How to Set Measurable Health and Wellness Goals and Objectives

Find Out How to Set Measurable Health and Wellness Goals and Objectives —

When we think of health or wellness, we think about the body.  But we also need a holistic approach that includes mental and spiritual health.  Learn how to set measurable health and wellness goals and objectives.

Setting goals for wellness and health is not as easy as it seems.  But when we understand the underlying challenges, it helps us overcome them.  It means addressing five factors.  These include feeling overwhelmed, fear of failure, lack of self-awareness, procrastination, and accountability.  You can learn to conquer these obstacles and realize your health goals.

SMART Goals for Wellness Programs

All the goals in your plan should be SMART goals.  SMART is an acronym to remind you of the best way to set goals.  SMART goals are the most direct way to create positive behaviors.

Put your goals in writing.  You are 50% more likely to reach them when you document them.  Set them as reminders on your smartwatch.  Put them on sticky notes; it’s key to maximizing your health plans.

SMART goals are:

— Specific
— Measurable
— Attainable
— Realistic and
— Time-oriented

Break long-term goals into short-term benchmarks.  Short goals are easier to attain and give you momentum toward the bigger picture.  It also gives you a reason to celebrate the incremental steps you accomplish.  This is why learning how to set measurable health and wellness goals and objectives in small steps is so important.

Creating SMART goals for wellness programs requires a holistic approach.  We don’t have to invent the framework for this plan.  The World Health Organization (1) has already done the hard work.  So, we’ll use their template as a starting point.  Before we get to the plan’s details, we want to talk about the common obstacles that get in the way.

Why Creating SMART Goals Isn’t as Easy

While the acronym SMART helps us to remember the basic steps of setting goals.  However, it doesn’t address the underlying challenges.  There are five major factors that we must overcome to be successful.

1.  The Overwhelm Factor.

Learning how to set measurable health and wellness goals and objectives can be overwhelming.  If we don’t break down our goals into smaller steps, they can feel unattainable.  SMART goals encourage us to make our objectives specific and attainable.  Breaking them down into smaller action items makes them less intimidating.  It also makes our progress more tangible.

2.  Fear of Failure.

Fear of failure takes center stage when we set any goal.  We hesitate to set goals that challenge us because we fear falling short.  We don’t want to disappoint ourselves or face judgment from others.

We must realize that we will likely fail to follow the plan perfectly.  Embracing failure as a stepping stone to success is essential.  SMART goals provide a framework for setting objectives with measurable success criteria.  This allows for a realistic assessment of progress without judgments.

3.  Lack of Self-Awareness.

Setting SMART goals for wellness programs requires self-awareness.  Yet, many of us struggle to define what we want to achieve.  When we focus on the “R” for relevant SMART goals, we ensure that our actions support our stated goals.  Taking the time to reflect on what matters and why we set these goals helps us keep on track.

4.  Procrastination and Lack of Discipline.

Procrastination and a lack of discipline can derail our goals and objectives.  SMART goals help us maintain a disciplined approach.  The “T” for time-bound ensures we establish deadlines and create a sense of urgency.  This helps drive us toward taking consistent action.  Everyone who wants to know how to set measurable health and wellness goals and objectives battles with this at some time.

5.  Lack of Accountability.

We can create a plan and set goals but don’t feel accountable enough to take consistent actionThe lack of accountability can make it easy for distractions to steer us away from the path to success.  Enlisting a trusted friend or partner as an accountability partner can work wonders.  Regular checkpoints help us stay on track.

Using mobile applications to track health metrics can be helpful.  Tracking your metrics in a diary is still the best practice.  Keeping track of your weight, exercises, and workouts’ results is a best practice.

World Health Org Six Dimensions of Wellness

SMART Goals for Wellness Programs and The Six Dimensions of Wellness

The World Health Organization created a comprehensive list of aspirations for wellness.  It gives a template on which to build a health plant.  It is the starting point on how to set measurable health and wellness goals and objectives.

It requires a plan and diligent effort, but the results are worth it.  Everything we do depends on our health.  The healthier we are, the more options we have.  Dr. Hettler (of the WHO) gives the following dimensions:

— Occupational
— Physical
— Social
— Intellectual
— Spiritual
— Emotional

To streamline the process, we combine the above into three.  Using three dimensions makes assessing and creating a plan with realistic goals easier.

— Physical Category
— Mental Category
— Spiritual Category

Here’s the logic we used to combine six dimensions of wellness into three.  We include the occupational and physical dimensions into one, the physical category.  The social and intellectual dimensions are incorporated under the mental category.  The spiritual and emotional dimensions are combined into one, the spiritual category.   See, that was easy.

