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Guest blog: 5 ways to goal set in a healthy way

Guest blog by Lizzie Butcher
Lizzie is a Life Coach for high achieving women who are looking to reclaim balance without sacrificing their success. You can connect with her at www.lizziebutcher.com or on Instagram @iamlizziebutcher. 

 

The start of a new year brings us a beautiful opportunity to reflect upon all we have achieved in the year before. From here, we can look ahead with a fresh perspective to the things we'd like to achieve in the year to come.

Goal setting is an empowering way to pause, refocus and give you a clear direction to how you can make positive changes in your life. It allows you to hold yourself accountable and gives you a way of tracking your progress. By having a plan, you increase your motivation to achieve them.

Here are 5 fresh ways to help you rethink and reframe your approach to goal setting. We hope these tips help you to truly embrace and enjoy the process, and get excited for 2022! 

1. Understand your why

Setting goals that align with your deeper values can help maintain your motivation to achieve them. Think about your why and about the wider consequence of your actions.

For example, you want to create better boundaries around your working hours. Turning off notifications and not checking your work emails after 6pm, can give you time to switch off each evening. Understanding why this is important is the driving factor. Thinking about the positive impact on your sleep pattern, stress levels and overall mental health, will help you in making this goal your new norm. 

2. Focus on what you are adding, not what you are taking away

Subconsciously, if you are thinking that you are restricting yourself from something, it can be more difficult to want to keep doing. Change the story you’re telling yourself and talk about the positive gain.

Rather than making your goal to eat less unhealthy food, change your perspective and language to focus on adding more healthy food into your diet. 

3. Plan to succeed, but be a little flexible

A realistic schedule, that works for you, is key to achieving your goal. The step before this is even more important. Blocking out the time to create your plan.

Put the kettle on, take 15 minutes to yourself with a pen and paper, and each weekend plan your week ahead. By mid week you may be tired, so having already removed the decision making process, you are more likely to succeed.

Remember, if life gets in the way, be kind to yourself and give it another go, or tweak the plan for next time and try again.

4. Visualise the feeling 

Visualising your goals, and the actions it takes to reach them, can have a longer lasting effect on your behaviour than simply writing out a list. This is because images follow different neural pathways than language and conscious reasoning. It allows your brain to become familiar with the process, even before you’ve done it, giving you a higher chance of success.

Imagine yourself reaching your goal and feeling the positive emotions that come with it. For example, if you want to become closer to your parents and speak more often, imagine how you will feel in 12 months from now if you keep this weekly habit up. 

5. Reward yourself

Finally, celebrate the small wins, not only the end goal. Enjoy the journey toward your goal that you are creating, by treating yourself with something that doesn’t jeopardise your goal. 

If your goal is to read a book per month, treat yourself to a new candle which you can enjoy whilst reading your next book the following month. 

Change doesn’t happen overnight, but in taking one step at a time toward what is important to you, the change will come, and it will be lasting. 

Enjoy creating the life you were meant to live.