Setting Non-Diet Goals: Helpful for Overall Well-Being

By , SparkPeople Blogger
It’s that time of year again, the time when people make resolutions, or in my case, goals. I’ve never been known to make resolutions, but I do like to make a list of goals for myself for things that I want to accomplish throughout the year. However, the start of a new year is not the only time I make goals for myself – I actually do this at least a few times a year. When I do make my goal list, I like to look at what I have accomplished so far and see if I need to make any adjustments to my current goals or add new ones. I see this as a list that evolves with me and what I feel is important.

Of course though, my list always includes goals that are health-related. Actually, that is what most of my goals have been in the last few years, but this year I am trying something a little different. While I do have some health goals on my list and will continue to work towards those, this year I want to put a little more focus on some goals that are not health-related.

As many of you know, SparkPeople can help you with your health goals, but it can expand to so much more into other areas of your life, which can actually contribute to your overall well-being! So, as I work toward my non-health-related goals, I will be using SparkPeople’s tools and resources to help me reach them.

For now, I am starting out with some smaller goals and will work my way up to some bigger goals. I will be adding these goals on my Other Goals page and to my SparkStreaks page to help me keep track of how well I’m doing with them.

So, what are my non-health-related goals? Well, I currently have two that I am working on (like I said, I am starting small):
  1. Read (for pleasure) at least 1 hour per week.
  2. Go out at least a couple of days a week and take photos just for fun.
Sure, you must be thinking, well those aren’t typical goals. That’s okay, they don’t have to be - they are specific to my needs and what I want to accomplish this year. These small goals will help me de-stress and have fun all at the same time, which will help with my overall well-being. Also, I miss reading for fun. I spend a lot of time reading things that I need to, but I somehow forget to take the time to read for fun. I have also found a great passion in photography. I continue to grow as an artist as I get more experience with taking photos for others, but I also want to go out and just take photos that are simple, but creative and fun – no other purpose besides enjoying the “me time” that I can get when taking photos.

In addition to those goals, I do have one other goal that I will be adding later on this year (once my finger is completely healed), which is to continue learning to play the guitar. I started that up a while back and as life got busier, I stopped practicing, and of course, then I broke my finger a few months ago.

While these goals are simple, they are still challenging for me since I usually run out of time for myself, aside from working on my health-related goals. Not having that personal time can make a person feel run down and not as happy overall. So while they are non-health-related goals by themselves, they do affect my overall happiness and well-being. If you ask me, it’s completely a win-win set of goals in which I look forward to reaching!

So tell me, how often do you set goals and/or re-evaluate your goals? Will you join me and set up some non-health-related goals this year? If so, let us know what they are!

