Do you really need to have health goals?

07 February

Just wondering… have you ever noticed that most people are not perfect specimens of health? Why is that?

I talk to a LOT of people about health, and I have learned a great deal about human psychology from these conversations.

First, when someone tells me they want to get healthy – or healthier – but they always have an excuse for not eating right or sleeping enough or exercising daily, I know they haven’t really sorted out their priorities.

And I don’t want that to come off as mean or harsh.  Truly.

There are a lot of unhealthy people in the world because becoming and staying healthy – in this day and age – is challenging! And that means making it a priority is also challenging.

That doesn’t mean you can’t do it though. On the contrary, it just takes a compelling reason to make it possible.

Consider someone who is going on a tropical vacation soon. He or she may want to look great in a swimsuit, and they have a deadline approaching, so they are more motivated to achieve their health goals in a certain period of time.

Or a bride (or groom; let’s not be sexist here) who wants to look stunning on her wedding day. Did you know there is an entire industry about “health and fitness for brides”?? Yep. Again, a deadline is looming for a group of people with a sincere purpose.

Or what about a 45-year-old man whose father died from a heart attack at age 48? He has three children whom he wants to see grow up and get married. He wants to be a grandfather to their children, unlike his children, who didn’t get to spend much time with their grandfather. Now THAT is a powerful health goal.

Here’s another tip. If you’re saying, “I want to lose weight”, or “I want to be less stressed”, or “I want to look good”, you’re going to run into problems.

It’s much easier to state a specific goal like, “I want to lose 15 pounds in the next 3 months” or “I want to be able to bench press 160 pounds within 2 months”. These are specific goals that give you a deadline.

To achieve these goals, don’t focus on the goal itself. Focus on the PROCESS of achieving it. And that process should be broken down into small chunks.

In other words, if your goal is to lose 15 pounds in 3 months, aim for 1.5 pounds a week, and then focus on what you need to do each week to get there. Such things as “eat my fill of vegetables before I have any snacks or desserts” and “walk 3 miles a day, 6 days a week” and “do body-weight training 3 days a week.”

When you focus on those incremental steps, achieving your big goal becomes much easier.

But honestly, it really all comes down to WHY you want to achieve that goal in the first place.

All the processes and baby steps in the world won’t amount to much if you don’t have a compelling reason for WHY you want to go for that goal.

Just saying, “I know it’s good for me” probably isn’t compelling enough for most people.

So ask yourself:

  • What is the biggest benefit for me to achieve this goal?
  • Who else benefits besides me?
  • Why is that important to me?
  • And why is that important to me?
  • And why is that important to me? (Yes, at least 3 “whys” deep to get at the REAL motivation for your health and fitness goals.)

Still need a little motivation to achieve those goals?

Think about your bigger life goals. The people whom you want to impact. The relationships you want to nourish. The legacy you want to leave behind.

What will it take for you to reach those goals?

You’ll need to have energy. Be enthusiastic. Be available. Be present. Be clear-minded. Be able to move around and meet with people.

Without good health, you will feel like you are slowing others down. You’ll be afraid of being a burden. And you won’t have the energy to spend with family and friends.

It’s common knowledge that people who have clear-cut, written-down goals, achieve more than those who don’t. So write down your goals today, as well as an achievable, measurable plan to reach them.

Then write down all the reasons WHY good health is important to you and post it where you can see it every day.

I’d love to be able to speak with you about your health goals. Maybe it’s your eating plan, or your exercise routine. Just click here for a short meeting with me to get you on the path to feeling AND looking great!


Jeff Snyder, Personal Training Manager