Starting a healthy lifestyle 3: Setting the right goals

goals, habits, lifestyle, olumia, weight loss

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While losing weight is the most popular reason for starting a new, healthy lifestyle, it’s a tough goal and far from a finish line. (You can find more help with starting a healthy lifestyle in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series.) The idea that slimming down is itself the only thing worth striving for is a bit of a fallacy to begin with, but fad diets and other trendy health outlets tend to focus on fast weight loss equating to a happily-ever-after ending. That’s not only false, it’s part of why most people gain back any weight they lose pretty quickly.

What’s wrong with my “weight loss” goal?

First off, the idea of weight loss assumes that weight, once lost, will never return. We all know that’s not true. Even if your goal is a bit more specific, like ”I want to lose 5 pounds,” it rarely leads to any positive change beyond a small window of improved health, one that is often followed by the return of old, unhealthy habits and routines.

Goals shouldn’t be a finish line for your health but moments of celebration on a path. You can have daily goals that are simply what you want to complete before bed, like eating 3 healthy meals and not between them. Especially when first starting a healthy lifestyle, daily and weekly goals are a good way to feel accomplishment and motivation for developing new habits. The Olumia Life app uses feedback and points to help maintain this sort of incentive to stay healthy.

Making your own goals

There is a great variety in the sort of goals that can really help you out. All you need to do when deciding what you want to start progressing towards is to follow a few guidelines. Your goals should:

  • Be concrete and straightforward: Don’t make a nebulous goal, like “get healthier.” Make a goal that has a defined point of achievement and a clear path towards it. “Sleep 8 hours every night this week by going to bed on time” contains not only the goal but how you are going to achieve it.
  • Keep your goal in sight: Sleeping 8 hours every night from now on” is basically impossible to accomplish. If you give yourself a week or a month in which to achieve it, instead of the rest of your life, you’re more likely to actually complete what you set out to do.
  • Stay on task: Set your sights on goals that will actually be working towards the greater benefit of your health and the specific things you want to improve.
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