Health goals, whether they be physical, mental, or emotional, can be challenging at times. Staying on track can be difficult. Most of us have struggled with the willpower struggle to choose the “right” path that aligns with our goals. But that’s why they are goals. They are meant to be easy all the time.
Luckily, there are a number of tips and tricks that are tried and true by people who need help during their goal process. Many of them involve journaling in a weekly planner and keeping track of your progress. Both the steps forward and backward.
Let’s dive right in.
Journaling Gives You a Clear Vision
The most important part of putting your health goals on paper is the ability to define what they are. Without a clear vision, it may be hard to achieve anything. You may have heard the term S.M.A.R.T. before. This stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
This means your goal should be attainable and realistic and have a specific date and action.
Example of a S.M.A.R.T. goal
“I want to lose 10 pounds by April 30th.”
An example of an incorrect goal.
“I want to lose weight.”
How much weight? And by when? Spending time writing your thoughts down makes you accountable.
It’s a Stress Reducer
Added stress in your life can get in the way of your goals regardless of whether they are physical, emotional, or mental. Stress drains the body of needed energy to achieve new heights. Journaling is a way of decompressing and clearing your mind. Even if you aren’t free-journaling, just writing down a schedule can take some things off your mind.
Perspective and Appreciation
Journaling about your appreciation and gratitude can go a long way for your mental health as you pursue your goals. Studies have shown that journaling can have a highly positive impact on your brain while not being too taxing or time-consuming.
Free journaling can help get new ideas out that are hanging around in your subconscious. It also can help get out any frustrations you may have, blocking you from reaching your potential. Studies prove that it’s been known to decrease symptoms of depression, leaving people a lot happier. This makes it easier to stay motivated. But there is another way to stay motivated as well.
How to Stay Motivated
Tracking your progress is one of the best ways to stay motivated. When you start to accumulate results and achieve smaller goals that help with the big picture, it’s exciting. It’s one thing to do it, but to see it in a measurable way is great. There are a few ways to do this.
- Reflections are a great way to see where you are and keep track of your progress. This can be done after looking at how you measured up to complete small tasks for the week. Write down what worked and what didn’t, and reevaluate the following week.
- Tally up how many times you achieve small goals. Checking something off helps boost positive endorphins in our brains and also produces confidence in ourselves. This motivates us to keep going.
When following a simple system that helps you keep track of how you are doing, you can make plans to stay on track. When we don’t finish our tasks, suddenly, we can feel overwhelmed and begin to procrastinate. This system helps avoid that by confronting it head-on.
Don’t Over Schedule
It’s important when you are looking to use a planner to help clear things from your mind so that you don’t turn around and overwhelm it again. By writing down too much or making your goals overwhelming, you are more likely to fall off track. Keep things simple by starting small and growing your task list as you get more comfortable journaling and achieving your tasks.
Some people get excited about their health goals and want to go 100% in by adding tons of new routines like supplements and nutrients. This is great! But asking for too much at once can lead to burnout. Be aware of this.
Health Journals Can Be Separate From Everyday
The last tip is to understand your personality in terms of how you prefer to organize. If you need to keep this journal completely separate from your everyday tasks (such as cleaning the kitchen), that’s OK.
If you prefer to have a bird’s eye view of what’s going on in your life and how health fits into it, that works too.
Whichever path you take, keeping a system that’s organized is the key to being able to follow the other tips and tricks listed here!