Heart Research UK Healthy Tip - Goal SettingHeart Research UK Healthy Heart Tip, written by Dr Helen Flaherty, Head of Health Promotion at Heart Research UK
It’s never too late in the year to think about setting some personal targets. Research indicates that the first key step to making positive changes to our lifestyle is setting a goal. With this in mind, here are some of the things you may consider when setting a target to improve your heart health:
Be Clear About What You Want to Achieve
Detailed, specific goals that use some sort of framework such as SMART can help us to set correspondingly clear actions on how to achieve our goal. Try and avoid goals which include statements such as ‘do your best’ and rather opt for an objective measure to assess your performance against such as ‘score above 80%’.
Be Like Goldilocks
We know that setting goals that are either too challenging or too easy will reduce your likelihood of success. Goals need to be ‘just right’ by offering a level of challenge whilst also being realistic.
Break It Down
Try to include regular check-ins to assess your progress and adjust your goal if necessary. For example, if you are looking to lose weight, you may schedule a monthly weigh-in.
Write It Down
It can be useful to commit to your goal with a pencil and paper. Interestingly, those who sign a ‘contract’ of commitment to their goal will typically improve their chances of goal achievement; this could be a post-it note on the fridge or a handwritten pledge that you keep on your desk.
Research also indicates that sharing our goal with someone else can improve accountability, and thus increase our likelihood of success.
Heart Research UK
For more healthy tips, recipes and advice, visit heartresearch.org.uk
Proud to stand out from the crowd, Heart Research UK is the charity dedicated to your heart. They inspire and invest in pioneering medical research, ground-breaking training and education, and in communities to improve their heart health for themselves. For over 50 years they have driven advancements in the prevention, treatment and cure of heart disease to benefit patients as soon as possible.