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myHealth Blog: Check This Out Before Setting Any Goal

Hi and welcome to this week's 50 & Beyond Health & Wellbeing blog. Each week I will provide you with knowledge, tips, advice and recommendations to inspire you to sustain good metabolic health specific to being over 50. Chris Deavin, myHealthCoach

As we quickly approach the start of 2024, you will undoubtedly start thinking about what health goals you want to achieve that you have been unable to achieve this year.

We are told that setting goals is important so you have an idea of what you want to achieve and how you will achieve it. So, yes, set yourself goals. The question you need to ask is, what will actually make you achieve these goals this time around?

I am going to share with you what I tell my clients at this time of year in preparation for the new year and how you can set goals in a certain way that greatly increases your chance of achieving any of them.

Setting goals has often been proven to be a fundamental aspect of success.

Goal setting works on various levels; big goals, often called Visions, need to be achieved to ensure that you move towards the Vision, which we call Outcomes and the small things that you need to be doing now, which we call Actions. These are all goals; they just vary in size.

The Vision is ultimately what you want to have, but success is rarely achieved by taking one great leap. More commonly, it is about taking small incremental steps and doing this continuously.

This can be demoralising to some people because we all want immediate gratification. Once you understand that you are unlikely to achieve everything you desire straight away and that you are on a journey, then you begin to set your expectations at the correct level.

You might well have heard of the concept of ‘the power of positive thinking’ and the fantastic results that some people attribute to it. This concept has recently been expanded on in the film ‘The Secret’, which I recommend you watch. To some people, it represents a bunch of mumbo jumbo, but once you look behind the science of it, you can see why it makes sense.

Each of us has an estimated 2 million pieces of information coming into our minds every second. Stop reading now and listen. Do you hear all the sounds around you? They were there before, and your senses were picking them up, but you were filtering them out from your consciousness.

Until I directed you to them, you weren’t aware of them. Stored in the hypothalamus part of your brain is the Reticular Activating System (RAS); this is like a filter, and whatever you place your attention on, it identifies which of those bits within the 2 million pieces of information that you are receiving, relates to what you are focussing on.

Put simply, if you believe life is good and things are going your way, you will find information supporting that. On the other hand, if you believe that life is painful and you are having a hard time, you will see the stuff that relates to that.

Both sets of information are there; you just filter out those bits that are not relevant to you. This way, you create what we call self-fulfilling prophecies. Your reality is what you believe it to be.

How does this all relate to healthy living? Well, if you see yourself as an unhealthy person who finds exercise hard work and inconvenient, then you will see all around you information that supports that.

You are, therefore, unlikely to exercise. If you believe you can’t become healthy and succumb to temptation easily, guess what? You will give in and then say to yourself, “See, I told you I can’t resist temptation.”

In his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey refers to this concept when he talks about things being first created in the mind before being created physically. To that end, it is therefore essential that you set clear and well-defined goals at the outset of your programme.

The first goal you want to set is your Vision. What is it you want to achieve by the end of the programme? Be clear and precise.

At this point, some people set fitness targets, which is okay, but actually, it is not that motivating. You need to consider why you want to get fitter. Ask yourself questions such as:

• What impact will achieving the goal have?

• What will be the results of achieving the goal?

• What’s important to me about achieving the goal?

• What will I gain from achieving the goal?

Each time you give an answer, ask the question again in relation to that answer.

For example, you might say, “Losing weight will make me look better”. When you ask the question again, i.e. “What’s important to me about looking better?” you might answer, “It will give me confidence”.

Each time you ask the question, you are stepping up to a higher value. Values are those things that are important to you; they drive your behaviours and are consequently very motivating.

By doing this exercise, you will become very clear about why you are embarking on your journey. When things become challenging, as they surely will, remind yourself of your Vision, and this will help inspire you to keep going.


Are you struggling to stay consistent and reach your health goals? Here are a couple of ways I can help;

Free Health Plan Review

Get feedback and recommendations on your current health plan and what you can do to improve it and get even better results;

Free Health & Wellbeing Assessment

Not sure what sort of health plan you need to follow? Take my free health & wellbeing assessment, and I will send you a comprehensive, personalised health plan that you can start using from today;

Social Media:

Check out my social media channels for daily health advice, workouts and tips.

To learn more about improving your health and what I provide as a health coach, feel free to email me any questions via Happy to help in any way I can.

Chris, myHealthCoach

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