Healthy Goal Setting
Why is getting healthy so hard?
How is it that we can be so good at setting and achieving our goals in every area of our life, but yet, continue to struggle over and over again when it comes to our health related goals?
If you're like most people, you're successful at every area of your life except lingering health related issues.
Maybe it's an unhealthy weight, diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, fatigue, mismanaged stress, or a lack of sleep. It's something that lingers every year.
How can this be? How is it that a successful person like yourself, who has a thriving business, family, and interpersonal life struggle with something as trivial as weight or sleep?
The answer lies in goal setting.
The truth is, that you already know everything there is to know about goal setting -- that's how you've become so successful in the first place.
By applying these same principles to your health, you can have the healthiest year ever in 2018.
Have you ever thought about what determines whether something happens or doesn't happen in your life?
The truth is, we never make time in our lives for things that are "shoulds"...
We only have time in our life for things that are "musts".
For example, you may think "I should be a better parent...a better father.... a better husband". Shoulds never make it in our day to day activities. Only musts do.
The things that you do every day are the things that you've made a must.
My guess is there are things in your life right now that you want to change, but you've allowed yourself to tolerate them for way too long.
You have the power to both create things that add to your life, and to take out the things that take away from your best life.
Only SMART goals done.
Each letter in the acronym SMART has a specific and powerful purpose.
Clarity is power. Our brains are designed to crave simplicity and clarity. Complexity is the enemy of execution. The most important variable in goal setting is having a specific desired outcome already identified.
You can manage what you don't measure. It's very important to have specific milestone and measurements that you are tracking to measure your success.
If your goal is achievable, you will gain momentum. Momentum is one of the most important variables in goal achieving and breakthrough.
Achievable goals are important, but you also want them to be realistic so that you can capture quick wins.
A goal without a timeframe is just an idea, a thought, or a wish. If goals don't have timelines, they just don't get done. We all need accountability, and setting a specific time limit to your goals can determine whether you achieve them or not.
And it starts with powerful decision making.
In order to move the needle in a massive way this year towards the healthiest version of yourself, you must master the steps to powerful decision making.
- First, know your target. Your target is your desired outcome. Get as specific as possible with what you want. Clarity is power - get crystal clear on your priorities.
- Second, know your why. Knowing your why provides you with purpose, and purpose gives you the drive to complete your goal. This is very, very critical. Because if you lose touch with why you want to achieve your goal, you won't follow through.
- Then take massive action. Often times it's not a lack of knowledge that prevents you from reaching a goal, it's a lack of action. Taking action is the game. Fear of failure is the number one culprit for not taking action. Truth is, most fears are not true and not even real. Eliminating fear factor allows us to take action towards our health.
- Know what is working. Having awareness of what you are doing that is working should be the signal to do more of that. For example, if your goal is to reverse diabetes, fixing your diet will massively move the needle. After you begin eating better, you start getting quick wins and realize that it's working. Don't stop - keep doing it! Don't say, "Well, that was nice, now I'm going to try a new diet." No, stick with what's working.
- Know what isn't working. Repeating behavior expecting a different outcome is the definition of insanity. If something isn't working for you, then it's time to change things up and try a different strategy. If you're going to achieve breakthrough, you have to make this a must. Make a way or find a way.
Here are the four conversations to have with your physician to help you make 2018 your best year ever.
1) What health goal should I make my first priority?
When it comes to improving your health, your doctor can be your best ally.
Maybe it's finally putting a stake in the ground to take control of your borderline diabetes or high blood pressure, or to quit smoking. Maybe you need to lose a little weight, or to feel like you're 25 again.
Involving your doctor can help you get clear on your goals. This is a critical part of the strategy as you march toward major health breakthroughs in 2018.
2) What medications should I be taking to improve my health?
This conversation is about medication that you likely should be taking, but are not.
This starts with owning up to the fact that your current state of health does not represent your truest, healthiest self. In order to right the ship, you may need some medication such as Metformin to help treat underlying problems like insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.
3) Are any of my medications preventing my health breakthrough?
You may need to talk to your doctor about discontinuing medications that might be contributing to your inability to get breakthrough.
For example, some medications affect you physiologically and inhibit proper fitness. Some medications make you drowsy. Others affect thinking, memory, productivity, and creativity.
If you've been on certain medications for years without an adjustment, talk to your doctor about why you're taking it, and if you need to keep taking it. Coming off medication is something that maybe an intricate part of your strategy in 2018 to becoming healthier.
As you begin to control your diabetes, lower your cholesterol, and lose weight, some medications will need to be reduced or discontinued all together.
3) Are there any safety concerns I need to be aware of before pressing go?
One of the biggest safety concerns is around fitness.
Talk to your doctor before you start working out to make sure your heart can tolerate the stress of cardiovascular training and weight lifting.
You may be on some medications or have pre-existing diseases that may need evaluated before you begin to exercise. Keep in mind there are other ways to increase your metabolism and burn excess fat that don't involve going to the gym.
I love the gym, but if you have diabetes or high blood pressure, exercise may be difficult because of certain medications you may be on. Just really make sure that safety is priority as you're pursuing this year’s goals.
I hope these strategies will help you set goals and make powerful decisions going forward.
You deserve massive breakthrough in your health in 2018.
This is your year, and I want that for you.
Please leave me your me your comments, questions, and let me know if there are other topics you would like me to discuss in future posts.
Take care --
Aaron Wenzel, MD