Six Steps to Setting Goals

By Adrianne Delgado, RD, LDN

As one year ends and another begins, it’s a common practice to evaluate the past and plan for the future. January 1st is the perfect opportunity to set new health goals as the promise of a new beginning fuels our motivation.

I recently listened to a podcast that broke down goal-setting into six steps. The first three steps focus on evaluating where you have been so that you can effectively plan for the future. Just like Google Maps requires you to enter in a starting point and end point, creating an achievable goal requires you to effectively evaluate your starting point before moving forward. We often skip this step and go right to creating new goals because this is the most exciting part. But missing this critical piece often leads us to creating goals that aren’t obtainable, or worse, ones we don’t even want to work on. At Bodymetrix, we are more concerned with creating goals you can actually achieve than with creating wish lists. We love results and are passionate about helping you achieve them!

In order to increase your chances of achieving your health goals, let’s walk through the six steps together:

Step 1: List out your highlights over the past year.

Highlights can include exciting activities, nutrition and health wins, exercise gains, etc. If helpful, use your camera roll on your phone to help you remember or ask a family member or friend for input.

Step 2: List your challenges over the past year.

List any injuries, setbacks, health concerns, or other challenges that made it difficult to reach your health goals this past year (again, your camera roll or friends/family can be helpful in remembering those occurrences).

Step 3: What did you learn about yourself this past year?

When I personally performed this exercise, I wrote down, I work hard but then crash, and my crash lasts longer than what I’m comfortable with. Instead of taking an hour off to decompress, I’ll spend the rest of the day on my phone or reading a book. Moving forward, I would like to be more intentional and use a timer for downtime to make sure it doesn’t bleed into the rest of my day. What have you learned about your behaviors and habits based on your highlights and challenges above?

Now that we know where we’re starting, we can more effectively create goals moving forward!

Step 4: Keep

What activities or habits would you like to continue doing this year that you already have in place? Is there a habit that you have already established when it comes to nutrition, exercise, sleep, or stress management that’s working well for you? What are you doing well that you would like to continue doing without making changes or adjustments?

Step 5: Start

What activities or habits would you like to start this year? This could include swapping out healthier ingredients when cooking, listening to hunger and fullness cues when eating, increasing exercise frequency or intensity, going to bed at a certain time, practicing yoga at night, increasing produce to the recommendations, etc. What new habit(s) would you like to start in 2024?

Step 6: Stop

What activities or habits would you like to stop this year? Think about those habits that are no longer serving you or in alignment with your health goals, and drop them for the upcoming year. Examples may be reducing unhealthy snacking at night, decreasing critical self-talk, reducing fast food consumption, or decreasing excuses when you don’t feel like working out.

Once you complete the six steps above, evaluate your findings. Are you happy with what you wrote? Do you actually want to work on the keep/start/stop goals or did you write down things you think you should work on? (there’s a difference!!!!) How likely are you to follow through with your goals? How can you set yourself up for success?

The dietitians at Bodymetrix are trained to help you reach your health goals. If you would like to work on this activity with your dietitian or review your results and create a plan, set up an appointment today and let 2024 be the year you achieve your goals.


Adrianne Delgado, RD, LDN
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