With the turn of the new year and resolutions flying about, I thought I would share a goal system that I developed recently and found to be quite helpful. It’s relatively simple, based off the Bare Elements and pretty straightforward. The Bare 5 perspective strives to promote health by improving behavior and habits in the 5 Elements. Subsequently the goal system works like this: take the 5 pillars of health (eat, move, rest, connect, enjoy) and set one goal in each category (First Level Goals). Once you accomplish a goal in one pillar, say “clean my kitchen out of processed, man made foods” in the “Eat” Element, you set a new goal (Second Level Goal), such as “eat eggs for breakfast three days this week”, in that category. However, here’s the catch: you can’t work on the second goal in the Eat category until you have accomplished each of your first level goals in all categories. So start simple, with quick achievable goals and work through the elements step by step. The reason it is structured this way is to prevent an unbalanced approach to health. Humans find health through all the basic pillars, not just one or two. Every one of the Bare Elements is equally important and there is a powerful synergy when all five elements are addressed. The whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts. Although I appreciate the desire to focus on just diet or exercise, that would be incomplete. Humans are designed to have overall health, not just eat or move well and have the rest of their life in shambles. Working on strengths is fine but your focus should be on the things that challenge you. So if you can give up bread or dessert or go to the gym 4 days a week that’s great but it doesn’t mean nearly as much as it would if you also got yourself to bed early, got some sunshine on a daily basis and relaxed every once in a while. All of those other elements in fact make the nutrition and movement goals easier and more achievable. When you address the whole person you see absolutely amazing results. That being said, here’s a few examples some Bare 5 Goal planning…
Make your First Level Goals very quick, direct and measurable.
Clean out my kitchen of bad, man made food.
Write out a workout plan.
Decide on a feasible but early bedtime.
Write a list of 5 people to reconnect with.
Write down 5 things I like to do that bring me fun and joy.
Simple and measurable. These are all achievable in a very short time. On to the next level.
Make Your Second Level Goals- add some action and duration.
Eat eggs for breakfast the next three mornings.
Walk at lunch each day this week.
Get to bed three nights in a row at 9:30.
Get 10 minutes of sun every day this week.
Go see a funny movie this week.
Third Level Goals: Keep it going…
No dessert this week.
Do 20 push ups and 20 squats every day this week.
Skip TV and computer time two nights this week.
Plant some flowers in the yard.
Have lunch with an old friend.
And the process goes on. This is just a general example, so use what works for you and make it happen. You can make a chart, use a spreadsheet program or just write it down the old-fashioned way but do keep a record of your goals, you can be amazed at how it keeps you accountable and how many things you can achieve when you work through this process. Have fun with it and take 5 little steps at a time to better health.
Thanks for reading, have a great goal setting and achieving week!