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How can setting goals help me exercise more?

John Preston, PsyD
Psychology
Deciding on a specific goal and creating a detailed plan to reach that goal will increase your motivation. On a day when you’re feeling motivated and energized, sit down and write about a very specific exercise goal that you know you’ll be able to reach. For example, if you’ve decided you’d like to bicycle more, plan to bicycle to and from work at least three times a week. Or you can set a goal to increase the number of miles that you bike: from five miles the first week to ten miles the fourth week, making your goal to bike a little bit further each week, perhaps until you’re biking twenty miles a week. Even increasing a once-a-day five-minute walk to ten minutes a day can make a difference.

The important thing is not the goal itself, but that you believe you can achieve it and that you’ll know it when you reach it. Once you reach your goal, set some time aside to celebrate, and make sure to set a new goal while you’re still excited about your success.
Depression 101: A Practical Guide to Treatments, Self-Help Strategies, and Preventing Relapse

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Depression 101: A Practical Guide to Treatments, Self-Help Strategies, and Preventing Relapse

When you have depression, it can feel like there's no way out. To begin changing the way you feel, you'll need an arsenal of proven techniques for lifting your mood and preventing relapse. The...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.