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Tips for Setting Health Goals (and Sticking to Them!) in 2022

Setting Health Goals

Tips for Setting Health Goals (and Sticking to Them!) in 2022

Are you tired of setting health goals you never seem to achieve? Do you tend to fall off the wagon and go back to old habits within a few months?

If you answered yes to either of these questions then you’re not the only one! Yes, it’s true, many people are familiar with the classic New Year’s resolution that only tends to stick around until February (if it even lasts that long!). 

But we’re here to help! In today’s blog, we discuss how to go about setting your health goals for the new year, and how to stick to them long-term.

4 Steps for Setting Health Goals you can Stick to

Step 1.

What is my long-term / big-picture goal i.e. my vision?

Example 1: “To eat healthier and exercise more”

Example 2: “To loose 40kg”

Step 2.

Once you have written down your vision, you have to work out what actual behaviours will put you on the path to achieving this.

Break it down further by using the SMART goal-setting model.

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-framed.

  • Specific –  What exactly will you be doing to achieve your vision?
  • Measurable – How will you measure the achievement of your goal? For example: Keeping a log / diary of my exercise routine
  • Achievable – Is it realistic for your lifestyle or are you being too ambitious? For example: If your goal is to run for 60 minutes 7 times per week and you don’t have a basic level of fitness to begin with, this can lead to non-compliance or an injury.
  • Relevant – Are your goals relevant to your vision? Does it fit in with your values and priorities?
  • Time-framed – How often are you going to carry out the behaviours? Is there a time-frame as to when you’re hoping to achieve your vision? Make sure the time-frame you have given yourself is realistic.

Examples of SMART Health goals include:

  1. To consume healthier foods by eating home cooked meals at least 5 times per week. Need some inspiration for healthy meals? Check out some of our recipes ideas here.
  2. Aim to exercise for 30 minutes at least 4 times per week (Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday). This could include brisk walking, swimming, going to a Pilates class or doing a strength training class. 

Step 3.

Understand your ‘why’.

Why is it important for you to achieve this goal? 

For example: I want to eat healthier and exercise more because I love the energy it gives me and the way I feel. Having more energy throughout the day allows me to be more productive and lead a life I am proud of. 

Step 4.

Plan ahead and try to identify barriers and difficulties you may face which may make it difficult for you to stick to your goals. 

Common barriersPossible solutions
Not enough time to cook or exercise
  • Get the support of a friend, partner or family member to help you cook meals
  • Preparing meals in advance (on weekends) or bulk cook and freeze meals
  • Choose easy / ready-to-eat meals such as pre-made salad bags or steam fresh vegetables and tinned tuna / shredded chicken
  • Pack snacks and meals the night before if you tend to sleep in and rush in the morning
  • It’s great to get the kids involved with cooking and shopping – get them to help with these jobs to save more time
  • Plan your day / weekly schedule ahead and allocate some time for yourself. This could mean allocating 30 minutes before or after work for yourself to exercise
Too tired to exercise
  • Park further away from the station / workplace or get off the bus one stop early and walk the rest of the way
  • Go for a walk during break times
  • Stand up and go for a quick walk around the office every hour
  • Walk to deliver a message to a colleague rather than messaging or emailing
  • Try to identify why you are tired in the first place

– Are you eating enough or are you constantly skipping meals?

– Are you hydrated?

– Are you taking your supplements, and are you up-to-date with your blood test check-up?

– Are you getting a good night’s rest?

Social pressures to eat out with friends 
  • Meet up with your friend for a coffee and go for a walk rather than for brunch 
  • Plan before you go and choose a restaurant that offer healthy options
  • Assess the menu beforehand so you know exactly what you will order when you get to the cafe/restaurant
  • Choose an entrée size dish and don’t be afraid to take leftovers home
  • Share a dessert with a friend if you can’t resist 
  • Skip the calorie-dense drinks and choose water
Stress or emotional eating
  • Try to identify what situations cause you to ‘stress eat’’
  • Make a list of things you can do other than eat during these situations to help with the emotion you are feeling. For example, if you are feeling stressed at work, buy a stress ball to play with.

Need Help Achieving a Healthy Lifestyle?

Here at the Brisbane Obesity Clinic, we are so excited to continue helping you along your journey towards a healthier lifestyle.

Call us on (07) 3871 2277 if you would like more personalised advice on goal setting, and share some of your new year’s goals for 2022 below!

Brisbane Obesity Surgery | Weight Loss Surgery | Brisbane Obesity Clinic

Are ready to make some decisions about your health?

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