For many, the start of a new year is a time to reflect and make goals for the year ahead. Others check in with themselves more frequently at the changing of the season to assess and adjust their priorities.
Regardless of when you do it, it’s key you keep in mind that the way you approach your goal setting is just as important as the goals themselves.
It is common to want to set goals that are in line with an idealized version of yourself. Though personal improvement is crucial, it is important to avoid setting goals that are unrealistic for your lifestyle.
When we set goals that are not in line with our true capacities and wants, we are setting ourselves up for failure.
Failing to meet our personal goals can negatively affect how we see ourselves and fuel self-doubt. This is why it is so important to choose goals that reflect what you personally want – not what you think you should want.
Here, we will lay out some tips on how to approach your goal setting from a place of realism and self-love.
We will talk about three common goals: exercising, scheduling your time, and eating healthy food. There three goals are example that illustrate how to handle any other goal you might have.
Remember: Not Everyone Likes the Same Exercise
There is more than one way to approach anything. Though there are hundreds of exercises to keep our bodies healthy and our minds clear, often people think there is something wrong with them if they don’t enjoy doing them.
For example, people who don’t enjoy running can feel like this is an aspect of themselves that needs to be fixed, so they sign up for a 5k or other organized race as a motivator.
But for someone that doesn’t like running, the training process for a race can feel like a punishment instead of a challenge.
This in turn may make them avoid their planned runs and ultimately end in them feeling like a failure.
If you don’t connect with running, then you can goal-set with another exercise, like stair climbing or brisk walking.
Exercise requires discipline, but it shouldn’t be something you dread. If you find an option you enjoy, you are more likely to keep this habit up in the long run.
After all, the benefits of exercises go way beyond just physical. They help your mental health and cognitive function, too. So, the more you can keep up with this healthy habit, the better.
You Cannot Pretend Your Schedule Away
Most adults have packed schedules, which can lead to them delaying important tasks until an undefined time in the future when they hope they will be less busy.
Often, the busyness doesn’t let up and these responsibilities fall by the wayside entirely. Unfortunately, health appointments, for example, are often put on hold in this same way.
If you aspire to be more proactive with your health, but your schedule is packed, virtual appointments may be a great solution for you. Telehealth may sound like something out of a sci-fi film, but it is an effective way to meet your health and wellness goals from the comfort of your own home.
From simple health matters to orthodontic treatments, you’d be surprised how many appointments you can check off your list without leaving your house. This way you can avoid overloading your schedule and all the stress that this entails.
Setting a goal to manage your time correctly and schedule tasks is a worthy goal.
Healthy Eating Does not Mean Ignoring Your Taste Buds
Of course, we know it’s important to eat vegetables, but some people put pressure on themselves to include all vegetables, regardless of whether they enjoy them.
Anyone can choke down a celery stick for a short period of time. But if you are forcing yourself to eat foods you don’t like, this habit won’t last.
In order to make healthy eating an ongoing part of your life, it’s important you find healthy foods you actually enjoy.
You don’t need to equally appreciate all healthy foods, so deciding which ones you genuinely like can make healthy eating a more joyful and sustainable experience.
It is possible to self-improve without making yourself miserable.
Instead of setting the bar so high that you crash and burn, consider small adjustments that can help you achieve your goals and continue to aim high.
If you honor your natural preferences while setting your goals, you have a much better chance of maintaining these changes in the long run.