I am a #goaldigger. I love setting goals, and I love that my job allows me to help others reach their goals too. If you are also a health minded person, it’s likely that you set goals for yourself. Whether your goals are related to endurance or strength training, weight loss, mindfulness or just simply living a healthy lifestyle, it’s very common to occasionally fall off track.
Here’s a few tips to help you realign with your goals:
#1 Just Do Something. Wow! That sounds too easy to be true, but it doesn’t matter where you start! Just. Do. Something.
Action breeds inspiration.
Just start doing something - anything - that is moving you towards your goal. That little bit of positive progress will spike your motivation and inspiration for more positive changes. Once you’ve built that little bit of forward momentum, then it’s easier to get down to more serious business.
#2 Don’t Beat Yourself Up. Even if you’ve completely derailed, it’s important to remember that falling short does not make you a failure, it makes you human.
Give yourself a little grace, and don’t let a setback mentally take you out of the game. Persistence, not perfection will get you to your goal.
persistence, not perfection
#3 Keep it Simple. When it comes to our health, we often have an all-or-nothing mentality; believing that the more drastic the change, the better. This is simply not true. The further you deviate from your current lifestyle, the less likely you are to create a long-term habit.
Instead of sudden major change, try implementing small, realistic and attainable changes that lead to your long-term goal. Over time those small changes will lead to a dramatic transformation!
Think of it like the financial principal of compounding interest -small changes accumulate and “compound” over time, eventually making a big impact to your health.
#4 Do not Crash Diet. So you ate to your hearts content this holiday (why yes, I did), so to get back on track you plan to eat at a super light breakfast, skip lunch and eat a plant based dinner every day this week, maybe a post-workout shake, but only half. You’ll save a ton of calories, right?
Do you really want to "save" calories to the detriment of your overall well-being?
Severe calorie restriction wreaks havoc on your hormones, leaving you feeling drained. Your hunger hormone—ghrelin—and satiety hormone—leptin—work best when nourished frequently. Strict diets are unhealthy, and studies show they don't work, they slow your metabolism, and you will gain the weight back.
Instead, eat regular small meals balanced with lean protein, healthy fat and colorful carbohydrates. It’s okay to feel a little hungry, especially if you’re coming off a major food bender. Give yourself a few days to adjust to a more moderate eating schedule and those hunger pang hormones will adjust as well.
#5 Refine your goals. Let’s think about goal setting. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. This is not just jargon you hear in business school, there is a lot of science behind goal setting.
It is possible that you’re having a tough time sticking to your goals because you’ve made them too hard or too complicated. Or maybe they’re too vague. Take some time to evaluate your goals, break them down into steps, and allow for fluidity.
Remember soon is not a time and some is not a number. Your goals need specific details and an associated action plan.
#6 Schedule your health into your life. Our health can't just be something that we squeeze in when we have time. Between work, family and all of life’s obligations, frankly there just isn't a lot of extra time to be had! Try adding your workouts, mindfulness or meal prep into your calendar as you’re planning your schedule for the week ahead. This is a simple way to stay committed and not let a million other things come first.
Scheduling is the hardest thing for me. My life is all over the place. If this is you too, and you’re feeling that squeeze of just not having enough hours in the day, I want you to revert to my tip number 1. Just do something. Can’t make it to yoga? Then give yourself 5 minutes of quiet breathing. “Accidentally” had a brownie with your lunch? Then chug a big class of water and try to eat a clean dinner. Then re-read tip #2.
#7 Optimize your environment for success. Imagine how hard it would be to quit smoking if your partner continued to smoke around you. Or trying to eat clean with a pantry full of snacks. That would require a lot of will power to stick to your goals.
Just like motivation, willpower is fleeting. Some days you’ve got it, other days you don’t.
Give yourself a fighting chance by making your environment conducive to your success. That means two things, you remove the bad (temptations) and add the good (motivation and reminders).
Removing the temptations might require some tough conversations and decisions, and maybe even some sacrifices by your family members.
Oh, you can’t get rid of the junk food because your kids need it, you say? Yes, seriously I’ve heard that statement. Trust me, your kids do not need junk food. I might get hate mail for asking this, but are you giving your kids junk food because it’s easier for you? This is your opportunity to change your health and theirs. Get the junk out of your environment.
On the other hand, there is the positive. If you kept your floss sitting by your toothbrush, you’d probably remember to floss more often. Likewise, if you keep your water bottle nearby, you will drink more water. Keep the gym schedule on the fridge and it will remind you to go. How about writing down your goals and sticking them to your bathroom mirror? Those shiny pretty apples sitting on the counter will look much more enticing than the nutty bar you have to go to the store to buy! Keep your tennis shoes in the car and you might just be motivated to stop and go for walk sometime.
NEVER GIVE UP!
Here's a few quick tips to find motivation today!
Do a 10 minute at home workout. Hello YouTube!
Eat a healthy breakfast. Your morning meal sets the stage for the rest of your day
Hydrate! Shoot for 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water each day
Track your food. It's seriously so insightful.
Phone a friend. There's nothing like an accountability buddy.
Take a walk. Fresh air can solve a lot of problems.
Ride your bike. Bikes can solve even more problems!
Take the last parking spot. A little extra time outdoors and a few extra steps to boot.
Take the stairs. Even if this is the only thing you do all day, you’ll feel stronger for it.
Crank up the tunes. I guarantee you can not sit still. Music moves and motivates.
Stand on one foot when you brush your teeth. Balance takes practice too!
Eat a vegetable. Just because they are good for you
Eat slowly. You’ll be less likely to overeat and more likely to enjoy your meal.
Try a new recipe
Say something nice to yourself. Hello beautiful!
Meditate. Take 2 minutes to sit quietly and focus only on your breath. It's that simple.