The beginning of January brings excitement for our health, determination to feel our best and turn over a new leaf, and willingness to make change. I LOVE all of these things, and celebrate welcoming them into our lives next week. However, the New Year also brings an onslaught of fad diets, unrealistic expectations, negative self-talk, and a general sense that perfection is the goal we should be striving for. I don’t love any of those things, of course. So, in today’s post, I will share 3 steps to achieve your health goals. These are the first 3 steps of The Lyons’ Share’s 7-step goal setting process, which I’ve used for years with clients, and to help myself achieve health goals, business goals, personal goals, and more. I share the remaining 4 steps (and more details about these 3) in my Goal Setting webinar!
#1. Dream Big … then, narrow your focus.
I encourage clients to think about goals in 7 areas of life (including health & fitness, finances, and more!). This helps avoid the temptation of only setting weight loss goals, or forgetting about the things that are truly most important to you. Sure, it’s tempting to join everyone else in the world by thinking you want to lose 10 pounds in 2018, but what is really going to keep you motivated all year? By taking a holistic view of your life, then identifying which components deserve most focus this year, we ensure that you’ll spend your time and efforts effectively next year. I believe that most people can focus on 3 main goals per year, but if you’ve been doing this a long time, you may be able to focus on up to 10 (assuming you follow steps #2 – #7!).
#2. Set DREAM goals.
We’ve all heard of SMART goals, and I really like the concept, but the “Attainable” and “Realistic” targets seem quite similar to me, and I think it’s missing some emotion. So, I created the concept of DREAM goals:
- Dated (this is like “time-bound” from SMART goals)
- Realistic (from SMART goals)
- Energizing (does it really light you up? Will it keep you motivated all year, even when the going gets rough?)
- Action-oriented (is it something that you can control with your actions?)
- Measureable (from SMART goals)
#3. Write them down!
Studies show that the simple act of writing goals down increases completion rate by 33%. I believe that we can increase that rate even further if we write our goals down AND see them regularly (ideally even daily!) throughout the year. Seeing your written goals daily not only keeps you focused on the actions required, but also helps you tap into your desire and drive to achieve them on a regular basis.
The last 4 steps…
To find out the last 4 steps to achieve your health goals, tune into my webinar. We’ll walk through every step, and you’ll have hands-on practice (with included worksheets) at setting YOUR personal goals.
For more on my goal setting theory, see this 2013 post on 7 Lyons’ Share approved New Year’s Resolutions, or this 2014 one with 7 Resolutions for your Mental Health!
Now it’s your turn … What are your best goal setting tips? Any guesses on the remaining 4 steps to achieve your health goals?
I support the idea of writing down your goals. Writing does so many things to an individual, what more the task of writing down the goals they want to achieve! Plus, writing (based on my own experience) lets you think thoroughly, thus, it will make you think of the things you want to accomplish more seriously! I also love your concept of DREAM goals! I think it is more exciting than SMART goals. Will be writing down mine ASAP!
Excellent, Joyce! So glad this was helpful! Good luck writing down (and following!) your goals!
I love your idea of DREAM goals. An energizing goal is a must to keep up and to be consistent. If it has to be exercise or diet, investment, or fitness regimen – do it with passion or do things your passionate about. Narrowing to focus and listing them down works for me, it’s a great reminder and it gets things done most of the time. Would love to read more of your posts. They’re very helpful. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for reading, Ashley, and I’m glad it was helpful!
I do love the idea of adding a sense of passion to the SMART Goal system – I also tend to find that Attainable and Relevant/Realistic work best in team-based goal systems. Sure you can separate them out in life goals – attainable is the basic ‘can I do this’, while realistic is ‘do I have the resources to make it happen’.
Combining them into a single item works well, and allows focus on whether or not something energizes you. You might THINK you have to do something, or WANT to … but if you don’t have a passion to make it happen, chances are it will not. I have things in my personal and professional life this year that fall into that category – things I pushed to make happen, and others I ultimately let go … and in some cases completely ditched to avoid more wasted time!
So ultimately I think that adding the Energize to even professional SMART goals has great value!
Thanks, Michael! I do see the distinction, technically – I just think it’s tough to make the distinction in practice. Glad you like the idea of Energize … how about using SMART-E (like “smarty pants”) or “E-SMART” for your teams at work?!