Setting Goals

Overview

Setting goals can help a lot when you're trying to make a healthy change.

  • Focus on small goals. This will help you reach larger goals over time. With smaller goals, you'll have success more often, which will help you stay with it. For example, your large goal may be to lose 20 pounds. Your small goal could be to lose 5.
  • Write down your goals. This will help you remember, and you'll have a clearer idea of what you want to achieve. Use a journal or notebook to record your goals. Hang up your plan where you will see it often as a reminder of what you're trying to do.
  • Make your goals specific. Specific goals help you measure your progress. For example, setting a goal to eat one extra serving of vegetables a day is better than a general goal to "eat more vegetables."
  • Focus on one goal at a time. By doing this, you're less likely to feel overwhelmed and then give up.
  • When you reach a goal, reward yourself. Celebrate your new behavior and success for several days, and then think about setting your next goal.

Credits

Current as of: February 9, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Christine R. Maldonado PhD - Behavioral Health

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