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How to set goals you will ACTUALLY achieve


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A new year, fresh month, or start of the week can spark one’s desire to better themselves. And when you have IBD, it can be hard to ignore the thoughts around health. 

Making changes to your lifestyle can be difficult, but NOT impossible. People are more likely to stick with and achieve a goal when they focus on:

  • Sustainability 
  • Release the ‘all or nothing’ mindset
  • Create goals that are valuable to THEM (and not someone else)
  • Have a realistic plan in place to follow (like a SMART goal)
  • Accept that failure will happen and that’s okay

Today’s library post will cover all of the above and more when it comes to goal setting. Let’s dive in!


If you go from 0-100, how long are you likely to keep going at the 100 pace? Setting a sustainable goal is about finding the balance between something new you want to implement in your life and refrain from overwhelm or burn out. 

Small, actionable steps are best. Start with what you can achieve even on your worst days. Setting a SMART goal is a great first step!


A SMART goal is often recommended when planning goals to make them…




Realistic and 


The more specific someone is, the more likely they will achieve their goal. 

For example, if you set a goal to increase your water consumption – that isn’t very specific. Here is what a SMART goal would look like:

Specific: I will drink 2 liters of water daily to stay hydrated and decrease my instance of constipation and improve overall health.

Measurable: My new water bottle holds 1 Liter of water. I will track my water by drinking (and tracking) 2 water bottles to ensure I reach the goal of consuming 2L of water per day.

Attainable: With my current routine it is achievable to drink 1L of water before noon and carry my refillable water bottle to ensure I have access to water throughout the day to achieve this. Then I will have until the end of the day to drink the next litre of water. 

Realistic: Staying properly hydrated is essential for my overall well-being, and it aligns with my goal to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Timely: I will achieve this goal within the next month and then reevaluate to see if adjustments are needed to maintain this habit long-term.

Valuable Goals

If a goal is not valuable or important to you, it will simply not mean as much to you and you’ll be more likely to forget about them. 

We encourage you to think about goals that are valuable to YOU and not your neighbor, the latest influencer, or celebrity. You know yourself best, you know what is attainable for you, and you know what you find valuable. 

All or Nothing Mindset

Have you heard of the all or nothing mindset? It’s the idea that we have to dive completely into something and never stray away from it. Doesn’t sound very sustainable, does it? Releasing the all or nothing mindset can be difficult and here are some thoughts to go over to help combat it:

  • Acknowledge the mindset
  • Focus on varying forms of progress (not perfection) – it’s okay to get messy and make mistakes!
  • Set realistic expectations
  • Understand that it’s okay to adjust goals to different seasons of life
  • Enjoy the JOURNEY instead of always focusing on the results


Failure is something that most people are afraid of, and something we all have in common. No one will ever be perfect, so we must take strides in imperfect action. 

It is a good idea to consider a ‘Plan A’ and a ‘Plan B’ for your goals. Meaning, if you can’t make time for the first plan, how can you ensure ‘Plan B’ still happens? 

For example: let’s say Plan A is to work out at the gym three times a week for 60 minutes. If you have to go away for work and a gym isn’t near you Plan B can be helpful. Plan B might look like: I will walk for 60 minutes three times a week when I don’t have access to the gym. You still get movement in to help with your goal. 

Don’t forget, failure is a normal part of life and it’s okay that it happens. How you choose to react AFTER failure is more important and can determine your success and results.

So, be gentle on yourself, start slow, and reassess if needed. Baby steps are still BIG steps towards your goals.

Other tools to help with your goals!

  • Atomic Habits by James Clear
  • Habit trackers – are a helpful tool to keep track of the new habits you want to implement. Because, if you don’t track them, how do you know how you’re doing with your new habit? Simply add 2-3 new habits to the tracker you are wanting to implement and check them off when you complete them!
    • Check out a printable version of a habit tracker here
      • Just add the month to the top of the page and start adding your habits!
    • Or, if you prefer an app, we like ‘Routinery’