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EVIE4NOW 2/18/2020
I make a list of goals every week. It's my "honey do" list and makes me feel accomplished when I scratch off an item. If it remains, it will go on next week's list. Report
ACIMPEGGY 1/21/2020
Just like New Year's resolutions! Report
JACKIE4019 7/5/2019
This gives me a lot to think about Report
Thanks for the great article! :) Report
Thank you. Report
I assess daily, weekly, monthly, and annually. Report
Great article! Report
Great article. I will have think about what goals I will start to achieve. Report
My goal is to read more and maybe start enjoying a craft. Report
Thank you Report
Great thoughts. Report
I have found that creating many small goal and corresponding rewards works for me. I the I create 1 major annual goal. Report
Maintaining my healthy blood sugar is very important for me! That involves eating right and exercising, so that will help w/weight maintenance as well. Report
MY non- diet goal this year is no more hair color, I'm growing out the natural color back, grays and all! I almost caved two weeks into the new year and bought a hair color, but talked myself out of it, as I already had nearly an inch of growth that was pretty shiny and healthy! Report
Nice tips, thanks. Report
So right on time! Thanks! I also set goals and not resolutions. Report
Excellent post! So nice to see some goals beyond lose #pounds or increase exercise minutes. Very inspirational. Report
This has been great - reading about goals. I am going through a rough time in my family, and goals have seemed unimportant. Now I realize that goals may be just what I need! There are some wonderful suggestions here - thanks! Report
It truly is all about the littel things. Thanks for sharing! :) Report
I'm so glad you drew attention to this part of wellness, namely - enriching your mind! My biggest non-diet-related goal this year is to put together a photo album of our recent trip to Italy. I have over 2800 photos so it's quite a challenge! Report
I have the some health related goals that led me to joining this site, which has already really started to enhance my life, but I am queen of the lists as well. My sister who definately flys by the seat of her pants regularly teases me all of the time about my love of lists. However on my fridge and in my tiny little cubical are lists that keep me on top of everything. My goal right now is to keep the laundry from piling up for 3 months, pay off one credit card bill, and spend at least one hour a week meditating or just relaxing where my phone is off and the candles are lit. Report
My non-health related goal is to write a letter to someone every week of 2012 (different person each week, at least at first). I want to reconnect with friends and the written word. I get tired of most of my communication being done via computer these days! Report
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am particularly encouraged by your idea to go out and take photographs for 2 hours per week. I love photography, but as a retiree, I rarely take time to get up and leave the house, a goal like this might just be the inspiration I need. Report
I've had "non-health related" goals for several years and it helps keep me grounded. The Quilt and Loose team has a team goal of "quilting 1 hour per week", which I subscribe to. In addition I have a "read WW material 1 hour per week" and a "clean up drawers 1 hour per week" goals. Some weeks I don't achieve these goals, but at least they are on my goals sheet for me to see. Sometimes when I'm bored I'll look there and say "oh, yeah, that's something I can do right now". Report
Yes I have non diet goals too. These actually help me with the diet though because it keeps my mind and body occupied. Play the piano 30 min., create art and get those projects done. Clean out a drawer or cupboard no matter how hard or simple each day (this one is easy to forget). Report
I get a great deal of satisfaction using the computer to encourage people to keep on trying for a healthier lfestyle. I get satisfaction for doing it. It takes a lot of time from my DH so I have goals for going to concerts, watching movies and occasionally eating out. That gives me the best of my worlds and our world. We like to take long walks together and I like to exercise in my basemant gym so little bits of equipment gets added to my fun. My balnce board for example.At 68 years young I have to keep my balance,
Pat in Maine. Report
I don't do new year's goals; instead, I reassess my life on my birthday (mid-summer) and on each solstice or equinox. Those are 'natural' pausing points, just as my own anniversary is a personal pausing point. Report
I look back at the end of every month, to see how I'm doing. Then I make another list of goals, or what I like to call resolutions. That's what I like to call them. Report
One of my goals is to pare down. I have boxes upon boxes in the attic, so I've set a yard sale date and am working on sorting through the boxes. Whatever doesn't sell, goes immediately to charity, so no chance of it coming back into the house. I've also decided to get rid of a piece of clothing for each new piece I purchase. Report
This year I have serveral non diet goals but my biggest goal is to write my book before my birthday. Report
One of my non-health related goal is to dust and do laundry at least once a week and the second is to read at least 30 minutes per day (I have loads of dusty books on the shelf). I also intend to stop biting on my nails this year. Report
I'd like to get in better shape, lose 15 pounds, and one of my goals is to not complain so much. People aren't really interested in hearing complaints, constantly. Report
My goal is to walk a few minutes every day at lunch...rain or shine Report
I believe that the things you really want to do will always find time on your schedule - no matter how busy you are. I was a working mother for many years - so the non-essentials very often didn't happen. However, reading (for pleasure) has always been like eating and drinking to me - it's just part of the day. So, every night, for all of my reading life, I read for at least half an hour in bed. I just can't imagine life without it! Non-important things - like taking the time to cook healthy food or get in some exercise - often fell by the wayside, I'm afraid. No real sense of proper prioritising there then!! Luckily, I have gained some sense in my old age!! Report
Thanks for such an inspirational blog!

