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We just Googled “how to set goals,” and there are 1.5 billion results. Yikes! There’s sure no shortage of advice out there.
At Juice Plus+, we talk a lot about “One Simple Change.” It’s how we approach the goal of healthy living, which we see as a lifelong journey, not as a singular destination.
The fundamental idea is that by making a series of small, simple changes over time, you can enjoy great health benefits down the road. It’s a really powerful principle.
This approach can actually be effective for achieving goals of any kind. But first, let’s look at the goals themselves.
Setting your goals
One common approach born from performance management involves setting SMART goals.
- Specific. Be clear about what you’re trying to achieve. The sharp focus will help you define what you need to do.
- Measurable. This allows you to track your progress, which can help you stay focused and encouraged.
- Achievable. It’s fine, even admirable, to aim high ultimately, but by setting a goal that is realistic and attainable, you’re helping set yourself up for success. Believe in yourself that this is something you can do.
- Relevant. Is this something that matters to you? Why do you want to achieve this goal? Get to the heart of your motivation—and the closer it is to your heart, you may be more likely to succeed.
- Time-bound. Have you ever heard the quote “A goal is a dream with a deadline?” Well, without a target date, it can be difficult to find the motivation to stick to your goals and make progress.
Achieving your goals
Once you’ve set goals (yea!), it’s time to get to work. Follow these steps to improve your odds of success.
- Write down your goals and put them in a prominent place. Handwrite them on a piece of notebook paper. Borrow your kid’s markers and draw them on a sheet of craft paper. Print them in a fun font from your computer. But whatever you do, document them. And then don’t file them away or put them in a drawer. Magnet them to the fridge or tape them on your mirror.
- Share your goals with your friends and family. Telling people in your life about your goals helps them become real. And those same people can help you stay accountable to those goals you’ve set for yourself, not to mention be there to offer you moral support along the way.
- Plot out your plan to achieve your goals and start. Now. Remember that principle of One Simple Change? You can use it to break up a larger goal into a series of smaller, more manageable actions that you take to get there. You know the saying “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step?” It honestly couldn’t be truer. Sometimes taking that first step is hard. But if you don’t take it, you’re stuck where you are.
- Celebrate progress and forgive setbacks. Take the time to recognize your advancement along the way. And don’t let a few slip ups divert your entire course.
Related content ICYMI
For 2018 we shared 4 tips from the American Psychological Association for how to make your healthy new year’s resolution a habit in a Juice Plus+ Community article.
If you enjoy digging deeper, our friends over at Tower Garden wrote an amazing article on the key to change.
We’ve also got a handy tool for creating a simple change checklist to help you develop healthy habits around the Core Four areas of healthy living. Check it out.
What goals are you setting for yourself for 2019? We’d love to hear more about them in the comments below.