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Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Setting Goals

Topic Overview

To make a change, use goals to chart your path to success. Two types of goals can help you do this: long-term and short-term.

Long-term goals

A long-term goal is not something you can do all at once. It's the goal that inspires you and that will show how far you've come when you complete it. It's usually a goal you hope to reach in 6 months or a year.

A long-term goal could be to walk for 1 hour 3 times a week. To keep going, think how proud you'll be when you reach this goal.

When you reach your long-term goal, you can keep things fresh by setting new goals. With the help of goals, you can go as far as you want!

Don't forget to write down your goals. They may change, but you'll want a record. Writing them down is a great way to start your plan to improve your health.

Short-term goals

Short-term goals help you accomplish your long-term goal. They keep you going day to day. They are usually goals you hope to reach tomorrow or next week.

One example would be to start using the stairs at work, or to take one 10-minute walk and build up to walking 3 times a week. Short-term goals should be easy to do and will grow as you make progress.

Credits

Current as of: January 16, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Christine R. Maldonado, PhD - Behavioral Health

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Here are a few additional resources as well: 

World Health Organization
Centers for Disease Control

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