Getting healthy is a great way to start the New Year and there are a lot of different ways you can go about it, meaning it is relatively simple to find something that works for you. However, health and fitness isn’t just about the exercise you do or the food you eat, it is also about the goals you set yourself.

Having goals is one of the most important first steps to make when you are aiming to change habits. They give you something to work toward and encourage you to keep going. Unfortunately, if you don’t have the right goals in place, it could mean that you never reach them.

You need to set yourself goals that you can actually achieve as this helps you to remain positive and won’t make your journey seem impossible. This is the healthy way to go about it, as you’re unlikely to push yourself too hard, which can result in illness and injury.

To help you do this, here’s what you need to know about setting healthy goals.

Be realistic

Yes, you may want to ultimately scale Mount Everest or lose half your body weight, but these shouldn’t be your initial goals. You need to start off smaller and set yourself goals that you can build on and achieve within a specific time frame.

If you want to lose weight, for example, look at what is a healthy rate at which to do so. This will give you a good idea as to what your weekly goal should be, as well as how much you should aim to lose within a few months.

This will mean that success is much closer at hand, so you’ll be able to celebrate small successes, which will keep you going until you reach your ultimate goal.

Give yourself some leeway

Improving your health and fitness doesn’t happen overnight. You need to put the work in, which can be hard to do. Although you need to stick to a plan and routine, it is also important to give yourself a break every now and then and this should be reflected in your goals.

Give yourself extra time to reach your goals by so you do have some leeway to slip every now and then. There’s no much point in putting all that work in if you can’t enjoy yourself and relax your rules at some points.

Having extra time to reach a specific point will better enable you to actually get there while also taking some of the stress off. If you achieve your goal before this, then that’s just an added bonus.

Know how you’re going to measure success

As well as knowing how you’re going to go about working toward your goals, you also need to know how you’re going to measure your success. This will better allow you to track your progress and see what works for you.

When it comes to weight loss, decide if you want your goal to be the number of pounds or inches you lose. While you can measure both, they don’t always decline together and so your goals may not align. Pick one main focus and use this to track how you’re doing.

With fitness, you can use the number of steps you walk, how many miles you run, the number of lengths you swim or how much you lift as your target. Just don’t focus on too many forms of measurement at once as this can confuse your goals.

Keep a record

Writing down your progress or using the Chubb LifeBalance app to track it shows you not only how well you’ve done but whether certain changes or decisions have hampered your progress. It also means you don’t get confused about how far you’ve come, as you can see how much weight you’ve lost or how much your running time has improved.

Keeping a record makes you accountable for your decisions and will help you to see that you are making choices that are good for your health. Find a way to do this that is convenient and easy for you, as this will ensure you’re keeping track properly and aren’t cheating.

The Chubb LifeBalance app is a really simple way to check on your progress as you can download it onto your phone and access it wherever you are. It lets you see your unique Health Score, keep an eye on a number of areas that can affect your health and connect with your friends.

Creating goals using these tips will help ensure they are healthy, achievable and suitable for you. It also means you can celebrate every success, which will make the hard work worthwhile.