Ultimately, we all just want to be happy humans living a fulfilling life, doing the things we enjoy and being around people we love.
The state of your health has a huge influence in your experience of life. Ultimately, we all just want to be happy humans living a fulfilling life, doing the things we enjoy and being around people we love.
However, in our modern world especially, good health doesn’t just happen. It takes inspired, informed and consistent action to enjoy optimised health. Health and wellness is very much a journey. There are peaks and troughs, good days and bad days, ups and down, but it’s the average of everything we do that equates to how we feel and operate.
What you do most of the time is more important than what you do some of the time.
What you do most of the time is more important than what you do some of the time.
Health isn’t an outcome, it’s the ever-changing accumulation of all your habits. You don’t go to the gym once and get fit, you don’t take a bottle of multivitamins and now you’re nourished for life. Health is a journey.
Having goals and intentions allows us to focus creating consistent wellness habits that support living a happier life.
With that in mind, here are my top 3 tips for setting health goals, and my top three tops for achieving them.
Ben's top three tips for setting health goals:
1. Book in an appointment with yourself and assess where you're currently at
2. Craft SMART goals that inspire you
3. Write it down and see it every day
Top Tip for Setting Health Goals #1
Book in an appointment with yourself and assess where you're currently at
We prioritise and give a lot of our time to other people, but every so often we need to put ourselves first – work on filling up our buckets of love and patience so that we have more to give to others.
Set aside an hour for yourself – head out to your favourite cafe, or a park or the beach, somewhere you won’t be interrupted. This one hour is all about you.
Start making notes about the areas of your health which you feel could do with a bit more love, care and attention. Don’t attach any emotion to your findings, just observe and see what comes up.
Do you feel like you’re always tired?
Are you having skin or gut issues?
Is your mood akin to being on a roller coaster?
Do you having insatiable cravings?
Maybe some weight has slowly crept up on you and you want to feel more at home in your skin.
We all have areas of our lives and health we’d like to work on, but finding out where is the very important first step.
Jot down how these issues affect your life.
How do they hold you back?
What would your life look like if you felt you had optimal health right now? How does your life look in ten, twenty years time?
Finding that ‘why’ that really hits home and strongly resonates with you provides a deep, steady source of motivation to which all of the hundreds of tiny decisions you make each day are influenced by.
Finding that ‘why’ that really hits home and strongly resonates with you provides a deep, steady source of motivation.
It’s also important to be empowered by our deep capacity to change.
Now that we know we know which areas that benefit from a little dedicated attention, we can go about making a foolproof plan to get us on the path we want to be heading down.
Top Tip for Setting Health Goals #2
Craft SMART goals that inspire you.
Before you sign your goal off and commit to it, check to see it fits into the criteria for a SMART goal, meaning it is:
S – Specific
M – Meaningful
A – Achievable
R – Results-oriented
T – Timely
Specific goals are 'action-focused' as opposed to 'outcome-focused'. An action-focused goal creates a space where a more healthful outcome is inevitable (assuming you stick to it!) Use your goal as an opportunity to create health in your life.
You know your goal is meaningful if you get excited by the vision of accomplishing it! Take a second to think about why accomplishing this goal is of value to you.
How does it improve your everyday life?
What are you missing out on by not committing to it?
What are you missing out on by not committing to your goal?
We are more likely to stick to goals when we’re driven by passion and excitement rather than fear or obligation.
There’s a balance between creating a goal that stretches you and presents an opportunity for growth, and there’s overshooting it and creating something too far-fetched or doesn’t have an enjoyable process you don’t feel inspired to stick to.
Have a goal you can easily recognise the results of so that you know what's working for you, and what isn't.
For example, ‘to feel less stressed’ is hard to give quantifiable data for as it is entirely subjective. A SMART goal for working towards less stress would be ‘to meditate for five minutes everyday for 28 days in a row, and keep a chart documenting how I feel’.
This gives you the space to consistently work on a behaviour that leads you towards your desired outcome. In this instance, you can see your progress by keeping an eye on your documented stress levels.
Time-bound and Trackable
Having time constraints is a powerful tool for measuring how you’re getting on. It takes 21 days to build a habit, but I recommend setting goals for 28 days at a time. This gives you an amount of time to see a noticeable amount of change, and gather data as to how this action is serving you.
Top Tip for Setting Health Goals #3
Write it down and look at it every day.
This is easily one of the most simple yet powerful things you can do on your active health journey. Write your goal down and put it somewhere you see every single day, ideally multiple times a day, put it in multiple places if you need to – on your mirror, the homepage of your phone, on the fridge door.
