8 Things You Need to Know to Crush Your Goals All Year

I have one big specific goal for 2024—to get fit. It includes being more active, losing weight, and managing stress. I wrote it in my journal like I do every year. But like over half of Americans who stumble over their fitness and other goals, I needed to refocus to make it happen. I just needed to get my head in the game and understand why my goals were so important. Nina Moore is a longevity coach based in Los Angeles who works with clients looking to enhance their health and well-being through what she says are “long-term, maintainable self-directed behavioral changes that align with their personal values.”
Moore says it is important to do your homework and zero in on your “why” before jumping into the “what” of any big goal.
What Are You Willing to Do?
“One of the first things I do when working with a client is to address why they want to make this change and their level of commitment,” Moore says. “We can agree that working out or changing up your diet is a good thing for your health or losing weight, but if you aren’t fully committed and focused, you aren’t going to stick with it,” she says.
“If your commitment and what you are willing to do consistently isn’t at a nine or a ten, you need to keep digging,” Moore says. She suggests that If you aren’t willing or able to focus on your big goals fully, ask yourself what smaller things you are willing to do to chip away at them. Moore uses the example of a person who says he or she wants to lose 20 pounds. “Dig in deeper with questions about your commitment, like what are you really willing to do?”
She says it is more than chasing a number on the scale. “What will losing 20 pounds do for your life or what will it allow you to do that you can’t do now?”
The next step, Moore says, is to address the barriers that have held you back when you tried to reach your goals in the past. Whether it is weight loss, stress management, or even career goals, you need to be able to see and address the big rocks and the small ones in your path. Look at the things that got in your way and what you are committed to doing to move forward, even after a stumble.
Use Your “Why” As Motivation

“Once you can understand the “why” and prioritize its importance, it gives you a focus and power,” Moore says. “If losing 10 pounds or 20 pounds allows you to play with your grandchildren without hurting yourself, you have a reason to push forward.” According to Moore, “it is never just about the numbers. It’s about how the work and results can benefit your life and what you want to do in the future.
Moore, who has worked with athletes, entrepreneurs, and others with many goals, works with them from a holistic perspective. “It’s never just about lifting weights or cardio, but about how you integrate these changes into improving your life.
Set Realistic Benchmarks
Moore says it is also important to benchmarks along the way. “If you want to run a 5k if you have never run before, start off learning to run a mile,” Moore says. She encourages checking in on the benchmarks at strategic intervals, say six weeks or eight weeks out.
“Equally important is to remember that you can’t, I mean, you can’t outrun bad nutrition. They both go hand in hand,” Moore says.
There are many reasons to work on health and wellness, including having good cardiovascular health, having good mobility, solid mental health, and building good relationships with other people. “That’s the holistic part,” she adds.
Consider Your Personal Preferences
Dr. Tyeese Gaines is a Florida-based emergency room physician who prioritizes her fitness goals. “When I make a new fitness goal, I try to think through what that will look and feel like at least the week prior,” Gaines says. “Do I need to get new running shoes? Do I need to go to the grocery store? Preparation is key. “
She agrees with Moore that working around your pitfalls is the most important part. “For example, I know I am not a morning person. So, creating a goal of waking up at 5 am to go run a few times a week is unlikely because I hate getting up a minute earlier than I have to,” she says. “Just because it’s a new year doesn’t mean I will become a new person. Learn to work within your preferences and quirks.”
As a physician, Gaines says, ” My goals probably sound very similar to my patients, friends, and family. We are all in this struggle together.
This Framework Applies to All Your Goals
But not everyone’s goals are focused on fitness. Award-winning author of Black Joy: Stories of Resistance, Resilience and Restoration, Tracey Michea’l Lewis- Giggetts says that kind of focus is important in her goal setting, as well.
“Nowadays, I have to consider so much more when setting my writing goals, including family time, other entrepreneurial projects, rest, soul care, etc. I wasn’t thinking about any of that in my 20s,” she says.
 
“I know that my brain needs space and safety to run optimally,” she added. “ So when I set a writing goal, I have also to make sure that it is something I want to do, something I have the time to do and something that is safe to do and is the content too heavy for wherever I am in my life at the moment.”
Lewis-Giggetts says that all of those things give her the things will give her the incentive to show up to the page consistently. “I also can run back those answers on the days I don’t feel much like going after my goal.”
Schedule Time for Joy and Play
Lewis-Giggetts’ strategy includes making her goals more about weaving in joy and play. “ I try to write joy into my day, onto my to-do list, as it is an absolute necessity for me,” she says. “I’m strategic about how I incorporate joy into my day. I’m acutely aware that when my nervous system is off, when my body is off because of grief or rage or pain or anxiety, then it will be very difficult for me to do my work, and goals will not be met.”

She says that play and joy help her manage her body and brain. Things like movement, including dancing or even getting on the swings at the playground, and laughter help her discharge anxiety. “All of that means I’m more likely to meet my goals because I’m well,” Lewis-Giggetts explains.
8 Things to Remember

Ask yourself the tough questions about your “why?”
What are you willing to commit to and focus consistently to make it happen?
Start small. Don’t start with a goal of walking 10 thousand steps right away. If you haven’t done it in a while, start with a mile or maybe 15 minutes, and consistently work your way up.
Anticipate the obstacles. New Year’s goals kick off in January when the weather can sideline you. Figure out what you can do in the house to get your physical activity in. Also, a cold or illness can slow you down. Plan for getting back on your plan.
Treat it as an important business appointment in your planner. If your goal is to eat healthier, make an appointment with yourself to prepare healthy meals to have ready. That includes snacks.
Sleep for health and focus. A lack of quality sleep can sabotage your health goals without a plan. Track your hours of sleep.
Check-in with your goals on a daily or weekly basis. Know where you stand and when you need to get back on track.
You can get a do-over. Maybe you didn’t get your meditation in for the week. Don’t just start. Take the time to remind yourself why this is a priority and what the benefits are.

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