Goal setting can be an incredibly effective tool when making changes. When clients reach out to work together towards a positive relationship with food or their body image, we often set a small goal during each session. Goals can help clients know what to focus on between sessions. When setting goals around food, it is common for weight to be mentioned. Our society focuses on weight as a determinant of health or as a measure of success when one is making changes to your food or exercise routine. When weight change is the goal it can shadow your body’s hunger and fullness cues. There are many other nutrition-related goals that don’t focus on your body weight that have a positive impact on your health.
One. I will sleep for at least seven hours each night and take a rest day at least one day per week.
Sleep and recovery from exercise are often overlooked aspects of our health. Getting enough sleep can also positively impact your mental health. It is important to build your day around getting enough sleep instead of filling your day with obligations and letting sleep fill in the remainder of the hours.
Two. I will eat meals and snacks regularly throughout the day.
Eating regular meals and snacks can help you becoming in tune with your body’s hunger and fullness cues. When we ignore our body’s hunger cues, our body’s drive for food increases. This can make it increasingly difficult to remain aware of your body’s cravings because your brain is focused on being fed. When we begin a meal when we are overly hunger, it can also make it more difficult to remain in tune to our body’s fullness cues.
Three. I will participate in activities that I enjoy.
Choosing activities that you enjoy can improve your mental health. Where focusing on how an activity can change your body’s appearance can have a negative impact on your mental health. This occurs when reality doesn’t align with your expectations. Activities could include ones where you are physically active like hiking or yoga. It can also be activities where you are sedentary like reading, knitting or painting. In all of these activities, enjoyment should be the deciding factor.
Four. I will pay attention to and honor my food cravings.
Listen to what your body is craving for meals and snacks. A craving is your body’s way of sending you feedback. When we honor our cravings, we are telling our bodies that we are receptive to their feedback.
Five. I will name my feelings without using food to cope.
It can be helpful to name your feelings by speaking about these feelings to a friend, family member or therapist. Speaking up when you are feeling a certain emotion can decrease the likelihood that you will use food to cope. When you ignore your feelings, it is more likely that you will turn to an external source of comfort like food.
Which one of these goals speaks to you? Can you think of a goal that could positively impact your health? Do you need support in reaching that goal? I’d love to help! Schedule a free 20-minute inquiry call to see how I can help you be successful in meeting your goal!