Living a healthy lifestyle goes beyond the occasional green smoothies and sporadic burst of jogging around the block. It's more about adopting a consistent strategy—a setup of health goals, if you will. As a working woman in Vancouver, balancing life while raising Harper, my little one, and giving belly rubs to Stella, my Siamese cat, I understand the importance of setting realistic and achievable health goals. Let's explore further.
The journey towards a healthier life starts with setting realistic health goals. But why are they so important, you ask? See, when you set goals, you create a vision of the kind of life you envision to live, and estimate what you'd feel like if you were to achieve those goals. This vision acts as a fuel, driving your daily decisions and actions.
Setting these health goals can be as simple as aiming to increase your water intake or being more diligent with your skincare routine. For others, it might mean targeting a specific weight loss goal or planning to run a half marathon. The beauty of health goals is that they are incredibly personal, shaped by your unique circumstances, abilities, and requirements.
I remember when I had Harper, it became quite a task for me to stay active. With late-night feeding schedules and bustling with daily chores, I often found myself exhausted. It was then I realized the importance of setting health goals—not just to lose the baby weight but to have the energy and positivity I needed to juggle everything.
All goals should have specific characteristics that make them attainable and measurable. Many of us are familiar with the SMART acronym in goal setting, where goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. This is crucial for health goals too. Let's discuss how.
Imagine that your health goal is to lose weight. If you say, "I want to lose weight," that's a good starting point, but it's not very specific. Instead, try, "I want to lose 10 pounds in two months by eating a balanced diet and working out at least three times a week." Now, that is a SMART goal. It's specific (10 pounds), measurable (you can step on a scale), achievable (with a plan), relevant (it aligns with your health goals), and time-bound (two months).
Let's take another example for those not looking at weight-loss specifically. You could aim for something like, "I will meditate for 15 minutes every morning before work to improve my mental health." Creating your plan this way helps you to remain focused and also makes it easier to track your progress.
Perseverance and consistency are two undeniably important factors in reaching your health goals. Miracles don't happen overnight (although how I wish they did!). Changing habits and forming new ones is a slow process, requiring a steady commitment.
For instance, when I first decided to incorporate fitness into my daily routine, there were many days when I had to drag myself from the cosy confines of my bed early in the morning. Some days I just didn't want to do it. But I knew I had to persevere, to be consistent. And I can happily say it paid off.
Sticking to your health goals isn't about being perfect all the time. It's more about putting in consistent effort, even if it's small, towards a healthier you. On your path, there will be challenges, setbacks, and maybe even a few detours. That's okay. The key is to keep pushing forward.
Sometimes, even small lifestyle changes can have a big impact on our health. For instance, taking the stairs instead of using an elevator, walking to the nearby grocery store rather than driving, switching from regular to whole grain bread, or ensuring that you get seven to eight hours of sleep are all small changes that contribute immensely to your health.
Think about integrating positive changes into your daily routine that can lead you towards your health goals. Don’t aim to shift your entire lifestyle overnight, instead focus on gradual changes. Reward yourself for small victories—it helps boost motivation.
Believe me, when I switched from milk to dark chocolate (being a chocoholic), it was a big win for me. So, it's all about little steps leading to bigger rewards.
Your journey towards achieving health goals isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. It's not solely about crossing the finish line; it's about the learnings, the transformations, and the little joys you discover along the way.
I've found that as we grow and evolve, so do our health goals. What I aimed for post-Harper isn't the same as what drives me today. This, in essence, is the true beauty and challenge of health goals—continual evolution and growth, leading toward a healthier, happier life.
In our pursuit of health, we may falter, struggle, but ultimately, it’s the determination to bounce back that counts. So, always remember to be kind to yourself, celebrate your milestones—no matter how tiny they are, and always aim to be a healthier you than you were yesterday.