How to Set Measurable Health and Wellness Goals

To create an actionable whole health goal, you to follow three steps.  Then you’ll do it again at least once a year to update and maintain the plan.  You’ll likely do it more often if you have significant health changes.

1.  Assess Your Health
2.  Create Realistic Plans and Goals
3.  Work on the Plan and Adjust as Needed

Assess Your Health

Maximizing your health requires an honest assessment of your current state.  It takes time and effort, but the results are worth the investment.  Don’t rush to create a plan before completing an assessment.  And above all, don’t ignore the results of the assessment process.

1.  Assess Physical and Mental Health

You can assess the dimensions of wellness for physical and mental wellness for free. We recommend these tools.

— www.healthylifehra.org
— www.geha.com

You can always see your physician for a more accurate physical health assessment.  Ask them for trusted sources where you can assess your health and wellness.  Some health clubs also offer physical fitness assessments.  These tests include submerged BMI measurements, cardio, strength, and flexibility fitness.  If there’s a charge for this assessment, it’s well worth the investment.

To assess mental wellness again, we recommend one or two of the free online resources:

— www.psychologytoday.com/us/tests/health/mental-health-assessment

2.  Assess Spiritual Wellness

Spiritual wellness deals with our spiritual beliefs and mindset.  This is the filter that affects everything we think and do.  So our spiritual wellness also impacts our mental health.  Spiritual beliefs drive values and behaviors.  So your beliefs affect everyone in our sphere of influence.

If your thoughts are positive, you will exhibit compassion, giving, and caring behaviors.  These positive behaviors help to shape our culture.  But if your beliefs are negative, you will exhibit selfishness, bigotry, and hatred.

When we assess our spiritual wellness, we are also evaluating the health of our psyche.  It’s a barometer of the health of your personality and instincts.  The best tool for this kind of analysis is the Enneagram of Personality Profile.  It uses a questionnaire to provide a template for understanding these elements of the Ego (2).

The best tests have over 100 questions and will yield more accurate results.  The Enneagram will show you the health of thinking for your personality type.  It helps you to identify and repair negative thought distortions.

We can also assess spiritual wellness by identifying harmful cultural programming.  If our worldview is tainted by prejudice, it is a reflection of our spiritual health.  Cultural programming can override our ability to use common sense. It sets up boundaries of beliefs that prevent you from seeing the truth. And these scripts can motivate you to defend your beliefs with violence. Here are three questions to help identify this kind of harmful religious programming.

1) Do you believe you are among the “chosen ones” who get preferential treatment from God?

2) Are the problems of the world caused by people from backgrounds that do not mirror yours?  Are people with different religions the problem?  Do you think people with different lifestyles and sexual preferences are a problem?

3) If you have religious beliefs, do they justify or obligate you to defend them?  Does this defense justify harming others who don’t hold the same opinions?

3.  The Key to Spiritual Assessment

If you answer yes to one of these questions, it means you are influenced by religious programming. It affects your thinking and values to some extent. You may support bias and discrimination to go along. Or, you may support prejudice because “you think” your beliefs make you superior.

Some cultures indoctrinate children as part of their growth sustainment strategy.    We are sorry if you can relate to being brainwashed as a child.  Other people join a religion when they are in some crisis.  However, now that you realize the consequences of harmful beliefs, you must fix them.  A worldview based on negative bias and prejudice affects the world.

If you answer yes to two of these questions, it means religious programming does impact your life. Your religion is likely your identity.

As a dedicated follower, you are susceptible to groupthink manipulation tactics.  Exposure to this propaganda makes bias and discrimination a part of your worldview.  You may engage in arguments about why your beliefs are superior.

Moving beyond the boundaries of your current belief system will be challenging.  However, the answers to the questions indicate your worldview needs improvement.  The only way out is to eliminate or minimize exposure to religious propaganda.

If you answer yes to all three questions, it’s a strong sign of religious indoctrination.  It means religious programming controls your identity, thinking, and values.  You consider yourself as being a chosen one.  You use your religion to justify acts of violence.

Your religious beliefs are also likely and promote religious, ethnic, and racial discrimination.  It includes prejudice against those who have different values and lifestyles.  You label yourself as a religious fundamentalist.

“If I am right, then (religious fundamentalists) will not go to Heaven, because there is no Heaven.  If they are right, then they will not go to Heaven, because they are hypocrites.” — Isaac Asimov

Maximizing your health will be difficult because you are not open to positive change.  It is nearly impossible for any facts or logical arguments to change your thinking.  It is possible, but probably only with help.  You’ll need help because your identity is your religion.

