Friday, February 1, 2013

7 Reasons Why You Won't Reach Your Health Goals

First of all, the "you" in the title of this post is a little self-talk on my part. Don't think for a second that I have an easy time sticking to my New Year's resolutions or meeting my health goals. My number one health goal this year is to improve my sleep pattern, and I've only made a little progress in January.

I figured since we're a month into 2013, there's no better time to stop and think about what might prevent me (and possibly you) from making some real gains this year. By the way, this post is appropriate for more than just health goals. All of the reasons below could affect your chances of reaching goals in many different aspects of life.

Top 7 Goal-Crushers

Here's my list of great ways to guarantee you don't reach any health goals this year.

1. You weren't specific. No doubt, this is the biggest mistake most people make. Don't be too vague about what you want to accomplish. You must set a specific goal with a measurable outcome. No more of this "I'm gonna be more active this year." Say "I'll do a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate activity at least 5 times per week." State what you're going do, how much, and by when.

2. You didn't tell anyone. Don't be bashful! By not sharing your goal with a friend, relative, or spouse, you're accountable to no one. Accountability is key to sticking with any plan. Tell the world! Tweet it. Post it on Facebook - anything that'll increase your will power. Who knows? By telling other people, you might inspire somebody else to take on the same goal.

3. You didn't write it down. Studies show that we're much more likely to achieve a goal that's written down. Write your goal and stick it on your fridge so it's the first thing you see everyday. Set daily or weekly reminders about your goal using mobile apps like Catch.

4. You didn't ask "Why?" This is the tough part. What is the real value of this goal to you? A lot of times, a superficial reason, like physical appearance, isn't enough motivation to keep working towards a health goal. You have to look within yourself and figure out how you'll benefit from reaching it. When it comes to health, a lot of different things can be affected - psychological well-being, self-esteem, relationships, outlook on life, and host of others.

5. You set an unrealistic goal. Aiming for the stars is great, but be real. If you've been inactive for the last five years, winning a mixed martial arts tournament by year's end probably ain't gonna happen. Set a goal that you think might be slightly out of reach, but still attainable with hard work.

6. You didn't identify barriers. When you set a goal, consider things (or people) that might prevent you from reaching it. Then come up with a strategy to get around the barriers blocking your progress. For instance, if lack of time is an issue, think of all the time-wasters in your life and lose 'em.

7. You didn't do your homework. Every goal worth achieving takes time and effort. Did you prepare early on for everything you would need to achieve your goal? Example: If you want to improve your diet and not eat out as much, it might be a good idea to learn to cook. If you're clueless in the kitchen, do some research, take a class, call mom for tips. You get the idea. All of these things could be smaller objectives that ultimately enable you to reach the overall goal.

I could've made this list longer, but I wanted to leave some space for you to chime in. What are the most sure-fire ways to guarantee you don't reach a health goal (or any goal for that matter)?

image source: alphaspirit -

You might also like Managing Time to Stay Mindful and Productive.

by Matthew Killorin

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