One of the most difficult parts about setting health goals is the fear of failing to meet them or getting off track. Unfortunately, it is common for people to stop pursuing their goals after the first time they indulge or miss a workout.
Fact: Everyone slips up from time to time! (EVERYONE.)
Let’s say it’s a Thursday night and you’ve been doing GREAT all week … but as you are finishing up work for the day, all you want is to get some takeout and veg in front of the TV instead of getting in your workout.
So that’s what you do.
And you feel a little guilt afterwards, right? It’s time to give up!
Want to know the secret?
There IS a happy medium — because being on track with your healthy habits is NOT all-or-nothing.
It’s important to remember that “falling off the wagon” doesn’t have to mean your progress is over.
Whether your goal is to lower your sugar intake, lose weight, gain muscle, run or walk a 5k without stopping, or anything else, there are many ways to stay on track!
Here are 7 tips for staying on track with your health goals:
1. Set Attainable, SMART Goals
The best goals are SMART, meaning they are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. Don’t expect yourself to become an Olympic athlete overnight. It’s okay if your first goal is smaller as long as it will challenge you while still being manageable.
Also, keep your focus on one or two goals at a time.
A weight loss example would be committing to exercising three times a week for 30 minutes each or eating two different vegetables every day.
Once that becomes easier and more routine, move on to other small efforts with the same common goal.
Small steps are better than no steps at all, and I promise, if you don’t try to change everything all at once, you’ll be much more likely to succeed!
2. Plan Ahead
Have you ever heard the Benjamin Franklin quote, “By failing to plan, you are preparing to fail”? A modern version is “When you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” which means preparing is setting yourself up for success.
Help future-you stay on track by planning ahead.
Meal prep so you have a clean dinner when you’re exhausted and tempted to order take-out.
Also, prepare some healthy and tasty snacks to have on hand for when a craving hits can make all the difference. Health goals should factor in taste and enjoyment to increase your chances of achieving them.
Sleep is similarly vital to health and reaching your goals. It can be your secret weapon for weight loss and building muscle. If you’re planning to lose weight or want to maintain a healthy weight, then put getting enough sleep in your list of priorities.
According to sleep experts, our lack of sleep elevates a certain hormone in our body – ghrelin, which triggers our body’s ‘hunger button’. It also decreases a very important hormone called leptin, which signals our satiety or fullness levels. The end result? It makes you want to grab a bite (or two, or more!), even when you’ve already had a filling dinner.
Lack of sleep makes you want to eat more – and we’re not talking about salads.
Not getting enough sleep or suffering from sleep deprivation may not only push you off track with your health goals but also detriment your health in other ways. Here are some articles that can help you improve your sleep:
When you meet milestones along the way toward your goals, reward yourself with something you love, like new shoes, workout gear, a book, or a massage. (Bonus points for a reward that helps you stay on track.)
You deserve to celebrate your wins because you’ve worked hard!
Plus, when you put on those new leggings or drink from that water bottle, you’ll be reminded of how you crushed your goals, which will help keep you motivated towards your new goals.
5. Keep a Journal & Track Progress
Keeping a personal health journal will help you keep track of your overall health and how you’re doing with reaching your goals. It can also give you perspective on how far you’ve come. Each milestone is exciting, and rewarding yourself is great, but the journey between is just as important!
As you work to the finish line, track your progress and remind yourself of your strength and determination.
Also, keeping a journal might help you identify triggers or patterns of when you fall off track. But first and foremost, keeping a journal and tracking your progress should offer motivation and inspiration when you’re feeling discouraged or unmotivated!
It’s amazing how just a few weeks of consistent journaling can completely shift your mindset.
Remember, reaching goals takes time, consistency, commitment, and SUPPORT, so tell trusted friends and family members what you’re working toward! Or even better, join the 30 Day Challenge, where you can reach out to the group and get encouragement from other members with similar goals and help from our experienced coaches!
Fit Into a Dress For a Wedding or that Vacation You’re Going On
The challenge comes with step-by-step meal plans, shopping lists, and accountability support. It’s a great way to find strength in the community and set yourself up for success. Everyone in these incredible groups will help you get (and stay) on track with our proven program.
Your fitness & wellness journey is a PROCESS. What it looks like changes over time with the seasons, your schedule, your life, and your goals.
This is a BIG area we focus on with our clients – because the fact is, these are the moments having a supportive community can be make-or-break for your goals!