Whenever you make a plan to get healthier, it's vitally important to set a goal. A study by the University of Maryland and University of Washington found that "specific, challenging goals lead to higher performance than easy goals, 'do your best' goals, or no goals." Goal setting does this by "directing attention, mobilizing effort, increasing persistence, and motivating strategy development." You can read that whole study here.
The best goals are specific and achievable. We've talked about goal setting before. If you haven't before, be sure to read this piece on how to set SMART goals. This week we want to give you some tips on how to give yourself reminders of your goals.
1. Write your goal down. Writing it down makes it real. It's on paper.
2. Tell someone, but not everyone. When you set a goal, it's a good idea to have someone help keep you accountable. But, telling the wrong people your goals can have an unintended effect. Sometimes people will passively (or even actively!) undermine your healthy choices (here's a good post about what to do if that happens).
3. Put your goal where you'll see it every day, but it won't get overlooked. Remember that goal you wrote down? David White, Wellness Director at the Eastside Family YMCA suggests attaching it to your bathroom mirror. "That way you'll see it in the morning and before you go to bed," he says. "It can get you motivated for that morning's routine or get you pumped for tomorrow morning's workout." Another spot to put it is in the notes function on your smartphone, and have a widget display that note. I'm on my phone daily, so it's a great thing to see when I open my phone to read the news while having coffee.
No matter what your health goal is, the Y is here to help you along the way. Whether you need help setting a goal or meeting it, our wellness professionals are here to help. Find out more about our free Wellness Works coaching program and take the first step to a healthier you!