Wellness Goals

Progress is not just what you do, but how you do it.

Alicja Carter
February 8, 2024 / 5 mins read

When it comes to making progress towards wellness goals, I have had a history of taking a tumble right out of the starting gate because of my approach. My expectations were generally too big, with tight timelines, based on what I thought I should be doing, and didn't take into account the rest of my life’s obligations or even what felt best to me at the time. I quickly felt like a failure and it greatly slowed my momentum towards making positive changes.

Here are a few personal tips that I've learned the hard way that you may find useful as you plot out your wellness intentions or goals for 2024.

Work towards cultivating a more balanced, less extreme mindset. Remember, your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all related. If your thoughts are relentless, then you are not going to feel so great, and you are more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors or unhelpful habits to find relief. Our thought patterns have been developed and reinforced over time. These thoughts might seem true and unbending, but they only feel natural because you’ve practiced them so much. Take heart, as you practice new thinking patterns, they will become your new normal!

  • Pay attention to your stinkin’ thinkin’ and take action to address it. You can experiment with journaling, reciting positive affirmations, or connecting with a therapist or positive support system.
  • Consider checking out or purchasing the book entitled, “You Are Not Your Brain: The 4-Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits, Ending Unhealthy Thinking, and Taking Control of Your Life.” This book was essential in helping me name and call out my negative thoughts, identify my values, and narrow down my priorities. Complete game changer.

Connect to healthy support systems and resources. No doubt you have the greatest of intentions, but the feeling of motivation comes and goes…for everyone. People that find progress in their wellness goals recognize that they can’t do it alone. People provide support, encouragement, accountability, and resources that show up at just the time you were going to give up. They offer that healthy and hopeful outlook you may be lacking at any moment.

  • Reach out to see if someone else wants to do something with you. Connect in person, via text, or on a social media platform.
  • Explore the resources you may need to be successful. Check out opportunities that are on Facebook, your local library, or in the Shawnee Outlook.

Pay attention to the way you set your intentions or goals.

  • Set a goal that matters to you. Don’t try to compete or keep up with other people. Embrace your own wellness journey and let other people have theirs.
  • Pick 1-3 things to focus on and let the rest go. Chances are, if you are making steady progress in one area of your life, it will naturally benefit or improve other areas without overly trying. Also, if wellness is stressing you out or depleting you rather than providing relief and filling your cup, it may be time to switch it up or take some items off the list.
  • Set goals you can trip over. Every time you set a goal and accomplish it, your brains receive a dopamine reward. Your system doesn’t care how big or small the goal is…the reward is the same. Why not set super small goals or at least break your big goal into tiny steps and get rewarded as many times as you can throughout the day or week? The easier the task is, the more likely you are to stick with it. As you maintain your commitment, you will receive the feel good chemicals that make you happy and keep you motivated. Your seemingly small efforts will create momentum and within time, you will see results.
  • Explore. Review. Adjust. Setting goals and developing a plan to get there is largely a guessing game. Getting into an exercise routine, eating nutritious foods, and losing weight may sound simple enough, but in reality, making progress in these areas is such a COMPLEX and long-term conversation. Truths, insights, and understanding about what it takes to really accomplish these goals are revealed over time, generally after many “failed” attempts. Check in with yourself on a weekly or monthly basis. If you are not seeing the results you had hoped for, you may need more time, more resources, or a more reasonable goal. Keep learning and growing.

Decide that you are a priority and schedule it. You block time for tasks, meetings, and people every day. This action demonstrates that these people and commitments are important to you. I imagine these relationships or projects deepen and improve over time. The same is possible for any goal that is important to you. Take those small steps that you have outlined and get them scheduled. Hold space for yourself and what is important to you. The truth is, time is going to pass and then it is going to run out. Even if you don't achieve every goal, it will feel good knowing you were walking the path that was right for you.

Remember, when it comes to your wellness journey, you are always right where you need to be to inspire your next steps. The fact that you are considering your well being is a triumph and progress is possible even when the process isn’t perfect. Just. Keep. Going.

If you or someone you know would like support on their recovery journey, do not hesitate to reach out to us at 273-1170 x0 or send us a message.