The Art of Goal Setting: 5 Golden Steps

This article was written by Jessie Mitton. Nutrition, Health & Wellness Coach and Co-Founder of The WellNow Company.

Health and Wellness is a hot topic at the moment. Many of us are trying to improve our health in some way, whether it’s to have more energy, manage weight, improve our sleep or bring more balance into our work and home lives. But where and how do we start our journey to better health? We are constantly being bombarded by information on the latest health trends and it can be confusing to know what is actually right for us. Eating kale and quinoa night and day is hardly inspiring or necessary for most of us! Here are 5 steps to help you set and achieve your goals in 2019.

STEP 1 – TAKE A STEP BACK

The first step, before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle, is to take a step back and look at your life in a holistic way. This is what we call self-exploration and is fundamental to setting goals and achieving a successful outcome. Consider every aspect of your life from health, career, finances, relationships and social or fun time! Is there an area that stands out to you as needing some attention? If so, then this is where your focus should be initially. Very often we see clients who have a goal to lose weight but with a bit of questioning and digging, they are actually very stressed at work or not spending enough time doing what they love. Once these issues have been addressed, their lives are more in balance and weight becomes naturally easier to manage. This is a very effective self-awareness tool but just the beginning of the process, really.

STEP 2 – CREATE A VISION

Next is to create a vision of your ideal life. How would you like to be living so that you are really thriving in all aspects of your life, rather than just surviving? Give yourself some time to really think about this and etch that vision into your mind. Now look at what your life is currently like today compared to the vision you have just set. You might find you are closer than you think to your vision or there might be big strides to be made in order to start living your best life. Either way, there are bound to be things that you will need to change or improve to bring about a positive shift. Once you’ve identified the areas to focus on, you can start setting small and achievable goals that are going to help move you along the scale from where you are today to where you want to be. It might very well be to include more kale and quinoa into your diet but at least you know the reason you’re doing this…it’s to help you achieve a specific health goal for you.

STEP 3 – S.M.A.R.T

The key to setting goals is to ensure they follow the S.M.A.R.T criteria. How many people decide on January 1st that they are ‘going to get fit this year!’? This is a well-intended goal for many people but it’s too broad and without structure, making it easy to fob off or push out to ‘next week’. This is where having S.M.A.R.T goals come in and help you to succeed! But what do S.M.A.R.T goals mean and look like? The acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Bound. So if we took the goal of ‘getting fit this year’ and put it through the S.M.A.R.T test it might change to something like ‘I am going to run 5km every Monday and Thursday evening and partake in a 10km race in May of this year.’

STEP 4 – PERSONALISE YOUR GOALS FOR YOU

It’s also important to be true to yourself when setting goals and make sure that whatever you are setting out to do is personal to you and is in line with your values. More and more we see the pressures of social media influencing what people think their goals should be (see eating quinoa and kale again!) but everyone’s needs, circumstances and desires are different and so, what’s right for one person may not be right for another. For this reason, we would recommend sitting with your goals for a day or two before starting to implement changes. Talking about them with the right person, either a coach or someone close to you who you trust, and won’t influence your own decision, can also be very helpful.

STEP 5 – BUILD A STRONG SUPPORT NETWORK

This brings me onto my final point in setting yourself up for success, which is your support network. Making a change is hard, even if you know it’s leading to a positive outcome. Getting out for a run every Monday and Thursday evening can be very difficult in the winter months, after a long day at work, refereeing kids at bath time and Netflix calling, but if you have a friend to run with or a partner encouraging you to go, you are much more likely to succeed.

This is just a flavour of some of the coaching tools and techniques we use when working with clients, and will hopefully help you to get some clarity on where to begin when considering your own health and wellness. It can be daunting working through this process alone and a little bit of guidance and support can make a huge difference when it comes to achieving success.

Written by Jessie Mitton, Co-Founder of The WellNow Company

Suzanne and Jessie, co-Founders of The WellNow Co. are Nutrition & Health Coaches with a mission to help their clients to define and achieve their health goals. Having had careers in Advertising and TV Production for over 10 years, they understand the challenges people face in achieving and maintaining balance and health in the always-on corporate world. They work with clients one-to-one, deliver group talks and have their online corporate wellness programme, Be Well Now. To find out more about The WellNow Co, see their website www.thewellnowco.com or drop them a mail at hello@thewellnowco.com

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