Research proves that setting goals really does lead to changing and maintaining healthy behaviors. Everyone’s different, but following these steps will help you determine what will work for you.
What, exactly, is your desired end-state? Aim high for best results.
Do YOU want to change or are you changing for someone else? It’s far more effective to change for yourself rather than for someone else.
Meet the challenge head-on. Analyze and confront what is standing in the way of meeting your goals -- both internally and externally.
Be honest when you look at yourself. Do you have the knowledge and resources to reach your goal? If not, who can help you?
List small, attainable steps toward your long-term goal so you experience success along the way.
How will you know you’ve achieved your own short-term and long-term goals? Can you chart your own progress or do you need a buddy for accountability and to acknowledge your progress?
How will you reward yourself for achieving your goals? Ask for outside recognition if that will help.
Plan for interruptions or setbacks along the way to your goal and plan for how you’ll get back on track. How will you reward yourself for overcoming these setbacks?
Remember, it takes several months to form a new habit and you will experience setbacks along the way. Set your sights on the long-term and be ready to ride out the low points and celebrate the high points along the way.
Goals exercise and worksheet attachment
You may consider the following questions in your own mind, write your goals in a journal or download and print this worksheet.
Motivation: Why do I want to change?
Commitment: How will I face what is standing in the way of this goal? What changes do I need to make in my own behaviors or in my environment?
Self-assessment: Am I ready? Can I do it? Who can help?
Short-term goals: List small, achievable steps toward your end-goal.
Feedback: How will you know you’ve achieved a goal?
Rewards: List specific rewards you’ll receive for achievement:
Short-term goals: What are the steps you can take in the short-term to help get you closer to your end goal?
Setbacks: What might happen?
How will you cope to stay on track?
Reviewed in 2019