10 Steps to Achieve Your Health Goals

While it is not technically the start of the new year for many of us it seems as though it is and so I present 10 Steps to Achieve Your Health Goals.

The seasons are beginning to change and the kids are going back to school. You may be like me and live in a climate where it seems that the weather never changes but yet your body knows that at this time, when the seasonal rebirth occurs, it is the time of change.

Perhaps you do not have children and consequently you do not think of it being “Back to School” time but yet you know, and you had likely experienced, the thought of this new year many times during your childhood. 

It is often at this time of year that we will reassess our goals.

I had recently written an article about goal setting and obstacles that spoke to this very subject. After that article published I had some very interesting comments, and questions, from both readers and clients which has led me to offer these ten practical tips to help you achieve your health goals.

Please note that I did not say your weight loss goals.

There is a reason for that choice of words and I ask you to read on to find out what that is.

Drink more water.

I always say it, and I always will, but there are good reasons for that. A dehydrated body does not eliminate well, has poor skin quality, is tired and is hungry. Yes, that is right and bears repeating… “A dehydrated body is a hungry body.” Did you know that the body mistakes thirst for hunger? Did you know that the mid afternoon slump that you feel could be caused by thirst? Have you thought about the fact that a body that does not eliminate well is not riding itself of toxins?

10 Steps to Achieve Your Health Goals

This is an easy first step towards your healthy living goals. Drink half of your body weight in ounces every day. This is your minimum and I promise you that the trips to the bathroom will slow down once your body adjusts to this wonderful hydration. 

When looking towards goals we must work with a realistic mindset.

It is also very important to be specific about goals. In practical terms, if your goal is weight loss we must realize that it is not practical to say “I want to lose 50 pounds this month” and it is not specific if you have no game plan. To achieve this goal, or any goal, we must break it down. What do you want to achieve? How do you expect to achieve it? What are the steps to get you there? Envision the future you and what you want that future you to feel like, look like and be like. Set goals for short-term, long-term and somewhere in between. The goal can even be just for today.

Give yourself the same advice that you would give to others.

This is about respecting ourselves. If your goal is to exercise for 30 minutes per day and you neglected to go today than you have not reached a goal but you have not become a bad person. Do not call yourself lazy and do not tell yourself that you cannot succeed. This is negative self talk and helps no one. Think about what you would say to your girlfriend, boyfriend, spouse, child or anyone that said they missed the gym, or that they ate something unhealthy, and treat yourself the same way.

If you have neglected to overcome an obstacle then sit down and figure out why that is.

What is holding you back? Is your schedule an issue? If this is the case than look at how your schedule can be adjusted and consider if there are any pockets of time where you are not working efficiently.  Are you confused by all the machines at the gym? Then make an appointment with a trainer, take a class or just go for a walk. Are you unsure of what your health goals should be? Then sit down with a health coach (I know a good one) and make a plan.

Create a vision board.

A vision board will help you to put a true solid image in your mind for what you really want and it fulfills the idea of “If you can see it than you will achieve it.”

My vision board from many years back. It hangs in my closet and still motivates me everyday.

Add anything to the vision board that resonates with you. Some folks put tons of pictures of super models, others will place photos of trips they wish to take, and still others will place pictures of clothing. There is nothing that you can put on this board that would be considered wrong. This board is about you, and only you, add all items that resonate with your heart and soul. Simply cut, paste and then hang your board somewhere where you will see it everyday.

Eat real food.

Processed foods, genetically modified foods and many other modern-day food oddities will not help you to achieve your health goals. Eat fresh fruits, vegetables and explore this website and my many cookbook boards on Pinterest for healthy eating ideas.

Love yourself.

You are the most important person that you will ever know so love yourself.


Rest will help you to achieve your goals. According to the Sleep Foundation an adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep per night. if you are having sleep issues than contact a sleep specialist. Ask me for a referral.

It is truly not about the number on the scale. 

Nor is it about the amount you weighed when you were in high school, college, or any other time. It is about where you need to be to be the healthiest person that you can be. Think in terms of getting healthy and everything else will fall into place.

