10 Tips to Reach Your Health Goals

self-care planning Jul 26, 2021

Does this sound like you? The first week that you set a new goal, you feel unstoppable. "This is it!" you say to yourself confidently. You're going to follow through no matter what this time!

But then a few weeks later you've almost forgotten what the goal even was. In this article, you'll learn 10 tips to stay motivated to reach your health goals.

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How to Reach Your Health Goals

There's no doubt about it, staying motivated is tough, but there are a few things you can do when your motivation wanes. 

Here are 10 tips to reach your health goals.

1. Get crystal clear about your goals

If you’re vague about your goals, maintaining the motivation you need to reach them will be difficult at best. A vague goal to “be healthier” isn’t nearly as clear as “exercising for at least 60 minutes every day by noon.”

Unclear goals are hard to measure, and even harder to put into action. Getting crystal clear about your goals helps you know where you stand.

2. Create a visual image of your goals

Whether it’s a mental image that you hold in your mind or an fancy vision board, creating a vivid picture of the end result you desire is an essential strategy for goal achievement.

Because if you don't know where you're headed, it's gonna be really hard to get there. Whenever you feel your motivation begin to wane, reconnect with your vision and use it as a reminder of why you’re working so hard in the first place.

3. Partner up

Research has repeatedly shown that goals are more achievable when you have a healthy support system in place. Accountability partners understand the power of collaboration that mutually beneficial relationships bring.

As a bonus, your efforts to improve your own well-being also support someone else's, and that's motivational in its own right.

4. Track your progress

Progress trackers are effective tools when it comes to goal achievement. Whether you use an app, journal, or chart with stickers, having a way to visually track your progress can be motivational.

(The Lifestyle Design Planner* includes monthly trackers to help keep you moving forward.) 

5. Create a to-do list

Creating a to-do list can be a powerful motivator as well. To get started, make a list of at least 20 actions you could take to move closer to your goals. Then, come back to your list when you feel bored with your current routines.

Add new things to the list whenever you come across new ideas, or feel inspired by what others in your circles are doing.

6. Celebrate

Celebrate your successes regularly. No matter how much or how little progress you’ve made on your goals, there's always something to celebrate. Maybe you only thought about going to the gym.

Celebrate that. Maybe next time you’ll actually go. Give yourself some credit and stop punishing yourself for not meeting unrealistic expectations of perfection 100% of the time. 

7. Have fun

Don't forget to have fun. We sometimes forget that developing new habits should be fun. Because unless we actually look forward to investing effort into our goals, we’ll avoid them at all costs.

Pay attention to what makes you smile, what makes you excited, and what makes you happy. That will make staying motivated easier.

8. Set approach goals

There's a big difference between approach goals and avoidance goals. Approach goals (what you want to move toward) are much more powerful than avoidance goals (what you want to move away from). Setting a goal to drink 32 ounces of water daily is easier for your brain to comprehend than stop drinking soda.

How you frame your goals matters. Be sure to craft your goals to move forward to something you want rather than away from what you don't.

9. Stack your goals

Stacking your goals can not only help you achieve them faster, but it can also help you achieve more than one goal simultaneously. 

If your goal is to lose weight and improve your relationship with your spouse, then set a goal that supports both of them.

10. Spend time outside

Spending time in nature has been shown to reduce stress and improve mood. Spending time outside helps us put life into perspective, reminding us that our problems are much smaller in the grander scheme of things.

When your mind isn't cluttered with worry and stress, you'll have more energy to focus on your goals.

Keep the Momentum Going

If you've lost motivation to keep pushing toward your goals, return to this list and try something different to keep moving forward. 

How do you stay motivated to achieve your goals? Share in the comments below.

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Information on this website should not be interpreted as providing or replacing medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content is intended for adults over the age of 18. 

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