At the start of every year, there is a lot of commotion about setting New Year’s resolutions. But how often do you realistically stick to those goals? Goals are important to set, both short and long term. It is also important to make sure you revisit your goals on a regular basis to set stepping- stones to build upon one another.

 

Today, Annabel and the Longevity Exercise Physiology teams at Drummoyne, EdgecliffMarrickvilleBella VistaRandwick, PymbleBalmain and Neutral Bay  discuss the importance of goals and how to correctly set your goals, so they are achievable.

 

We understand the benefits that setting goals can pose, but we often don’t realise how necessary they are to set as we move through life. There are many benefits and advantages to having goals to work towards.

“By setting goals, it helps develop new behaviours, guides your focus, and helps sustain a greater momentum.”

Improvement comes from something that you are constantly managing, and goals help you achieve this. Being able to set realistic goals not only motivates us, but it can improve our mental health and our level of personal and professional success (Riopel, 2022).

When faced with a problem that requires you to change your habits or create behaviour change, we often start with large goals, only to find ourselves locked in an unbreakable cycle. Large, unachievable goals are daunting to accomplish and sustain in our busy lives. When an individual falls short of a goal this leads to a negative spiral of discouragement, deterring further action in reaching the goal. Instead of coming closer to our goal, we can find ourselves going backwards. To prevent this, it’s important to start small and break down your goals into micro habits, which are smaller steps required to reach the bigger goal. This will help you to achieve your bigger goals more easily (Nawaz, 2022).

You may have heard of the acronym SMART goals. Each individual is different and the goals that are set for yourself are person-centred and suited to your aspirations and needs. Using the SMART formula will help motivate and empower you to achieve your goals (Bayliss, 2021).

 

  1. Specific – Ensure your goal is specific in nature, the more precise you can describe the goal, the clearer the outlook. Consider who is involved, where and when it will happen and why you are setting the goal.
  2. Measurable – Include a way to track and monitor your progress. This allows you to follow your progress and stay motivated and on track.
  3. Achievable – Assess whether your goal is achievable and of interest to ensure you are realistic in your goal setting.
  4. Relevant – Ensure your goals are relevant, that they are meaningful and align with your personal needs. The more personal your goal, the higher the chance of staying motivated and being successful in goal achievement.
  5. Time-Bound – Your goals should be grounded to a timeframe. Goals are easier to achieve when they within a time-limited period, otherwise there is no urgency or motivation to achieve them.

 

“Breaking down your goals into smaller and more achievable stepping-stones is a vital component to goal setting.”

 

This may be creating a “ridiculously small” goal, something sufficiently small enough to be considered a micro habit. For example, instead of going for an hour walk in which most people will say they don’t have the time, make it a goal to go for a 5-minute walk. Aim small and you will usually surprise yourself with what you can achieve. These micro-tasks work well because you should be able to complete them with minimal effort each day. Perform your new micro-task at the same time as a task you do without thinking. Need to walk 5 minutes each day? You can do that while brushing your teeth and walking on the spot. Ensure you have someone keeping you accountable so you can cement these new behaviours. Finally, make sure you track your progress. Seeing how you are going, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly is a good way to see how you are going with achieving your goals (“Principles for goal setting”, 2022).

 

“Aim for small and you will usually surprise yourself with what you can achieve.”

Do you need assistance in creating your health goals, or ways in which you can get back on track for your 2022 goals? Call Longevity Exercise Physiology Edgecliff, Pymble, Marrickville, Randwick, Drummoyne, Balmain, Bella Vista, and Neutral Bay on 1300 964 002 to book in a session today!

 

Written by Annabel Bergman

 

References:

Bayliss, J. (2021). Setting goals: How to stay motivated and achieve your goals – MTC Australia. Retrieved 20 April 2022, from https://www.mtcaustralia.com.au/blog/tips-for-setting-goals/

Nawaz, S. (2022). To Achieve Big Goals, Start with Small Habits. Retrieved 20 April 2022, from https://hbr.org/2020/01/to-achieve-big-goals-start-with-small-habits?utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=hbr&utm_source=LinkedIn&tpcc=orgsocial_edit

Principles for goal setting. (2022). Retrieved 20 April 2022, from https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/principles-for-goal-setting

Riopel, L. (2022). The Importance, Benefits, and Value of Goal Setting. Retrieved 20 April 2022, from https://positivepsychology.com/benefits-goal-setting/