Ask me questions.

Comment below with any questions you may have. If the question is of a personal nature than email me at elise@elisecohenho.com. I am here for you so please reach out.

Author: Dr. Elise Cohen Ho
With over 25 years of experience, Elise Cohen Ho, PhD, HHP, NC, MH is an expert in natural health (mental, physical and emotional), support of the family unit and support of the individual. As a Natural Health & Lifestyle Therapist, Amazon International Bestselling Author and Motivational Speaker, she wants every person to understand that they bring incredible POWER to the world with their amazing and unique gifts. Elise is available as a freelance writer, public speaker and for private consultation. Please email elise@elisecohenho.com to set up a FREE consultation today.


  • Elise,

    Some very good and important tips above!

    Since I work with social media, I think I should stick to what I know, and offer a suggestion that might help some really make the most of #5…

    I totally agree that visualizing something helps people make it a reality. The Vision Board is excellent! I see Pinterest as an opportunity to gather current ideas, new ideas, and picturesque possibilities that would motivate.

    When scrap booking became popular, I so loved the idea, but never got around to filling the ones in my closet. The Pinterest board would be easy clicks, and hopefully productive.

    In between exercise and drinking water, of course! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us for this week’s Sensational Summer Blog Boost Blog Chat for #likeableblogs!!


    • Elise Cohen Ho

      Keri –

      Thank you for visiting. I am quite pleased to hear that you have enjoyed these tips.

      I agree that Pinterest is an amazing place to find inspiration. In this very virtual world one could create a vision board in their Pinterest account. I would suggest that if they do so, and are not comfortable with the idea of sharing with millions of folks, than simply select “secret’ as a board option so that the only viewer is the creator. I have several of these boards for projects that I am working on but am not quite ready to launch.

      Scrapbooking is a very rewarding, and very time consuming hobby. I know many people who now create their scrapbooks digitally as an easier, quicker and cleaner option. LOL, in between the water and exercise 😉

      Thank you for all that you do, Keri.

      I hope to see you here again soon.

      Naturally Yours,
      Elise Cohen Ho

  • I enjoyed your post, Elise, and agree with Keri’s comment – I also liked your fifth tip about creating vision boards. Pinterest, Instagram, blogs, and numerous other apps have made that easier in online formats. Also, I especially liked your closing image and quote: “Life isn’t about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself.” Chiming in as one who does branding for a living, the process of creating personal brands is a daily process. Your tips can help!

    • Elise Cohen Ho

      I am so pleased to hear that you have enjoyed so many aspects of this post. That quote is one of my all time favorites. I think it is so important to not just simply accept the circumstances of our lives but to decide what you wish to accomplish and create the circumstances to make that happen. I love that you feel that my tips can help with creating personal brands. Thank you for offering me the opportunity to see that.

  • Thanks for these great tips!
    For me learning about what to eat and how much exercise is enough was key when I wanted to get back to a healthy weight a while ago. For a geek like me, using an application to track progress was key.

    • Elise Cohen Ho

      You are very welcome. Thank you the great tip regarding using an app to assist your efforts. There are many wonderful choices dependent on your focus (weight loss, increase in exercise,or a change in eating habits for example). .

  • All great advice, @Elise.. !
    A good idea would be to pick one a day, or one a week to do a little something and thus keep up the flow..

    Thanks for great content, my friend 😉

  • Elise,

    Great post. I like your focus on health as opposed to weight loss and emphasizing practical things that anyone can do like drinking water. I also think our outlook and the way we approach reaching health goals is very important. People who focus on weight and get down on themselves for not following the plan often get stuck with the ebs and flows of “diet” and exercise, weight gain and loss. Good insights for folks to go by.



    • Elise Cohen Ho

      Thank you, Scott. I think it is so important to focus on practicalities. We must all start our journey somewhere and just like when you hike a mountain you do not start at the summit, but rather at base camp, so should one start their journey to ideal health.

  • Hi Elise!

