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The Hub Lifestyle Support

Stick with it! Simple ways to keep achieving your goals

In our last article about setting your intention for the new year, my colleague Michele Bauer mentioned forgiveness. What does forgiveness look like when it comes to intention-setting and goal achievement?

I can tell you what it doesn’t look like: falling short of a goal that you set and then swearing to yourself that you will NEVER do that again.

Setbacks are hard. Really hard. They’re also the most necessary part of the journey to our goals! They teach us valuable lessons about ourselves—but those lessons that can be easier for us to take to heart when we have more successes than setbacks. To keep “sticking with it,” let’s look at how you can keep your goals both fresh and realistic.

Fight boredom with the F.I.T.T. formula

As a certified health and wellness coach, my favorite tool to help patients keep their goals fresh is a formula supported by the American Heart Association and other organizations: frequency, intensity, time, and type (F.I.T.T.). Let’s say that one of your fitness goals this year is to hop on the treadmill three times each week. When you feel yourself starting to lose steam, you can mix up your routine by changing the frequency, intensity, time, and/or type of your workout regimen:

  • You might opt to exercise more frequently but for less time.
  • With greater frequency, it might make sense to find a new type of exercise that’s easy to pair with your daily schedule—for example, walking up and down the bleachers during halftime at your kid’s basketball game.

The F.I.T.T. formula can also be used with nutrition. Let’s say that you’ve been eating three full meals a day and you have a new diet of fewer daily calories. Whereas before you felt fine in between meals, now you’re hungry to the point of distraction, and you’re snacking on the first foods you see. To stave off hunger in between meals, you can mix it up here as well:

  • You might try more frequent meals of different intensities—and types. Instead of three square meals, try five smaller, snackier ones and then see if that helps.

Make sure your goals are achievable

Maybe you’re consistently falling short of your goals. Not a good feeling. Consider the possibility that it’s not you; it’s the goals themselves.

But before you revisit your goals, revisit your intention—or what I call your “vision statement.” This is foundational to who you are and it reminds you why you’re doing what you’re doing. Michele Bauer, one of our behavioral health specialists, offers three steps to set and follow your intention.

While your intention is sacred, your goals can and should be evaluated early and often. There are many ways to “live” your values and there’s no shame in choosing a new one.

At Vivacity Care Center, we’re big fans of starting goals with the words “I will” and making them S.M.A.R.T.: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. At least one study has proven that S.M.A.R.T. goals inspire more action. So when you’re reevaluating your goals after having struggled with them, consider focusing on attainability first:

  • Is your goal attainable?
    Rate your level of confidence that you will achieve your S.M.A.R.T. goal on a scale of 1-100. If you rate your confidence below a 70, it’s best to tweak your goal: give yourself more time to achieve it, make it more relevant to your intention, or break it up into more specific steps.

Find your supporters

One of the biggest things I notice about patients who tend to meet their goals—however many setbacks along the way—is positive self-talk. A little self-compassion goes a long way.

Another thing they tend to have? Support. As Michele points out in her intention-setting article, making your goals known makes you likelier to achieve them. I would add that support from others gives you an important sounding board where you can articulate both your values and your goals. Your words and their reactions form a well of inspiration from which you can draw.

Part of your support group
can be your care team!

Same- and next-day appointments are available.

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About Heidi Beer
Heidi Beer is a health coach at the North Spokane Care Center and recently moved to Spokane from Alaska. Heidi is always striving to help patients learn, grow, and lead a healthy lifestyle. With a background in exercise science, fitness, and athletic coaching, she became a health and wellness coach over 13 years ago.