Are you the kind of person that has commitment AND motivation but still all your good intent falls flat whenever you go to make healthy changes in your life or you hit a few speed bumps in a wellness program? If you are, don’t self-agonize about this. It may just be that you haven’t had the right recipe for success and maybe all along you have been missing a key ingredient needed for achieving your wellness goals: a clear plan of action.
A good wellness plan contains not only a passionate vision, but also GOALS that enable you to think about and identify specific actions, measure progress, and determine overall success. So whenever you are coming up with your behavior goals ensure that they tie directly back to your wellness vision, else they will most likely lose their sense of urgency and importance and fall by the wayside.
In my mind the real purpose of setting goals is to help you translate your wellness vision into realistic and specific behavior action steps. Your goals help you identify WHAT you want to change and HOW you are going to do it.
Why January Bums People Out
Every January my inbox is flooded with gym promotions, checklists and new make-over programs. This is when perhaps I “could” get depressed and start to recollect all the things I never finished last year or how much I let slide by. But I don’t go there because it is self-defeating.
I learned the hard way over the years that it is best to put my energy into making the right commitments, setting realistic goals and engaging in programs that had a step-by-step process that I could be successful at.
You want to remember that there are two types of goals: outcome and behavior, each with their own specific objectives. For example, if you set a New Year’s resolution to lose 20 lbs in the next 6 months that is considered an outcome goal, while eating a single serving of leafy green vegetables with each meal 3 times per day for 30 days is a behavior goal. Your success depends on choosing practical and achievable behavior goals.
The reason why so many outcome goals and other kinds of personal commitments don’t often last is that they are missing the necessary practical “behavior” steps needed to reach the goal. This is like driving your car across the country without a map… sure you’ll eventually get there but I bet you take a few wrong turns every now and then and get delayed.
Connecting The Dots
The fun part of getting your wellness act together is connecting all the dots between your vision and your goals so that you can create a realistic action plan.
Before you begin crafting your healthy action plan, I want to make sure you understand the difference between visioning and planning. Visioning is an active exercise that is creating the future. It’s a future that you can believe in and are committed to whole-heartedly. Planning on the other hand is a specific process that provides direction and meaning for your day-to-day activities, including your healthy behavior goals.
It’s planning that puts your wellness vision into motion.
Designing A Plan That Actually Works!
I consider a three-month timeframe ideal for realizing many of your priority behavior goals… it’s a short enough time period to provide a sense of urgency that will allow you to mobilize your motivation around realistic and meaningful actions and outcomes. In three months, you’ll have enough opportunities for weekly goal setting, which is key to providing you the most optimal results.
Remember to clarify your motivation for wellness first. This is an iterative process so don’t get comfortable with the first version, there’s always room for tweaking and improvement. Knowing the forces that motivate you will help you maintain focus as you move toward your goals over the next 90 days or even years.
Whatever your motivations for wellness may be, they will serve as your driving force when you hit the occasional speed bump and your confidence runs for cover. Your motivations can be quite powerful allies and most likely you won’t be able to get to your ultimate wellness vision without them cheering you on.
If You Have a Plan… Get Ready For Action!
Putting a wellness plan together is a lot of work. You have to close the gap between where you are today and where you want to be in the future. The roadmap for this journey into your new future is your wellness plan. If you have a plan in-hand your halfway there! Now comes the fun part… breathing life into a dream and watching it take flight!
Winning The Wellness Game
In order to win the wellness game and sustain a healthy life, you have to close the gap between where you are today and where you want to be in the future. Don’t look too far down the self-change road and psych yourself out. If you do that, you’ll end up turning your tail and running for the hills as fast as you can. Rather turn and face the change head-on with a welcoming smile.
I am confident that with the right tools, support and a sound process, you can actually turn your life around and head in the direction you truly desire. In my experience, it all comes down to focus and where you put your energy. Apply your energy to the things you can achieve rather than on what is not working in your life.
If you are serious about changing around your life AND getting your health back, one of my wellness coaching programs could be just the thing you need. Find out how you can work with me to transform your life.
Disclaimer: the views and nutritional advice expressed in this publication are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical advice. No information provided should be interpreted as a diagnosis of any disease, nor an attempt to treat or prevent or cure any disease or condition. All information in this publication is for educational purposes only and Aine-Marie and Advesta Health encourages its clients and members to continue to work in a partnership with qualified medical professional. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider or seek medical assistance. Reading, sharing, or downloading this publication does not establish a doctor patient relationship with Aine-Marie or any Advesta Health employee or consultant including any of our licensed health practitioners, coaches, dieticians or nutritionists.