    I really love the topic you covered in this post. It’s so timely for me! I have recently rededicated myself to getting back in shape. I like to joke that past a certain age *ahem* our body warranties expire. It gets easier and easier to forgo working out when everything hurts. But the less we do the more it all hurts! I have found that “sucking it up” and working out anyway – using good judgment and common sense – lessens the discomfort over time and improves my mood and overall attitude.

    I also echo your advice about drinking enough water. I’ve yet to achieve the “half my body weight in ounces” level, but I have been drinking a lot more water than I ever have before. Again, I find everything seems to work better since I’ve been sticking with that regimen. And here’s a bonus: my acupuncturist instructed me to drink a glass of water right before each meal. Doing so kicks our metabolism into high gear, so we digest our meals more efficiently.

    Frithjof, I use an app to track my calorie intake vs. exercise too! 🙂


    • Elise Cohen Ho

      HI Jeanine – I am so very pleased that you have enjoyed. I think it is time to renew the warranty because you certainly have it right when you say “It gets easier and easier to forgo working out when everything hurts. But the less we do the more it all hurts!” I just love your honesty as that is what truly will help you and all the people that you touch.

      I think it is awesome that you are drinking more water than ever before. It all starts somewhere, right ? I have actually decided to dedicated the month of September to sharing information, encouragement and fun facts regarding water on my Facebook fan page at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Elise-Cohen-Ho-Naturally-Yours/220887688040483.

      Perhaps you might like to check it out.

      Naturally Yours,

  • You started this blog off with “While it is not technically the start of the new year for many of us it seems as though it is.”. For those of us in the Jewish Faith it IS the start of a new year. On Sept 4th at sundown, we start observing the period of time that welcomes in Rosh Hashonah,the Jewish New Year. All of us, even those not of this faith can observe using all or any of the tips you have given us. Cleansing our bodies & souls is always good at any time of the year.

    • You are absolutely correct, Roslyn. As a girl who was raised in the Jewish faith I should have caught that. I agree that cleansing our bodies and souls is always good…as a girl raised in the Jewish faith this means the time of Rosh Hashanah for me, as a women married to a Chinese man and observing much of Buddhism this gives to me Chinese New Year and sandwiched in between the two is the New Year’s Eve which is quite popular in the United States. I joke that this gives me three times per year to cleanse, reboot and recreate…. but really is it not true ?

  • Thank you for all these great reminders Elise. I love how each one of us can relate to the same post in different ways. I was thinking of using an unpublished Facebook page to (re)invent ourselves when you mentioned vision board and then Keri mentioned Pinterest boards and all the others touched on a different point, even Roslyn reminding us of Rosh Hashanah. It is true, somehow we all need a period of cleansing and reflection that will help our goal setting and working towards them.
    Happy New Season/Year to all,
    Veronica Solorzano Athanasiou recently posted…New Facebook Rules (or lack of) for PromotionsMy Profile

    • Thank you. I absolutely love hearing the different feedback regarding what resonated with everyone. I like the idea of using an unpublished Facebook page to help bring vision and life to your ideas for reinventing your business persona. While some of these ideas are actually physical ideas and some are virtual ideas they all bring clarity to what we are trying to achieve.

      Best of luck and let me know if I can help in anyway.

  • Awesome thoughts, Elise. I love #3 – give yourself the same advice you give to others. I was a personal trainer and weight management consultant for years. I was successful because I was encouraging, understanding, non-judgemental and all the things that I am NOT with myself! I’m going to work on that one.

  • I have to comment on Item 3. That is the one that made me laugh the most. Also made me reflect the most on why it is so important to have an accountability partner.

    I have been training to run the NYC Marathon in Nov, 2013. Also raising money for a charity. It is this sharing that keeps me motivated to do some sort of exercise each day.

    The other items I am sure are all correct but practicing what we preach is something that should never be forgotten.

  • I used to have health goals. Now well, I already achieved them…:)
    Shaun Hoobler recently posted…android dev appMy Profile

  • Excellent article, I will take note. Many thanks for the story!

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