I bought a guitar years ago with the intention of learning to play it. That's one of my goals for this year. Of course, losing weight to improve my health is on the list, too. Spending time just doing fun things with kids is the top of my list. It seems like we get so bogged down with the day to day stuff during the school year, that I forget to just hang out with them, being silly and having fun. Life's too short to let that keep happening! Report
Okay, I would like to make a goal to reward myself with at least 3 complete new outfits if I lose 20 lbs. That would be so great! Report
I have a goal to "show up" for the goals I have floating (flooding) my thoughts. I have so many activities I like to do and ways I would like to grow, but rarely write them down. My goal is to DO what's in my head. I made major changes at the end of 2011 to the present. I have a new home that I love; I hated my last space for over ten years! I am working 3 days a week so I can pursue writing and creating goals, socialize more, and take care of my new home, my family and me:) I have wanted to cook/bake more at home and have accomplished this once so far this year. Once a week will be 52 times I did not cook last year;)

Love this! Thanks Report
Yes, I always have nonfitness goals -- so along with running and weight loss, my goals have to do with professional development on the job, setting aside 1 hour of thinking time each week at work, updating my will and a few other specifics. Report
I, too, set goals (sort of lifestyle goals) in many areas. These also are specific to where I am. I also am reviewing them periodically throughout the year and adjust when needed. I have a folder on my computer called LIFE DESIGN. It contains documents such as ... HEART'S DESIRES...mission; a list of what I value, am grateful for and enjoy; a list of PRACTICES, for example - be kind to all life in all circumstances; and also a GOAL list.

This goal list is divided into several areas:

This works for me and helps me to choose the direction of my life. I don't always end up where I am going... as flow is a part of living. But neither do I end up like a tumbleweed, blown here and there by the whims of others.

Good luck on your journey this year - both health and fitness, and well-being. It is definitely all related!!!

I gave up resolutions for goals some years back. I remember they are just that - goals - and if I don't meet them, at least I get farther by having them in writing and in front of me all year long. My list is always purposely longer than I can accomplish, so I know from the start I can't beat myself up about them. The list is too long to run through here, but it includes things like traveling someplace new, finishing a correspondence type college course I've started, finishing some stagnant projects, organizational stuff, and reading 100 books (my easiest goal to reach each year!). This year I added a couple of health goals, too. :o) Report
This article really got me thinking. I had set a non diet/exercise goal this year but didn't give it much thought. Mine was to de-clutter. My original thought was my house would look better (plus when we move, military moves a lot, it would be less crap to take with us). But after reading this article I realize that not only would I have a nicer home and less junk but I would have a cleared mind and be able to relax more. I am in a sense de-cluttering myself as well as my home! Less on my mind will make it easier to focus on me, not only to relax and enjoy but to get healthy easier as well! Report
I have made some goals to be more connected to distant friends and family members by regularly calling and writing. Report
I've got some non-fitness goals. Read 4 non-fiction books this year (I read a ton of fiction) is one of them. The spirit of learning things for the sake of learning and well... Report
What a great concept. Will be adding my goals as well and keeping track of them. You are right... If we don't learn to carve some time to do things we enjoy... Life will just take over us and we'll forever play catch up. Report
Excellent goals. Best of luck in achieving them. Report

In 2012, I am reading for enjoyment every day, going outside every day, and planning a drive from Northern Michigan to California and back in the Spring. Report
Non-health-related goals: Earn TKD black belt, read all magazines to which I subscribe, cancel subscriptions at the end of the year if I cannot meet that goal, double sales from last year. I set most goals in January and re-evaluate quarterly. If it's just not a happening goal, I scrap it and reformulate it. Report
Without goals what would a person have? Nothing to work toward. Yes, I am a big believer in setting goals, and for me short term works best, because I tend to be impatient. So I set lots of little short term goals. They will add up to the big, far-off goal that I aim for. Report
This is a great way to be successful, and not feel like I'm failing. Report
I love the notion of non-diet goals. For me, this is a lot of fun:
1. More reading (shuffling from 30 min to 60 min a day) good for the brain and decidedly relaxing.
2. Downsizing at home #1: go thru all the bookcases and get as many books as possible over to library as a donation -- goal is to get these books back into circulation.
3. Downsizing at home #2: go thru each room in the house (1 room a month) and assess everything as something to keep, something to donate or trash.

Thanks for helping me put my ambitions down into words. sfj Report