Your physical and mental health can make all the difference in how you accomplish your professional goals. Make a game plan to tune your mindset, and see what happens.
BY: LEANNE RAY, MS, RDN
We all do it: busy juggling work and personal commitments while trying to stay on top of your game, mentally and physically. We try our best to set goals for ourselves, but often times miss the mark because we shoot for the moon without having a real plan, or fail to keep our starting point in mind when we reach for lofty goals.
Instead of always aiming higher, instead it might be time to take a step back and be more strategic with our mindset. Here are 3 things you can do now to reach your health goals and a better work life.
1. SMART GOALS FOR THE WIN
As one of the oldest tricks in the book, writing Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound (SMART) goals is core of your planning. It helps you focus your efforts so you’re able to be more productive in the long run. It’s also important to make sure you can easily measure success.
For example, “I’m going to start running more” is a tough one to quantify, but “I’m going to run once a week” is more specific and measurable. By setting more manageable “mini goals”, you can also celebrate small wins as you progress, which helps tremendously with motivation to continue. These formed habits will also benefit you in both professional and personal settings.
2. GRATITUDE JOURNALING
Expressing gratitude is a great strategy for improving your confidence and appreciation for others, even during times when it seems like everything is going wrong. Journaling can also be a helpful step in visualization, also known as mental imagery, which can positively impact our mood and attitude. Remember that these things directly translate to work life, so prioritizing your physical and emotional health will have a huge benefit professionally as well.
Buy a gratitude journal, or grab a notebook you have lying around. No matter what you end up using, pay attention to just how powerful it can be to write out some of the simplest things that make you happy each day. This form of reflection will allow you to appreciate all the progress you’ve made. Recognize all that your body does for you, and be thankful for the health you currently have that allows you to do the professional work you love.
3. ACTION PLANNING
It is vital to break down large, big-picture goals into smaller more actionable steps. Otherwise, it simply becomes overwhelming and more easy to give up on something that might be really meaningful. This is typically the missing piece in goal-setting in any environment. Most of us are great at setting large goals, but neglect to create a plan or actionable starting point. As an example, ‘getting a raise’ at work is a big-picture goal that likely requires several small behavior changes.
In thinking about some small action steps to set this plan in motion, ‘getting to bed by 10pm every night this week’ could lead to improved mood during the day, more energy, improved focus, smarter eating choices and subsequently improved work performance. Who would have thought those two things could be so closely connected?
Bottom line: small steps can equal big results.
The point of goal-setting is to prioritize smaller steps so you can begin to recognize your progress, and start seeing the value of putting even a little energy into making the work life you desire to happen. Now get to work on goal-setting so you can crush it at both work and life.
You’re worth it, after all.
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Leanne Ray, MS, RDN is a Denver-based Registered Dietitian empowering women to sustain healthy lifestyles that are practical and realistic. By helping others find happiness and joy through delicious foods that don’t involve guilt or stress, she shares how healthy eating can involve satisfaction instead of boring, low-calorie diets. Visit her site to read more from Leanne.