The “journey” towards health can be a long one. I say “journey” because for many people, optimal health is first, and deceptively, thought of as a destination rather than a way of life. I have encountered endless people with their sights set on lofty goals: lose 50 pounds, or even 100 pounds, quit smoking for good, start exercising for an hour every day, conquer my sweet tooth. There is no doubt that these are worthy goals that will improve a person’s health, but it is also crucial to recognize that big changes don’t usually happen overnight, nor without inevitable struggle and setbacks. One key to staying on track, and developing balanced, healthy habits that will last a lifetime, is to set mini goals regularly and celebrate your accomplishments. Here are some of my favorite ideas for tracking and celebrating your successes:
- Write it down. Keeping a food and/or exercise journal can help not only to hold you accountable, but also show you how much progress you are making. And you don’t have to track only food or exercise: sleep, stress, mindset, and many other types of goals can benefit from keeping record.
- Find a group of like-minded individuals to share your goals and accomplishments with. Community works! Two popular examples that come to mind are Weight Watchers and Crossfit. Weight Watchers allows participants to meet weekly, which helps to keep them accountable and gain support from others facing similar challenges. Likewise, Crossfit is a community-focused exercise program that allows participants to support and encourage each other through each workout and personal best. Look for support not only in structured groups, but also through family, friends, and co-workers. Let others know what your goals are and when you achieve them.
- Celebrate by living fully. The best thing about having a healthy body is the ability to move, explore, and experience the world in endless ways. When celebrating your accomplishments focuses on ‘doing’ rather than ‘having,’ it reinforces just how much fun being healthy can be.
- Notice and celebrate accomplishments that might not have been specific goals to start with. Sure, maybe you wanted to eat a bit healthier, but now you are a whiz in the kitchen and friends beg you to cook for them. No that wasn’t the plan initially, but it feels pretty good, right?
It’s time to earn some bragging rights! Set goals, accomplish them, and then set some more! Even after the 100 pounds are lost, eating clean is a breeze, and exercise is a habit on parr with brushing your teeth, it is essential to continue to set and celebrate mini goals. Always keep growing, and you will always have something to celebrate!
And speaking of bragging rights, check out the video below. Mastering the pistol squat is a goal of mine!