Goal setting: Sticking at it

Chris Foster Chris Foster Nuffield Health Professional Head of Fitness
How many times have you set yourself a goal, only to give up weeks later? You’re not alone - our Head of Fitness, Chris Foster, is here to help you stay on track this time.

1. Start small
Some goals can seem like giant, insurmountable obstacles. Losing a lot of weight, for example, can feel impossible. But breaking down a big task into smaller chunks means you can slowly but surely chip away at the challenge to reach your goals.

Set yourself short (1-4 weeks), medium (3-6 months) and long-term (12+ months) goals which are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound). Every time you hit a small target you’ll feel motivated, giving you an additional push towards achieving success.

2. Reward yourself
Why not! If you’re putting in hard work to achieve your goals, you deserve to reward yourself. Rewards provide an additional layer of positivity, encouraging you to succeed. One caveat – the rewards should be in proportion to the achievement and shouldn’t be detrimental to achieving your goal.

3. Remind yourself
With busy lives it’s easy to put your goal to the bottom of the priority list, but if you want to succeed then you have to ensure it stays front of mind. A great way to do this is to set regular alarms on your phone with motivational messages like ‘Congratulations…You’re one week into your weight loss challenge. Keep at it!’ Alternatively, get your friends to do it for you!

4. Tell your friends
Talking of friends, making them aware of what you’re trying to achieve can help prevent any unintentionally negative peer pressure, to 'skip the workout' or 'treat yourself', for example. If they know what you’re striving for, they are more likely to rally around and help you to reach your goal.

5. Be consistent
Being consistent with your health routine, whether it’s your approach to exercise, nutrition, sleep, stress or emotional wellbeing, will help you to achieve your goals and maintain good health in the long-term.

6.Don’t beat yourself up
It's important to be consistent but if you fall off the wagon, jump straight back on. Everybody has off days, but being consistent means if you do, you don’t let it affect the rest of your week/month/year.

Last updated Monday 24 December 2018

First published on Friday 25 November 2016