How to Set Achievable Wellness Goals

December 11, 2009 by Tara Vig

( -- Small decisions, made throughout the day, are reflected in overall health and wellness. These decisions help achieve countless goals every day. Wellness goals can be as small as “I’m going to get eight hours of sleep tonight” or as complex as “I am going to run a marathon before my next birthday.” Here is some guidance on setting all types of wellness goals.

When setting wellness goals, follow the S.M.A.R.T. - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely - guidelines. Ask specific questions: What do I want to accomplish? Where will I do it? When will I do it? Who can help me?

Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress. For example, for a goal of increasing level, the specifics could include walking at the track for 30 minutes a day, three days a week, during a lunch break, with a co-worker.

Life circumstances, such as physical, intellectual, emotional and financial barriers may interfere with realistic goal setting. If the original goal is not doable, set another goal that can be reached.

Lastly, set a timeline to avoid procrastination. Goal setting is not just a New Year’s resolution. Wellness goals should be set continuously throughout the year to successfully achieve lifelong results.

The moment goal setting begins, a transformation takes place. Goal setting encourages responsibility, achievement, decision making, personal growth and prioritizing. Setting clear, defined and passionate goals instills a personal responsibility to make it happen and a desire to achieve it.

Clear goals also provide a framework that encourages better decision making in stressful situations. Without focus or direction, scattered thinking and hesitation make everyday decisions difficult. Ultimately, goal setting enhances the ability to prioritize activities and tasks in ways that focus attention on what is most important at any given moment.

Provided by University of New Mexico (news : web)

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