It’s hardly new news that goal setting helps you to create (and stick to) an intention, especially when it comes to big hairy things like the Autoimmune Protocol framework. But did you know that there’s real power in sharing your AIP goals with other people who get it, too?
Sharing your goals helps to make you more accountable! And, this can be a bloody good thing when it comes to the challenges of navigating this AIP caper.
One of the biggest challenges on this road to better health is just how you break the protocol down into manageable chunks and stop yourself from becoming completely overwhelmed. If you think of AIP as the path, then your goals are like the spotlights along the way. They help you to light up what’s important to you. Just like a spotlight, the things closest to you will be the brightest. And, when you share your goals with other like-minded AIPers, they help to shine even more light onto your path (and sometimes they can even show you short-cuts because they’ve travelled the path before…)
I’m a big fan of regularly setting goals to help me stay on track with my health choices.
My ‘tried and true’ tips for setting goals:
- As part of your morning ritual, get into the habit of checking in with yourself and setting a daily intention.
- Articulate your big, hairy main goal. (If you’re here, it will likely be related to your health as it relates to the Autoimmune Protocol.)
- Now, make this big, hairy main goal S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely).
- Deconstruct your S.M.A.R.T. goal. Chunk it down into your 3 most important mini-goals that will help you head towards your main goal. Get into the habit of revisiting and resetting these short term goals every month or every quarter.
- Figure out exactly HOW you’re going to reach your goals by outlining actionable steps for each short term goal.
- Make these short term goals your priority. Refer back to them every day
In fact, I’m such a believer, I’ve even got a downloadable 2-week eCourse stepping you through how you can create practical and achievable goals to help you improve your health in small, incremental steps. Because it’s always easier to achieve a big, hairy goal when you chunk it down into smaller, more manageable tasks.
Here’s a link to the eCourse details if you’d like to know more: Practical Goal Setting eCourse
And then, I share them. My goals, I mean.
At the beginning of each AIP Reset, we spend a couple of days creating three very specific and targeted personal goals to be achieved during the 30-day program. While these goals are different for each participant, they are all related to the foundational AIP tenets.
Of course, I want participants to get to the end of their month in the program with a sense that they have achieved something meaningful, but the real purpose of this activity is to help in prioritising what is particularly important for each of the participants. To help them each (re)find their groove in an individual way. And by important, I mean today, not next week or next month or next year.
Just like AIP itself, this goal-setting caper is a very personal thing. In fact, a well thought out goal gets to the real heart of your most vulnerable and challenging health ‘stuff’. Not only do goals reflect your desires, but they also have the power to change your life – if you implement them well, of course.
Here’s the thing, though – given the very personal nature of health goals, we have a tendency to keep our goals and big, hairy health dreams to ourselves.
But, there is great power in goal sharing.
Creating and sharing your health goals with others who get it can be an important step in you actually reaching them.
Here are some of the reasons your chances of actually achieving your goals can be greatly increased when you share them with others on a similar path:
Sharing your goals makes you more accountable
I may bang on a bit about developing an internal locus of control, but the truth remains that I’ve yet to meet an AIPer who doesn’t care what other people think. When you share your goals with others who understand what you’re going through, you’re literally making yourself more accountable. The act of sharing with other AIPers, “I will eat at least 8 serves of vegetables every day for the next 30-days”, makes this intention very real and encourages you to stick to your goal – it’s almost as if you are letting them down if you don’t.
There is some evidence to suggest that when you write down your goal, you are more likely to achieve it. So, if you bring other people in your goals, your engagement increases even more. This is especially true in AIP Reset – we write down our goals, we share them AND we have a formal ‘check-in’ on goal progress half-way through the month.
Sharing your goals gives you clarity about what is a priority
Sometimes, it can be challenging to prioritise our health goals. There is simply so much we want to achieve… all those leafy greens, and liver, and seafood, and creating a sleep ritual, and moving your body (even when you don’t feel like it), and spending time outdoors, and having quality connection with others, and developing your stress management, and, and, and…
The act of sharing gives you the opportunity to hone in on what’s important right now, and to craft a very meaningful goal (or three) with the input of other AIPers who are taking a similar path. There are experiences to be shared and ideas on what has worked for those who have gone before you.
That means goals become clearer and more structured.
Sharing your goals helps you develop your critical thinking
Hopefully, you already know about the benefits of keeping a food and mood journal as you navigate your AIP caper. And to maximise the effectiveness of this practice, critical assessment should form part of your process. This is where you ask yourself:
- What’s working?
- What’s not working?
- What’s tricky?
It’s where you set aside time to analyse both your progress and your results.
Sharing your goals makes this easier. You may even find it helpful to use your AIP peers as informal mentors. They can support you and cheer you on as you get close to your personal goal finish lines.
Sharing your goals will motivate you
Let’s say that one of your goals this month is to try fermenting your own vegetables for the first time? The very act of you sharing this with somebody else who gets what a daunting prospect this can be for a first-timer acts as a form of incentive. And, this is less about accountability, but rather about getting you excited about the possibilities of creating a new nutrient-dense hobby.
Sharing your goals can help you to build your community
It’s very easy to become isolated when you suffer from chronic illness, especially when they are invisible. But we human beans are designed to connect. Building your AIP community can actually benefit your health.
Sharing your goals with like-minded AIPers may even help you grow your social circle. When you take the time to share, to open a window into your life, to take the time to stay in touch – this creates connection. Sure, at first this can make anyone feel vulnerable but I can assure you that the rewards of sharing your ‘stuff’ far outweigh the initial apprehension.
You never know, you may end up helping someone else with your sharing. And, that is a bloody good feeling indeed.