These tactics are part of the tactics of groupthink manipulation.  These tactics make you reject any facts or logic that contradict your worldview.

This is one of the dimensions of wellness that people tend to overlook.  Many people find assessing their spiritual wellness the most challenging part.  You need to know where you are.  That way, you can build a plan that fits your needs. Next, we will look at ways to change the trajectory of the three dimensions of wellness.  We’ll set goals for physical, mental, and spiritual wellness.

4.  Time to Set Your SMART Goals for Wellness Programs

Tailor your whole health goal and plans for the time you can budget.  Also, don’t be afraid to adjust your plans.  Your health goals will change, and that’s okay.  The important thing is to keep working on your health plan.

You will have setbacks, and sometimes you will not always meet your goals.  Start small with two or three things.  Maximizing your health is a continual process.  Creating realistic plans and goals makes you more likely to reach your objectives.

a. Set the Goals for Physical Wellness

Seek advice on developing the correct type of scalable exercise program.  Our physical wellness affects every aspect of our lives.  You’ll need to create an exercise plan with the proper focus.  Durability is an excellent goal because it prepares us for the unexpected. The physical health goal of durability has a list of additional suggestions.

b. Set Goals for Mental Health

Self-care is the heart of a mental health plan.  Self-care is as important as any other element of your health plan.  So, include the right ingredients.  If you are under the care of a physician, follow their advice.  Let them help you with designing the right plan.

The mental component of your health is essential.  Your mind needs exercise, just like your body.  Enhancing your critical thinking is critical to making better decisions.

SMART goals for wellness programs that involve your mental health are essential.  A realistic wellness plan needs to include activities that nurture your mental health.

Exercising the mind is just as important as exercising the body.  It is only as efficient as its ability to learn and think clearly.  Our culture tells us what to know but never tells us how to learn.  Learning how to learn is the first step in developing your mind.

c. Set Goals for Spiritual Wellness

Spiritual wellness is the realm of consciousness; it relates to our spirit or soul.  Creating realistic plans is essential when you set objectives for improving spiritual health.  Sure, your ultimate goal is to be enlightened like Buddha, but start with a smaller goal.  Perhaps meditating 10 minutes a day.

We’ve identified nine essential elements that affect a healthy spiritual life.  You’ll get the best results if you use them in the proper proportions.  Practicing the methods we call spiritual exploration will expedite your spiritual wellness.  These processes are the opposite end of the spiritual continuum from religion.

The three dominant religions boast a combined membership of half the world’s population.  These are the Abrahamic religions of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.  Because they are so dominant, they influence the culture and how many people think.

People are not to question what the leaders of these institutions say.  It makes any direct discussion of their beliefs difficult.  One way to have a meaningful debate is through a comparative analysis process.  It’s a structured method for comparative religious studies.  However, it would be best to learn to question the cultural narrative.

How to Set Measurable Health and Wellness Goals and Objectives

Many people do well in assessing their current position and creating plans and goals.  However, they fail to execute the health plans they have set.  Procrastination can be hard to overcome.  People are afraid they won’t do it right.

Perfectionism is the other obstacle.  Tell yourself you don’t have to be perfect.  You can create realistic plans and goals, but if you fail to execute them will never yield results. Be gentle with yourself and start over as many times as needed.

Maximizing your health requires a balance of all three dimensions.  If you have problems attaining balance, start over again with the assessment.  Dig deeper into your thinking.  Use analytical tools like the Enneagram, Comparative Analysis, and Logical tools.

The most important thing is starting.  Don’t wait another day.  Start your plan knowing that you are likely to run into issues.  You don’t have to be perfect.  Take the pressure off of yourself.  Work your schedule as best as you can.  Some days are easier than others.  Record and celebrate everything you do in your whole health goal.

This is more like surfing.  When you surf a wave, you must constantly adjust to stay balanced.  It’s not like a train on the train tracks.  You can’t just start the engine and be confident that you will reach your destination.  When surfing, you must pay attention and keep track of what works and what doesn’t.  If you fall, you will get back up and try another wave.

Setting SMART goals for wellness Programs can be challenging.  The dimensions of wellness are constantly changing.  But it is worth the effort because it will improve the quality of our lives.  Put all these steps together, and you have a holistic approach to wellness.

Major health issues remind us that we need to attend to our wellness.  So a health plan is a way of identifying and correcting problems when they are small.  A healthy mind, body, and spirit do not happen by accident.  Our overall wellness depends on our attention to fixing and balancing it.

References

(1) The World Health Organization

(2) The Wisdom of the Enneagram.  The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types. By Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson.

(3) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces