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Jack's Journal: Goals

I hope this message finds you well and healthy to round out the year that was 2020. What an adventure of a year it was, to say the least. Last journal, I talked extensively about being consistent toward your health and wellness. I’d like to focus this journal on a different, but related, topic: goals.

It is true, “consistency is key”, but does being consistent alone get the job done? If you are doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result, that seems to me a bit insane! Jokes aside, that is where goals come in. Goals are the measuring stick where we gauge how successful we are at accomplishing a task. "I want to run a 5k", "I want to get 10,000 steps in today so I can eat a big dinner", "I want to be fit enough to run with the dog for 45 minutes at a time". These are some goals that require different amounts of time, energy, and gratification.

Gratification comes in many forms, but when it comes to goals there are two: internal and external. To determine which level of gratification you are using by accomplishing this goal, ask yourself “why am I doing this, what am I doing this for?”. Too often, goals are aimed at pleasing other people or are designed to benefit someone else but you.

With the new year upon us, think on those things that you’d like to accomplish. The nice thing about goals is that you don’t have a limit. You can have many goals if you wish, and they can be different in terms of amount of time, energy, and gratification. Choose goals that are aimed to making you a better version of yourself. Aim for goals that will make you feel good.

When we accomplish goals that are based on internal validation, the chemical reaction in our brains is similar to the feeling we get from doing good deeds. It rewards that behavior. When your goal is focused on internal gratification, not only will you get a stronger reaction of gratification, but you will also be more inclined to do a similar behavior in the future.

When you’re thinking about what you’d like to accomplish in the year 2021, I encourage you to think inward. That is not to say you can’t have other goals to help your friends, family, and community (after all, goals are not wishes - you are not limited to three)! Just remember that with your goals, consistency is key in making them reality.

If you’d like help setting and achieving your health and wellness goals, please contact Jack Zahn at to set up an appointment.

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