As a patient and a physician, I don’t recall anyone ever asking me what my health goals are, but here it goes. My goal is to feel emotionally and physically well, given the lifestyle I enjoy well into my 60s.
I suspect that this is a bit broad, and my physician should be able to dive deeper, figure out exactly what I mean, and come up with a plan to aim for this health goal.
Digital Nomad Health’s mission is to keep you healthy by preventing chronic diseases and helping you maximize your wellness metrics. We’ll help you think through your tough medical decisions!
Setting Health Goals
Many are familiar with SMART Goals, which is a method of setting a goal with a high chance of achieving it. It’s something we use with our patients when zooming in on a particular health issue.
There are big health goals and small health goals. For those who already enjoy good health and don’t have a strong family history of disease, it’s a good idea to start with the big health goals.
For those who are already dealing with certain medical conditions or have a strong family history of certain diseases (heart disease, cancer, dementia, or diabetes), setting smaller, achievable goals makes more sense.
Pushing Disease Into the Future
Talk to your neighbors, and you’ll discover that lifestyle diseases or other chronic diseases are common. Though we’re not fans of living our lives by diagnosis codes, the suffering they cause is real.
The top four chronic diseases are heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and dementia. For some, they are preventable or at least they can be pushed off a few decades into the future.
I would rather get diagnosed with stage 4 cancer at age 80 instead of 60 – if I had my choice. A heart attack at 50 is devastating, and still no walk in the park at 75, but better.
Improving Current Health
Hopefully, you are already enjoying good health. But some who are reading this deal with lack of energy, poor sleep, excessive hunger, low concentration, and muscle loss.
If your health goals are to improve how you feel now, I’d say you stand a good chance of getting there. Because you can trust that the action you take can make you feel better and if they don’t at first, with some adjustment, you’ll get there.
The difficult part is knowing where to focus your energy. If you are spending most of your energy on diet selection when your body needs a particular exercise regimen, you’ll have wasted a lot of time and energy on the wrong metric.
Vice versa, if you are running laps around different supplements when it’s your postprandial blood sugar numbers you need to focus on, you will also burn yourself out without feeling better in the end.
Some of us are already afflicted with chronic diseases, from depression or diabetes to cancer or hypogonadism. These diseases leave us fatigued, in pain, and with no energy; a terrible way to suffer.
But just because we are living with a certain disease, it doesn’t mean we have to suffer. Easy to say, but many experts agree with the quote, “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”