More Motivation: Five Strategies to Reach Your Wellness Goals

Feb 19, 2024


We all want to experience more health, energy and joy. But health and wellness goals can be hard to achieve, whether you’ve recently had a health setback — think a surgery, injury or illness — and are on the journey to full recovery or you’re hoping to lose weight, start an exercise program or prioritize self-care.

That’s why having a plan and strategies in place to keep you on track is so important. Read on for tips to help you stay motivated to reach your health goals, big and small.

1. Determine your why

Step one is to find a reason to put in the work, whether that’s following a physical therapy routine at home or choosing the healthier food option when you’re out to eat with friends. Consider what you hope to do when you reach your health goal. Perhaps it’s taking your dog for a walk around the neighborhood or returning to a hobby you used to enjoy. Or maybe you want to accomplish a physical feat, like running a marathon.

Whatever your “why,” write it down somewhere you see it often. When you’re struggling with motivation, remind yourself of what you’re hoping to experience when you reach your goal.

2. Create accountability

Staying motivated day-in and day-out can be challenging even with the best intentions. That’s why experts say that having someone to check in and cheer you on can be helpful.

Consider asking a friend, family member or coworker to be your accountability person who will help make sure you’re making progress. They can even give you a little encouragement on those days where you’re tempted to skip your routine or slip on your commitment to yourself.

3. Set “mini-goals” — and celebrate reaching them!

“Every journey begins with a single step,” author Maya Angelou said. Knowing that you won’t reach your goal overnight can be discouraging, but breaking big goals into smaller ones can help keep you motivated. Smaller goals won’t feel as daunting, and it’ll give you a reason to celebrate your success along the way.

For example, if you want to build endurance to enjoy a vacation with family, start by walking a mile without fatigue, then up your goal slowly from there. Share your accomplishment with your family and consider rewarding yourself with a purchase related to your goal, like new sunglasses for your trip.

4. Be prepared for setbacks

Even people who make healthy lifestyle choices every day experience health challenges — many things are out of our control! Knowing that you may experience a setback on your health journey is important. Give yourself grace if you have a busy period in your life or get a cold or flu that slows you down.

Getting off track isn’t a reason to give up — when you can, refocus on your “why” and continue the journey. Setbacks can also help us realize that goals don’t have to be achieved in a certain way. When you’re facing challenges and doubts, consider changing your approach.

5. Think big picture

Physical, mental, spiritual, social and community health are all connected. Reaching one health goal isn’t worth sacrificing well-being in another area of your life.

Remember that goal setting can also be an opportunity to learn more about yourself. You may pivot from our original goal or never quite reach it, and that’s just fine. The experience may help you discover another area where you’d like to grow.

Need some support?

Talking to a healthcare provider about your goal can help. From primary care providers to physical therapists to behavioral health experts, your healthcare partners have been trained to help all their patients reach their best health. They’ve also seen numerous people with the same health goal you’re pursuing and can make suggestions that have worked for others. It’s worth reaching out to strategize at any stage of your journey.

Finding a nearby provider, scheduling an appointment and getting the support you need is easy with our Find a Doctor search.