“I don’t have time to go to the gym. There goes my plan to exercise today.”
“I can’t possibly lose 10 pounds in a few months. These 5 pounds I lost are just a waste.”
“Meditation? I’m too stressed to even think about meditating!”
It’s easy to get sucked into an all-or-nothing trap. Sometimes you might feel like if you can’t achieve the perfect example of a health goal, you might as well not even try.
Unfortunately, that can keep us from moving forward at all. Instead, it’s helpful to go for little wins where you can get them. By setting levels of success for yourself, you can make the smallest healthy changes feel more rewarding—and the biggest ones feel more achievable!
That’s where setting floor goals and push goals comes in:
Floor goals are baseline targets you set for yourself.
These are small wins that still feel like success to you. In the case of healthy habits, this is a habit you know you can achieve, even if you’re tired or busy. They’re easier to do but still help you achieve your health goals.
Push goals are loftier targets.
These are habits you can strive toward when you’re feeling energized or driven, and when you can make time for them. They take more effort but have a bigger payoff for your health goals.
What does this look like in terms of healthy habits?
Let’s say you’re trying to eat healthier.
- Floor goal: Add one veggie to your sandwich for lunch
- Push goal: Have half of a sandwich and fill the rest of your lunch plate with veggies
- Floor goal: Pick grilled items from the takeout menu instead of fried foods
- Push goal: Cook a balanced meal at home
How about exercise?
- Floor goal: Go for a 10-minute walk today
- Push goal: Turn that 10-minute walk into a 30-minute walk
- Floor goal: Exercise at home for 30 minutes
- Push goal: Go to the gym for 60 minutes
Trying to manage your stress?
- Floor goal: Practice deep breathing for just three or four breaths to calm your body
- Push goal: Practice a 2-minute mindfulness meditation
- Floor goal: Jot down a quick note about how you’re feeling in the moment
- Push goal: Journal your thoughts for 10 minutes before bed
If you don’t achieve your push goal, that’s okay! You have nothing to lose. You can still achieve your floor goal and celebrate that win.
Try setting some floor goals and push goals for yourself. It can help you take credit for your success and recognize that you’re still on track!