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Setting Realistic Health Goals

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Whether it’s quitting smoking, exercising more or making healthier meal choices, setting realistic and specific health goals is your first step.

Setting a very lofty or complicated health goal is overwhelming – making it much less likely that you’ll achieve it, or even stick with it at all. In addition, setting goals such as “I want to eat healthier” or “I want to eliminate stress from my life” are both goals that will benefit your health, but are far too general. Set realistic goals that are simple, concise and achievable.

Record It
Make a conscious decision to record your goal and put it in a place where you will see it regularly. Consider typing up your goal and placing it on the bathroom mirror, on the refrigerator or at your desk at work. This will remind you that you’re working toward something and give you a reminder of continued motivation.

Tell Others
Don’t keep your goal a secret. Announcing your goal to family, friends and co-workers will help keep you accountable. Consider setting up an appointment with your physician to let him or her know about your health goal. You are much more likely to keep working toward your goal if others know about it.

Plan of Action
Simply because you want to achieve a health goal doesn’t mean it will just happen. You have to start with making a plan of action. After deciding on what your goal will be, think about the logical steps needed to help you get there.

If your goal requires healthier eating habits, how are you going to incorporate this into your diet? Where are you going to get your health information? Do you need outside help from a nutritionist, health care provider or personal trainer? Be thorough in your plan of action as this is the framework for achieving your goal.

Measure Your Progress
Measuring your progress can help you know when you are making steps forward, and more importantly, when you’ve achieved your goal.

Don’t Be Afraid of Failure
Fear of failure is one of the main reasons most people don’t even make goals. But there are few people who accomplish something on their first attempt. It takes most smokers more than one attempt to quit before they are successful. More importantly, if you do fail, get back on track and try again!

Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.

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