The Importance of Setting Goals for Health & Self-Optimization
I have set countless health and self-optimization goals for myself over the years, and find great joy in pursuing them. If you don’t know what you want to achieve in terms of health and self-optimization, how will you know what to research and what changes to make to make it a reality?
Having a plan and clear goals will help you feel less uncertain, and will help you feel more positive about the possibility of you actually reaching your goals. Write them down, which is something I highly recommend you do. Then, you can also look at them objectively and start mapping out a plan to help you achieve them.
How will you know what to aim for and do if you don’t declare it and define it clearly? Perhaps you want to lose weight first, or maybe you were diagnosed with diabetes or some other condition or illness that can be greatly improved by improving your diet and lifestyle.
Having a better quality of life, achieving self-optimization, not feeling ill, and being able to move around freely and have energy is very motivating. It doesn’t matter what your main motivations are. For most people, it will be aesthetics. It will be improving body composition (losing fat and building muscle) because we all want to be attractive and to feel desirable. And if that is what’s driving you, that is perfectly ok.
We are highly motivated by the idea of self-optimization.
I recommend writing down a list of health and self-optimization goals, but then not focusing on too many of them at once. You want to only focus on three goals at a time, because we tend to get overwhelmed when we set too many goals.
You can start by saying: “Ok, I’m going to reduce my intake of obvious sugars like doughnuts and the sugar that I add to my coffee.” Then, when you become used to that and that becomes easy, you can start checking all of the labels and eliminating foods where one of the first three ingredients that are listed as some sort of sugar, such as fructose, sucrose, or glucose.
They list ingredients in order of quantity. When you are used to that, you can move up to eliminating foods where sugar is one of the first five ingredients. Or, you can look at labels and avoid foods that have more than 10% sugar. You can just see if it has more than 10g of sugar per 100g.
You can also look at the amount of sugar that you want to consume in a day. For men, ideally, it should be roughly 37g of sugar a day, and for women, 25g.
If you look at something and see that it has 10g of sugar per serving, and you are willing to allocate some of your daily sugar intake to a serving, because it is totally worth it, you can eat it.
Find a strategy that you want to do, but take it one step at a time, one goal at a time. If you make ten changes over three to six months, your health could be completely different.
Defining what you want to achieve is the first step. If your goal is to improve your fitness performance, then you know where to start: by working out more, but also allowing yourself to rest, so that you can recover properly and perform better next time.
Maybe your goal is to stop snacking and maybe to start only eating two meals a day, which is my current health goal. You can build up to it. By making your first goal to stick to three meals a day and not snack in between, that will become easier, and then you will be able to transition to two if you want.
If you only eat three meals a day and don’t snack, then you reduce the number of opportunities you have in a day to overeat. Eventually, two meals will become the new normal, which I am excited about. If you know what you are working towards, and what your health goals are, it becomes a lot easier to achieve.
And even if your goals change over time, you will still be a lot closer to optimal health than you were before. Dreaming and visualising can be very powerful. Why settle for where you are now?
Sit and ask yourself: “How can I become an even better version of myself?” “How can I achieve self-optimization?” And if health is a big part of that, then transforming your health and achieving optimal health and self-optimization can be one of the most exciting things that you will ever achieve.
It starts with setting goals for self-optimization, and then you focus on daily goals. Everybody knows that you should long-term goals, then medium-term goals and short-term goals. Then set a long-term plan of how you think you should act to get there.
But don’t get too attached to what you think you should do, as you learn more along the way and will learn more about what is actually needed in order to achieve the goal of self-optimization. You break down your big goals until you have it broken down into smaller, daily goals.
If your dream is to become stronger, then your daily goals will be to do strength training and to rest on Sundays, and you just focus on it one day at a time and becoming healthier one day at a time, daily goals help you to not get overwhelmed easily.
Once again, we recommend that you sit down, write down your long-term goals, your medium-term goals, your daily goals, and even what you want to accomplish in the next hour. What is nice about setting smaller self-optimization goals is that when you achieve them, you can feel really proud of yourself, and you can get quite a rush out of it.
The key is to keep setting new goals for yourself on your self-optimization journey. Setting goals helps you to create a sense of meaning and purpose in your life, and can help you move into action when it comes to improving your life and becoming the superhuman you.