Posted by Kris Drake, RN, CHPD, on January 23, 2015
“The start is what stops most people.” – Don Shula
As we begin a new year, we often reflect on the things we didn’t accomplish last year and set a resolution or goal for the coming year. “The start is what stops most people” is true for many of us. We want to reach our goals and make positive changes in our lives, but often don’t know where to begin.
The first step in setting a health-related goal is to determine why you want to develop healthier lifestyle habits. Maybe the reason is that you have a strong family history of heart disease or stroke, or maybe you are a parent and want to be in the best possible health so you can care for your family. Once you have established the why, then you can follow the goal setting process to reach your objectives.
Goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Action-based, Realistic and Time-oriented. Try these tips to set SMART goals:
- Set three-month and weekly goals based on your wellness vision.
- Focus on one goal at a time.
- Create a plan that is flexible, fun and appropriate for you.
- Start a journal and include goals, desires, barriers, obstacles, excuses and solutions.
- Plan for obstacles and determine how you will overcome them.
- Reward yourself for reaching the small goals to help you stay motivated for the long-term results.
- Remember small steps become lifestyle changes. Take it one step at a time and don’t be afraid to get started.