Once upon a time, my goal was to stop bleeding from my gut. My goal was to simply not see any red in the bowl. I had no idea if or how I could make this happen, but I set specific goals—like get out of bed in the morning or take a road trip—and practiced self-compassion while trying to reach those goals.

If you’re someone who already uses goal setting in the non-healing sense, you might find my methods a bit more organic. The following tips have worked for me as I found that wellness goals usually follows a multi-directional route instead of a linear one—but they might not work for you. As always, talk to your doctor before making any big decisions about your health or treatment plan.

My Sickness Motivated Me to Make Changes

I never got around to diving into goal setting until I got sick. When the ground beneath you is shaken so hard that you can barely hang on for dear life, you’re definitely more motivated to make changes—and fast!

As I was just trying to keep up with my deteriorating health, I had no idea that I was organically tapping into the art of goal setting. Taking it step by step, day by day was the beginning of goal setting.

What I Did to Set and Reach My Goals

I started by asking myself what was missing in my current health condition and wrote down a positive statement about it. Being realistic is important but I also felt it was also OK to write down some big goals like remission.

Here are a few more tips I use to create and work towards my goals.

Write down the right goal

Don’t make your goal: I don’t want to be sick anymore.

Instead make your goal: I want to be well and strong as I regain my health.

Sometimes being very specific can help, too. For example, instead of setting the vague goal of “I want to be healthy,” set the specific goal of: “I want to heal the bleeding ulcers in my large intestines.”

Be patient

Set a realistic time frame for your goal but remember: for the purpose of setting wellness goals, patience is your friend. If you feel comfortable adding a date to your goal, try it. Setting a date might give you something to look forward to, too.

Post your goals

I would use dry erase markers to write my goals on the bathroom mirror. Or I’d jot them down on stickie notes and post them around the house. Your family or housemates might think you’ve really lost it but you’re dealing with serious business of wellness, so do whatever it takes.

woman writing on sticky notes stuck to glass, tips to set wellness goals for ibd

Read them aloud

I found that reading goals out loud helped me believe the goal was already achieved. Visualization also helped me. Find whatever images that suit you and replay them often in your mind.

I believe our minds are powerful, if we tell them something often enough, whether they positive or negative, our minds will believe them and manifest them.

Assign actions to your goals

One specific goal I had was to be able to meet a friend for tea. So, I planned bite-sized tasks that would help me achieve that goal. For example, I would go to bed by 9 pm, take a nap or make a regenerating snack before my meet-up. What bite-sized tasks will help you achieve your goal?

Above All: Practice Self-Compassion

Now that you have your goals written down, and the actions you’ll take to achieve those goals, remember to be kind to yourself.  You might not reach your goal right away,  and that’s OK. I’m an emotional person, but ironically, I found that focusing on the practical stuff I could do day-by-day helped me stay on track and move forward.

Setting and achieving wellness goals has been really important in my healing journey. And I hope you can get something out of my goal setting suggestions to fast track your health journey, both physically and emotionally.

With gratitude and keep on healing.

Author Astrid Fox is an IBD warrior from Vancouver, Canada. She is a whole foods advocate, wellness influencer, Paleo keto fan, essential oil lover, and newbie fitness enthusiast, as well as a mother, wife, artist, and entrepreneur. When she’s not spreading encouragement about taking wellness into our own hands on her website, HealMeInTheKitchen.com, Astrid is most likely scheduling her next spin class.

Oshi is a tracking tool and content resource. It does not render medical advice or services, and it is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. You should always review this information with your healthcare professionals.