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December 21, 2021

Setting Goals That You Can Keep

by Jovanna Orozco, MS, RDN, LDN

Have you ever thought about why it’s so hard to keep or work on the goals you set? Have you noticed it’s so easy to get discouraged on our paths to reaching our goals? Here are 5 tips to set goals that you can continue to work on – and keep!

1. Think about your end goals. What are those things you would like to work on?
Think about something you want to do or work towards, whether it be nutrition-related (improving your food intake, moving more, etc.) or a life goal (like running your own business). Envision what that that specifically looks like for you. Creating a vision-board, detailed list or goal journal can help you get an idea of what your overall goals are.

2. Then, think about those smaller goals that can help you get there.
Creating smaller, more specific goals can help you focus on those tasks that will help you achieve your larger end goal. Focusing on those smaller goals makes it less overwhelming, and more likely for you to succeed. These smaller goals will make your end goal more achievable and less daunting! As an example, if your end goal is to cook more meals at home, start by planning and cooking 1 meal per week.

3. Match your goals to your lifestyle.
It’s important to be realistic about those small goals you want to work on. If you work 2 jobs, have kids, a busy family life, etc. etc. etc. then setting a goal like exercising 7 times a week for 1 hour and a half may not be achievable. Think about your schedule and what takes up your time, and make sure it’s something that you would enjoy doing. For example, maybe you would like to increase your movement AND you like to spend time with your kids outside. Playing soccer with the kids after school sounds like a good place to start!

4. Have an accountability buddy.
Sharing your goals with someone can help keep you accountable, and make sure you continue working towards your goals. It can also help to have someone check in on you to see how you’re doing, or if your goals are working for you. This could be a close friend, family member, neighbor, coworker, etc. If you need a more immediate reminder, writing down your goals on a sticky note or as daily reminder in your phone can help keep your goals at the front of your mind!

5. Celebrate your wins and keep going!
Discouragement is one of the top reasons people fall off working on their goals. It’s important to remember that changes do not happen overnight. One way to keep it going is to celebrate your wins as they come! Did you make it through meeting your goals consistently for a week? A month? Treat yourself to something nice and keep celebrating those milestones! Keep in mind, treating yourself to food can get in the way of meeting your goals if they are nutrition related. Some ways to treat yourself that don’t involve food: date night, spa day, alone time, a movie, a new tool or gadget, or maybe even a nap?

Above all, setting goals that fit your lifestyle, are small, and achievable can make your long-term goals not so scary, and make you more likely to stick to them!

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