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Blog > How to Effectively Prioritize Your 2024 Health Goals

How to Effectively Prioritize Your 2024 Health Goals

Allocate your precious time wisely
Woman prioritizing a list of health goals

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Juggling your health and career can be challenging, but it’s manageable with the right approach. As the current year winds down and you begin to outline your objectives for the upcoming one, it’s crucial to integrate your health goals into your planning. An initial hurdle is often understanding how to prioritize these wellness goals. Let’s explore effective strategies for establishing and prioritizing your health and wellness goals for 2024.

What Are Health Goals?

Health goals are highly individualized. While some people may emphasize stress reduction as a top priority, others might concentrate on cultivating healthier eating habits. Below, we present a selection of prevalent health goals to consider. Remember, this compilation is not exhaustive; your health aspirations are unique to you and should be tailored to your personal needs and lifestyle.

It’s not enough to want to change; you need to formulate goals you can keep track of and measure. If you can’t measure your goals, it’s difficult to track progress. Many people give up on their goals because of this.

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Why is Prioritization Necessary?

Setting a clear goal lays the groundwork for your journey to better health. Without a specific target, it’s easy to lose focus. Remember, time is our most precious resource—it’s limited and can’t be replaced. Putting all your hours into work might hurt more than help. After all, what’s the use of wealth without good health to savor it? Money can be earned again, but time, once gone, is gone for good.

To spend your time wisely, you need to prioritize what you work on. No two things are alike. It’s the same principle as investing. The rule of thumb is that you want to invest in stocks where you get the highest return. You also want to invest your time where you get the highest return.

You have 168 Hours in a week. Decide in advance where you will spend them to get the highest return on them. This way, it’s in your hands, and you get to decide the return.

You should NOT give equal weight to your goals because you have limited resources to spend on them. The question then arises: how do you discern which goals warrant a greater share of your invaluable time? Here’s how to prioritize your health categories and goals.

1. Brainstorm Health Categories

You can use many methods, but it’s always best to start by brainstorming. Take a few minutes and write down things you want to improve about your health in 2024. They don’t have to be specific just yet. You can start by creating categories.

Some health-related categories include:

  • Nutrition
  • Stress management
  • Exercise
  • Social health

2. Prioritize Your List

Once you have your health categories, you can start to prioritize them. The method for prioritizing a list is to compare the first item in the list to the rest in sequential order until you find a higher priority. Replace the first item with the higher priority item. Compare the first slot again and repeat this process until you make it to the end of the list. Start with the second one and repeat the process.

3. Set Specific Goals for Each Category

After you’ve successfully prioritized your list of categories, it’s time to set “SMARTER” (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound, evaluated, and re-adjusted) goals. If the category of “nutrition” is a priority for you, you might set a goal of “eat one serving of greens with every meal.” If the category of stress management is important for you, you might set a goal of “meditate for ten minutes at lunch break.”

4. Rank Your Goals

Once you’ve set goals for all your categories, rank your goals in order of importance. This ranking will clarify which goals you should focus on first, ensuring that you allocate your resources effectively. For example, in the category of “nutrition,” if “eat a serving of greens with every meal” is deemed more important than “limit sugary snacks to once per day,” rank it higher.

Prioritizing your health goals doesn’t have to be hard. Health Coach Elaine Moen believes, “When prioritizing your health goals, start with the one that will have the greatest impact and also that could be a gateway to achieving other health goals (these are called keystone goals). For instance, if working out is a priority for me, I know that I also need to get plenty of rest and stay hydrated.”

5. Evaluate and Adjust

After ranking your goals, take a step back to evaluate your list. Ensure that your top-ranked goals are important but also realistic and achievable. If necessary, adjust your priorities to maintain a balance between ambition and practicality.

6. Focus on High-impact Actions

For each of your top goals, brainstorm actions that will have the most significant impact on achieving them. For instance, if your goal is to sleep for eight hours a night, some action items can be putting away your phone two hours before bed or turning down the temperature in your bedroom to 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

7. Prioritize the Actions

After identifying actions that will help you achieve your goals, prioritize these actions. Compare the first to the second, then the third, etc. until you find the top priority and then repeat. Choose only the top two actions that will have the greatest impact on your goal. These are the actions you need to schedule in to achieve your health goals.

The Bottom Line

While setting new goals can be difficult at first, prioritizing them is key to achieving them. Our goal manager app is a helpful resource to make goal prioritization easier. To take your goal setting to the next level, sign up for our annual Goals & Habits Workshop to kick off your goals in 2024.

Get actionable tips to help you energize and reprioritize self-care. Sign up for The Wellness Return newsletter today.

By providing your email address, you agree to receive email communication from Arootah

Disclaimer: This article is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be and should not be taken as professional medical, psychological, legal, investment, financial, accounting, or tax advice. Arootah does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or suitability of its content for a particular purpose. Please do not act or refrain from acting based on anything you read in our newsletter, blog or anywhere else on our website.

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