According to the Global Wellness Institute, wellness is the “active pursuit of activities, choices, and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health.”
My take? I believe wellness is not a place to reach nor a single state of being to achieve. Instead, I see it as an experience to create. Wellness is a lifelong process that helps you move the needle toward fulfillment in multiple areas of life—including, but not limited to, your happiness and physical health.
I also believe setting wellness-related goals is an essential part to staying well and living a life of fulfillment. Keep reading to find out why—and how you can optimize any wellness-related goal you set.
Why Set a Wellness Goal?
No matter what area of wellness you wish to improve, setting a quality goal can dramatically increase your chances of seeing meaningful improvement. Here’s why, according to research:
- Goals increase accountability, especially within areas surrounding diet and physical activity
- Goals help you stay focused and motivated, especially in a world where so many other things vie for our attention and resources
- Goals help you filter your experience and notice the things, opportunities, and people which will help you achieve
- Having goals strengthens the ability to make decisions, problem-solve, innovate, self-regulate, and be resourceful (which makes for a strong case of having goal-setting conversations with your kids, too)
Our goals also tend to positively reinforce other healthy behaviors and can benefit multiple areas of wellness at once. For instance, a goal to improve your marriage may also end up boosting your physical well-being, since we know healthy relationships are correlated with stronger immune systems.
Bottom line? The potential impact of setting a good wellness goal is huge, and experts agree it’s well worth the time and effort. Which brings us to our next question: what does a “good” goal actually look like?
Simple Strategies to Get the Most Out of Your Wellness Goals
Here are a few evidence-based ways to set a good wellness goal and make the greatest impact on your well-being:
- Make it meaningful. Does your goal excite you? Energize you? Intimidate you a bit? Do you love to talk about it? Questions like these can help you know if you’ve chosen a goal that actually matters to you.
- Write it down. Time and again, research shows us that people who write down their goals are significantly more likely to achieve them compared to people who don’t.
- Make it specific and measurable. Having an ill-defined goal makes it hard to know if you’re actually making progress. Break down your big picture goal into smaller daily action steps and use these steps to help you know if you’re on track.
- Visualize it. Regularly imagine your goal as if it’s already achieved. This can enhance motivation, especially as you get closer to achieving the goal in real life.
- Recruit your tribe. Social connection can boost motivation and accountability—and it may also inspire other people to make positive changes, too! So, reach out to other people you can trust to offer you feedback and support.
Wellness has a lot of moving parts to it. Intentionally setting a goal to improve one area of your wellness can give you the focus, energy, and clarity you need to make positive change. Not only can this benefit your wellness as a whole, but it may also serve as an inspiring example to your loved ones, too—so never underestimate the ripple effects of your own acts of self-care.