progress, the greater the likelihood that you will succeed”.
Further to this, your success increases when you go beyond monitoring your progress, such as when you physically record it or share your progress and goals with others. But while the above can help greatly when wanting to achieve your goals, what can possibly make the biggest difference between make or break are the last two tips.
Setbacks happen. And we can often feel discouraged when things get in the way of us achieving our goals. Even if you have a backup plan, as suggested above, to help you with your goals, life can still happen.
It’s important to not give up and keep moving forward. When exercise isn’t an option but you still want to lose weight, what will you do? Will you give up? Or will you be inspired to keep trying by the following men’s health success stories or women’s health success stories?
Go over why your wellness goals were important to you in the first place and find a way to recommit to them. A renowned fitness expert, Jillian Michaeles, asks that her clients think of a setback as the following:
“Think of it this way: If you got a flat tire, what would you do? Change the tire? Or get out of the car and slash the other three tires? No! Get back on the road. Don't dwell on it; don't beat yourself up. That gets you nowhere.”
Nibbletonourish.com offers some great tips on how to recommit yourself to your goals. The first is as we mentioned above, remember your why. Next, focus on your morning routine and how it sets up the rest of your day.
Are you having to compensate for a poor morning routine, such as skipping breakfast, or does it help set you up for positive outcomes because you had some avocado on whole-wheat toast? Make sure to start your day off right.
Next, find a way to reignite your momentum. Tweak it to adjust to your current lifestyle. Maybe your wellness goal to spend time meditating isn’t working anymore because you are trying to do it at the wrong time of day.
What would happen if you change the time or alter your meditation to mindful moments instead? Mindful moments are where you draw your attention to the present moment you are in, whatever the task. Where you learn to acknowledge and accept your feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.
Lastly, nibblenourish.com suggests that when you just aren’t motivated to remove the motivation. This means that you do something even when you aren’t motivated to do so. It now becomes a non-negotiable.
Because being motivated to look after our health is a luxury we can’t afford to wait for. We need to make our wellness needs as established a habit as brushing our teeth is. We do it because we must. And if all else fails, we must remember the last tip.
You didn’t put on 20 pounds all in the matter of a week nor did you develop the inability to not sleep at night due to one confrontation with your boss. These are cumulative habits or circumstances that have contributed to your poor overall wellness.
If your weight steadily increased over the past five years then you can expect that time is what it will take to remove it. The same can be said relating to aiding anxiety you feel, you may need to spend months journaling or talking to a therapist.
Some ways to help you handle the impatience that can often come with not getting instant results are as follows. First, look at how far you have come and recognize it. This is similar to celebrating all victories, including the small ones.
Second, find something that will give you immediate results that is within the realm of your goals. Maybe you have always wanted to create a meditation place for your mental health. Find a way to work on that when you feel yourself struggling. Buying a plant for your space, for example.
Lastly, recognize when you simply need a break. Remember that while it is important to keep your goals in mind, a break can help you reaffirm your commitment, such as skipping the gym one night to catch a movie with a friend.
Setting up wellness goals that work is much like setting up any other kind of goal - you need to know what your end game looks like and how long it will take. Investing in a good planner, journal or app can help you map out the steps, break them into smaller tasks, and track your progress as you go along.
Once you've mapped this all out for yourself, don't forget to include some time for rest. You'll be more likely to succeed if you're giving your brain a chance to recover from working hard so often. Remember not to give up and that patience is necessary for success.
If one plan doesn't work well enough for you, try again with different strategies until something clicks. The key thing about success is that there's no one size fits all. And if you hate doing this alone, reach out to a friend or loved one to join you on your wellness journey. Or, perhaps you’d like to take advantage of our following offer below.
At My Toolbox Genomics, we’re currently offering a free consultation with our very own Dr. Erika Gray to help you jump-start your effort. In addition, and at this writing, we’re currently offering 20% off a second kit. The idea is that it’s easier to make positive changes when you bring along an accountability partner. Together, we can make this the best year ever!
My Toolbox Genomics empowers individuals in their healthcare journey by creating reports focused on genetic predispositions derived from published research. Test results and suggestions are intended to lead to consultation with one’s healthcare practitioner. MyTBG reports do not diagnose disease or medical conditions. Any lifestyle changes should result from consultation with qualified healthcare practitioners.