Wellness Tip: How To Be A Goal-Getter
At Ascend, we’re not big fans of setting unrealistic or extreme New Year’s resolutions. However, the start of the year can be a good time to identify where you’d like to make some shifts in your wellness routine and use the positive momentum to get after it—after all, intention goes where energy flows. When setting goals to improve your well-being, how do you actually meet them and make them stick? This week, I’m sharing my tips to help you create realistic goals for long-term change. We often use these tactics when working with our health-coaching clients, so my hope is that they’ll benefit you as well!
5 Goal Setting Tips
1. Uncover your “why”?
First and foremost, it’s important to understand the purpose of your goal. Why do you want this? By getting to the root of what you’re truly after, you can better identify how to get there. For example, if you want to lose weight, what do you hope you’ll gain by shedding a few pounds? Perhaps you want more stamina to play with your kids, or more energy to take on a new hobby. If you’re looking to improve your fitness, what is the feeling you’re actually after? Do you want to feel stronger or be a good role model for your friends and family? When we better understand what we’re aiming for in a larger context, this driving force can be powerful—and certainly comes in handy on those days when you’re simply not feeling it. Keeping the big picture in mind, and tapping into the underlying feelings you’re after can help you stay the course, or get back on track more quickly when you encounter short-term obstacles (it happens).
2. Make sure your goals are realistic and attainable
Once you’ve identified the root of your passion, the next step is to make sure that your goals are realistic and attainable. This is where it’s easy to set yourself up for failure. You need to take an honest look at your lifestyle, and see how your goal fits within the parameters of your time, finances, and whatever else you’re juggling at the moment. For example, if you want to cook healthy dinners at home but work late or have other evening commitments, then it’s unrealistic to think you’ll stick to slaving over the stove at 9 pm. Meal-prepping on a weekend to have healthy meals ready 2-3 nights per week may be more fitting. Dialing down our goals into smaller (not less important), more achievable actions can lead to better consistency, and therefore, more success.
3. Find a support system
Let me tell you, it takes a village! Accomplishing real change is much easier when you have people to lean on. Think about what support would be helpful for you and from whom, then ask for it. It could be as simple as sharing your goals with those in your life so they understand and can offer up a supportive ear when needed. Or it can be more specific, like working with a health coach or finding a workout partner who will hold you accountable to show up during the cold winter months. Enrolling in the New Year Better You Challenge is a great example of how the energy of a community as whole can uplift and inspire each of us, individually. Find your tribe, keep them close, and crush your goals together.
4. Stay flexible
The journey to better wellness is fluid—our personal situations, interests, and environments can all change and our ability to adjust our health goals accordingly is key. Whether you find that your desire to achieve a certain goal has changed, or life throws you circumstances out of your control, the ability to re-set and re-focus is a practice that will serve you in all aspects of life. You might find that you plateau with a goal and need some new inspiration. Whatever the case, anticipating that your path may change, and staying flexible will take you further on your wellness journey.
5. Screw perfection
At Ascend, we encourage you to become a better version of yourself, not strive for perfection. Our instructors remind us of this frequently so we’re not afraid to try harder, even if we have to pull back. You’ve likely heard, “it doesn’t have to look pretty but try sprinting of the saddle” or have been nudged to pick up heavier weights even if it means completing fewer reps during an Underground strength class. Perfection is not only boring, but also unattainable, and we’re more apt to feel disappointed and possibly give up. Releasing the attachment to perfection gives us a breath of freedom to try new things, sometimes fail, and pick ourselves right back up to try again—without feelings of guilt or failure. A much more positive path if you ask me.
We want to know, what are your goals this year? Share with us by tagging @ascendcycle or #howiascend.