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How To Meet Your Well-Being Goals

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Setting wellness goals can be a powerful step toward improved overall well-being, yet many of us find ourselves stuck in a cycle of unmet goals and frustration. While setting goals can be easy, staying committed to them can be tough; while we may start with determination and excitement for self-improvement, we often lose momentum soon after beginning.

If you’ve been struggling to achieve your well-being objectives, you’re not alone. In fact, there’s a psychological explanation for it. In a 2020 study, neuroscientists examined the disconnect between our decision-making focus before and after we pursue a goal. “When we make choices about what effort to put in [to meet our goals], we are motivated by the rewards we expect to get back,” said Dr. Agata Ludwiczak, lead study author and research fellow from Queen Mary University of London. “But at the point at which we come to actually do what we had said we would do, we focus on the level of effort we have to actually put in rather than the rewards we hoped we would get.”

In sum, when we feel like the effort is too much, we give up altogether. Sound familiar?

Understanding the underlying reasons behind such stagnation can help us craft an effective strategy to break free. Remember, achieving well-being is a lifelong process, and adapting to challenges with resilience and self-compassion is key to creating lasting positive change in your life. Below, we’ll explore some common barriers to well-being goals and practical tips on how to overcome them. You’ve got this.

Unrealistic Expectations

One of the primary reasons individuals fall short of their well-being goals is because they set unrealistic expectations. While ambition is admirable, pushing yourself too hard can lead to burnout and disappointment. Instead of aiming for overnight changes, focus on establishing realistic, achievable goals. Gradual progress is more sustainable and allows for the development of lasting habits.

Try This: Break down your well-being goals into smaller, manageable tasks. Celebrate small victories along the way to stay motivated and build momentum.

Lack of Consistency

Consistency is key when it comes to well-being. Folx often start with enthusiasm but struggle to maintain a regular routine, which can lead to setbacks. Life’s unpredictability can make it challenging to stick to a plan, but establishing a consistent schedule for self-care is essential. Whether it’s exercise, meditation, or healthy eating, consistency builds habits that contribute to long-term well-being.

Try This: Create a weekly schedule that includes dedicated time for well-being activities. Treat these appointments with the same importance as work or social commitments. To really hold yourself accountable, you can also set reminders in your phone for these activities.

Ignoring Mental Well-Being

Physical health is frequently prioritized over mental well-being, contributing to an imbalance in overall wellness. Neglecting mental health can undermine efforts to achieve holistic well-being. Stress, anxiety, and other mental health challenges can hinder progress and motivation. It’s important to address these aspects to create a solid foundation for overall wellness.

Try This: Incorporate mindfulness practices, such as meditation or deep breathing exercises, into your routine. Seek professional support if you’re struggling with persistent mental health challenges.

SEE ALSO: How Gratitude Can Optimize Your Well-Being—And 4 Simple Ways to Practice It

Lack of Planning

A well-thought-out plan is crucial for success in any endeavor, including well-being goals. Without a clear roadmap, individuals may find themselves aimlessly navigating through various activities, resulting in a lack of progress. Planning not only provides structure but also helps in identifying potential obstacles and devising strategies to overcome them.

Try This: Set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals. Develop a step-by-step plan outlining how you will achieve each goal.

External Influences

External factors such as societal expectations, peer pressure, or family dynamics can significantly impact well-being goals. Striving to meet external standards may lead to dissatisfaction and frustration. It’s essential to align well-being goals with personal values and aspirations rather than external pressures.

Try This: Reflect on your well-being goals and assess whether they align with your values and priorities. Adjust your goals if necessary, focusing on what truly matters to you.

SEE ALSO: Who Can I Run To? The Strong Friend’s Guide to Self-Care

Fear of Failure

The fear of failure can paralyze individuals, preventing them from taking risks and pursuing their well-being goals wholeheartedly. Embracing failure as a part of the learning process can catalyze personal growth. Instead of viewing setbacks as insurmountable obstacles, see them as opportunities to learn, adapt, and move forward.

Try This: Shift your mindset towards failure as a learning experience. Celebrate your efforts, regardless of the outcome, and use setbacks as stepping stones toward improvement.

Steph R. Long is a Chopra-certified health and meditation instructor, founder of holistic wellness and coaching company SRL Well-Being, and the former Deputy Director of Enterprise for Refinery29 Unbothered. As a queer Black wellness practitioner who strives toward inclusivity, Steph centers BIPOC and QTBIPOC, who are often underserved by the wellness industry. Her commitment is to help everyone rediscover their inner wisdom, empowering each of her clients to cultivate self-awareness and lead vibrant, purposeful lives.

Here’s Why You Aren’t Meeting Your Well-Being Goals (And How To Finally Change That) 
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