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
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
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