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The new year is in full swing and for most people, they are still on track with meeting their goals. By the time the middle of the month comes around, will people still be striving to accomplish their objective? Possibly, but it gets harder and harder as time passes. Needless to say, goal setting is healthy and worth doing throughout 2022.

It’s never too late to create and follow a new goal. It’s important to note that new goals are still achievable throughout the year. Setting goals is a great way to improve one’s overall health and wellness. Holly White, an Advanced Practice Social Worker and employee with Racine County Human Services, weighs in on goal setting.

“I am a believer that goals are best when you make something a habit – small, baby steps that become second nature,” says White. “If we set measurable, attainable goals to improve our wellness, it will improve our individual health.”

Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin

Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment (AHW) reaches statewide, propelling the most promising work and ideas to build a healthier Wisconsin for generations to come. This work includes advancing research, educating future health leaders, and improving communities through developing better policies, systems, and programs, so we can all enjoy better health.

How does Goal Setting Make for a Healthier Wisconsin?

Setting goals gives Wisconsinites long-term clarity by using short-term motivation. By creating goals, you focus yourself and direct your attention towards specific desires. Goal-setting allows people to get organized, understand what is valuable, and gives people the resources to make the most of their lives.

Wisconsinites may find themselves making both physical and mental goals for themselves. White encourages physical activity for 20 minutes a day or 10 minutes of mindfulness a day. By doing so, Wisconsinites will collectively be motivated to improve our state’s health as a whole.

Through small actions, as a community, we are able to achieve a better sense of wellness. Reaching goals seems easy, but goals are only made possible by hard work and commitment. When goal setting it is important to be realistic about desired outcomes and changes you’d like to implement into your life.

Realistic Goals

Making goals should positively impact your life. The outcome should not decrease how one feels about themselves or negatively impact a person. Being realistic about changes or improvements you are hoping to make will help to eliminate unwanted stress.

White shares, ” it’s also important to note that while it is healthy, to work towards improving health- it is important to be realistic. Do not set yourself up for decreased mood/hopelessness by following a pass or fail model or something that is a huge lift.”

What does a realistic goal look like?

For example, if your goal for 2022 is to have your mood improved it is important to note that feelings of happiness are not always possible 100% of the time. It isn’t realistic to feel happy all the time, therefore, this should not be the main goal to reach all of the time.

Rather, White suggests, finding something that brings you joy and working to do that. Even if you can only complete 15 minutes of yoga daily, it is still a good goal to reach towards. If yoga brings you a feeling of happiness, strive to complete this activity daily. In addition, this is a good coping mechanism and can be a realistic goal to achieve.

Understanding Your Success

It is important to focus on the fact that life is challenging at the time. White wants people to know “with the pandemic, even surviving, is truly braving the hardship we are facing, and if that’s all you can muster right now, that is absolutely good enough.

Not every goal has to be life-changing, the small wins are equally as important. Remember to do what you can do to be the best and healthiest version of yourself.

Connecting to Resources

If your goals are related to improving your mental wellness or finding help for your mental illness, take advantage of these resources available:

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