Motivation has its peaks and troughs, and we’ll go through phases when we feel down and uninspired – that’s completely reasonable. The brain is a goal seeking organism, it will look for a solution. Having your goal written down is a constant reminder of why and how you’re taking intentional action towards a better life.
Having your goal written down is a constant reminder of why and how you’re taking intentional action towards a better life.
Don't be afraid of sharing your goals with friends and family – support from others can be monumental in your success. Tell someone why you’re doing it and how they can support you. Perhaps they have health goals too with which they would appreciate your support.
Now it’s time to take action. Here are my top three tips for following through on your SMART, inspired goals towards improved health and wellness.
Ben's top three tips for achieving health goals:
1. Talk to those who have already been there
2. Play to your strengths
3. Celebrate success and learn from lessons
Top Tip for Achieving Health Goals #1
Talk to those who’ve already been there
If you want to know how to do something, talk to someone who has done it before.
Best case scenario, find a coach or a mentor who knows what they’re doing and can provide a source of accountability, advice and support.
Alternatively, read, read, read! Ask, ask, ask!
There is so much information out there freely available to you on the internet. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel and you don’t need to do this alone – make the most of what’s out there.
Head to a trusted source, and read up all that you can to get you into a space where you really understand how and why the action you’re taking contributes to your desired outcomes.
Really understanding how and why the action you’re taking contributes to your desired outcomes.
We have plenty of valuable, scientific information for all sorts of health and wellness related matters right here on our BePure website, but I encourage you to pursue further learning from credible sources. Our favourites are Dr Kara Fitzgerald, Dr Kelly Brogan, Dr Rhonda Patrick, Dr Daniel Amen, Max Lugavere, Dr Josh Axe, Mind Body Green, Dr Mark Hyman, Dr Jason Fung, and Dr Amy Meyers.
Top Tip for Achieving Health Goals #2
Play to your strengths
Change is uncomfortable. The mind is set up to keep us safe at all costs. It’s a very human thing to avoid pain and seek pleasure – let’s be real, eating a bit of chocolate is more pleasurable than doing shuttle runs (in the short term anyway).
We have to decide which discomfort we’re ready to tackle – either the slow discomfort of staying in a place we are not happy in, or the discomfort of making the change towards something better.
But change is a necessary part of achieving our goals. Changes means going stretching our comfort zone and doing something that pushes you. Humans are very adaptable, and with consistent action, you’ll soon find that you’ll acclimatise to this new behaviour and what was difficult, is perfectly within your newly expanded comfort zone.
If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.
Once you’ve decided to take make the change, go with your own flow, take action in a way that best works for you. For some people, making small changes really works for them. Others respond better to more of a cold turkey approach. Play to your strengths.
Top Tip for Achieving Health Goals #3
Celebrate success, learn from lessons
There are lots of ways to keep track of your progress. I suggest keeping a little journal, or using a notes app on your phone to keep tab of things as they happen, rather than a vague reflection every now and again.
Make a note of how you’re finding the changes you are making.
Is it hard to stick to?
Are you enjoying it?
How are you feeling?
Is there a certain time of day you feel more empowered to make change?
It doesn’t have to be a lot, but having some consistent record of your day-to-day progress is really valuable data.
Celebrate success, streaks and milestones. Probably not a celebration of the cake variety, but take a moment share your victory with someone else and acknowledging that you’re proud of your efforts.
The heart of all goals should be to create health and heal your body.
On the flip side, if your progress isn’t going quite the way you had intended, that's okay too. In this instance, you have two options:
1) get upset about things not going your way and giving up. Or,
2) use this as an information gathering opportunity to reassess how you go ahead.
If what you’ve been doing hasn’t been working, what can you change? The heart of all goals should be to create health and heal your body. This is a time to ask your body what it needs you’re not giving it.
What does it want more or less of?
Make peace with the fact that your goals with change as you progress on your health journey.
Be malleable with your goals. You have changed since you set your goal. Make peace with the fact that your goals with change as you progress on your health journey. Don’t do something primarily because you said you would – regularly check in with yourself to ensure that you’re taking action that really serves and nourishes you.
Alongside this, it’s so important to offer yourself an endless supply of patience and compassion.
You’re not going to bully yourself into happy, healthy version of you that you love.
Happy goal setting and achieving!
At BePure, our foundation principle to support people in maximising the enjoyment of their life through creating health. One way we support people is through our clinic with our team of qualified and nurturing Holistic Health Consultants.
If you need a little more help and guidance, or want to dive deeper on your journey, you might benefit from a one-off Holistic Health Consultation, which are only being offered with limited availability.