Tips For Setting a Health Challenge
Posted on 10 January 2018 by Leonie Satori
The new year often brings with it a renewed enthusiasm to set health goals and make the current year better than the last. This article discusses some tips to setting achievable, realistic and beneficial health challenges to help encourage self empowerment and independent health.
What is a Health Challenge
Rather than using the term resolution, which is often associated with the new year, a health challenge is a goal that you want to achieve for the betterment of your emotional or physical health. Your health challenge can be associated with better eating habits, more physical activity or more healthful thoughts and self-talk. Being specific, but not restrictive will allow you to be focussed enough to reach your target, but also expand your challenge to incorporate added benefits and improvements along the way.
The Right Time to Set a Health Challenge?
It goes without saying that the best time to set a health challenge is when you are ready. You do not need to wait until January, a new moon, a north wind or a birthday. A little preparation goes a long way and some creative visualisation and simple planning (think about putting pen to paper) will go a long way to actually cementing and achieving your health goal. You may want to set a date, get yourself prepared emotionally for your adventure or just dive straight in when you are ready.
Don't Make it Too Hard
Being realistic when setting your health goals enables you to remain on target and prevents early failure. If your challenge seems too hard or overwhelming, work on breaking it down into bite-size pieces. You may want to consider weekly or daily targets to allow yourself to piecemeal your way towards your larger health challenge. If this still seems like too much, you may want to pull your target back to something more achievable and realistic or spend a little more time on planning so that you can give yourself a better chance at reaching your target.
Don't Make it Too Easy
Ok, so it might seem a little silly to suggest that anyone would set a health challenge that is too easy, but any kind of challenge needs to be meaningful. Stepping outside of your comfort zone, doing something that you find a little unsettling (but not overwhelming) will enable growth, on a physical and emotional plane. If you don't challenge yourself (I mean properly), you will never realise what you can become.
Yes, You Can Move the Goal Posts
Just because you set yourself a health challenge, doesn't mean that you cannot change your goal or the target. Often when we set ourselves a health challenge, we can come across obstacles that prevent us from achieving our goal, it can take some time to navigate this obstacle. So it is good to understand that this is part of the journey to achieving your goal. If you anticipate that the journey will be easy and without adventure, then you will either be disappointed or miss your target altogether. Remain focussed and re-assess accordingly and you will reap the rewards no matter what happens.
New inspiration may also divert your goals to more exciting challenges. At this time it is good to assess whether you need to complete the task at hand or take a total re-direct, either way, movement in a forwards and positive direction with your health and wellbeing should be paramount to your journey.
Asking for Help
Uncertainty regarding how to achieve your health goal can create isolation and confusion. You will be surprised, once you identify an issue with your health challenge, how you will stumble across the right person to help you out, just remember at that moment to be brave enough to ask for help. Creating an open dialogue with a friend or family member can not only help you to gain a different perspective on your health challenge, but will create a support network of energy around your achievements.
How Do I Get There From Here?
The first step is thinking about where you want to go. Once you know the general direction for your health challenge, you will be surprised how you will begin to see a clear path towards your target. In reality, you will not need to have the whole path of your journey mapped out to begin your adventure. Dare to take a step.
Aim For The Stars
Life can get complicated, things that we thought were achievable can become seemingly impossible and over a period of time our values can shift. While many health challenges are achievable, the mental aspect of the challenge needs to be able to break down or erode an aspect of your being, before new growth is acquired. Think of buffing the rough surfaces of timber furniture before applying polish - it takes a bit of work, you need the right materials, the courage to see what lies beneath the surface of the wood, application and dedication to complete the project. However, you know, no matter how long it takes, how many times you need to go over your work, re-assess the project or remedy your mistakes, it will invariably be better after you have done the work. Just jump in and give it a go.
About the Author
Leonie is a Naturopath & Medical Herbalist with a passion for good food, healthy living and of course, herbal medicine. When she is not consulting in her wellness clinic in Lismore or blogging about nutrition, Ayurvedic Medicine or natural health, she is studying yoga, growing her own herbs and vegetables or quietly walking in the natural bush land in Northern Rivers NSW.
Contact our health centre in Lismore to book an appointment with Leonie in our naturopathic clinic.