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Goal Setting Tips for 2024

January may be all about fresh starts and focusing on your goals – but how many of us make a long list of resolutions that don’t last past February?

If becoming a father is on your 2024 wish list, there may be a host of lifestyle changes you want to work towards this year to help improve your chances of conceiving. From quitting smoking to losing weight, you’re more likely to achieve your health goals if you approach them smartly and sustainably.

Here are our top tips for setting – and sticking to – those good habits and important goals.

Make Your Goals SMART

Ok, so the SMART goal framework is usually something HR teams roll out on corporate away days, but there is a lot of valuable stuff in there that can be applied to any goals you may be setting yourself this year!

When talking about goals, SMART stands for:

Specific – Be clear and precise about what you want to achieve
Measurable – Make sure it’s something you can quantify and track
Achievable – Go for stretch goals that you can achieve if you reach outside your comfort zone
Relevant – How will this goal impact you and your life if achieved? Why is it relevant?
Time Bound – Give yourself a deadline to work towards.

So what does that mean for goals relating to your fertility journey? Well, maybe you want to improve your sleep. That’s a pretty broad goal but if we break it down in a SMART way, it looks like this.

Specific – I want to sleep at least 8 hours a night
Measurable – I’ve invested in a fitness tracker that tracks my sleep
Achievable – 8 hours is totally achievable if you just adjust your bedtime time and routine
Relevant – Sleep not only improves your physical and mental health but it can also support your fertility!
Time Bound – Give yourself a month to get a new routine in place!


Make Your Goals Impossible To Ignore

Visualization is a key element of setting and staying focused on goals – in fact, it’s a commonly used technique in professional sports. But what does that mean for you?

It’s really about making it hard for your brain to forget about your goal. If you see a daily reminder of the goal you want to achieve or the life that you are aiming for, your daily habits and decisions will start to become influenced by that reminder. For example, if you want to prioritize getting out in nature more, seeing images of men hiking or walking in beautiful forests will encourage you to get outside, even on days you don’t feel like it.

Making a vision board can be one way to bring your goals to life. Traditionally they are created by ripping inspiring images out of magazines and sticking them to cardboard – and if that’s your thing, go for it! But the more modern take is to create a virtual collage on something like Canva. You can then set it as your lock screen on your phone so it’s something you see every day!

Not feeling creative? Simply writing your goals on a post and sticking it to your mirror so you see it every day can still be a helpful way for you to stay focused!


Share Your Goals With Someone

Now, this is a debated one. Some studies indicate that telling someone about your goals can make you less likely to achieve them, but we believe that opening up may be really helpful – it’s all about who you decide to talk to. Some research shows that we are more likely to achieve our goals if we talk about them with someone who we deem as ‘higher status’. This is where having someone like a Personal Trainer, or Fertility Coach – someone you see as an expert in their field – can be really useful.

Sharing your goal with someone can also give you some accountability. If you are trying to quit smoking, telling your friends that that’s your aim for the year and explaining why it’s so important to you will ensure they give you the support you need (rather than leading you astray) and will also mean you are less likely to fall off the wagon, when you know your mates are watching on.


Track and Document Your Progress

As we talked about in the SMART framework, it can be beneficial to have goals that can be measured and tracked. Seeing your efforts rewarded is a great motivator that will help you stick to your goals! Again, weight is a really obvious factor to think of when it comes to tracking but you don’t always need numbers on a scale to document your progress.

If one of your goals this year is to spend more quality time with your partner, why not start a folder on your phone for ‘Date Nights’ and snap a selfie every time you do something fun together? If you’re stopping drinking you could have a pot where you put money in every time you would have to spend it on a beer and watch as your physical bank balance fills up!

Our at-home fertility test is perfect if one of your 2024 goals is to improve your sperm health. You can test regularly from the comfort of home, understand your baseline health, and then see how any lifestyle changes you make have helped to improve your sperm quality every few months!

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More to explore


Wearing tight pants and underwear

Studies show that men who wear looser underwear have higher sperm concentration and total sperm count compared to men who wear tighter underwear. So, lose the tight clothes and wear something loose to give your testicles some air.

CONCLUSION: learn more about how heat can affect sperm quality here.


Besides higher mortality rate and various diseases, stress is associated with low sperm quality. Stress is known to be associated with lower testosterone levels and oxidative stress with both playing an essential role in producing and maintaining healthy sperm cells.

CONCLUSION: If you feel stressed, we recommend you get some help so you can have a balanced mental health. For a stress management guide, download the ExSeed app for free and start your personalized action plan today.

Physical activity

Scientific studies show that men who are physically active have better semen parameters than men who are inactive. Fertility specialists also state that regular physical activity has beneficial impact on sperm fertility parameters and such a lifestyle can enhance the fertility status of men.

Prioritizing exercise can help improve your overall health and result in healthy, fast swimming sperm cells that have good chances of fertilizing an egg.

CONCLUSION: Try incorporating exercise in your weekly schedule to you ensure exercising at least twice weekly. We recommend a combination of cardio training and strength exercise. Read more about exercise and male fertility on our blog.


Fast Food
Processed foods damage the health of sperm-producing cells and cause oxidative stress, which lead to poorer sperm quality. Heavy consumption of junk food (every week) can increase the likelihood of infertility since men who consume vast amounts of unhealthy food are at risk of having poor sperm quality. Besides harming your fertility, junk food enlarges your waistline, harms your cardiovascular system, kidneys, and more.

Eating more fruit and vegetables can increase your sperm concentration and motility. It’s important that you consume a healthy diet filled with antioxidants and that you eat vegetables every day. Foods such as apricots and red bell peppers are high in vitamin A, which improves male fertility by nurturing healthier sperm. Men who are deficient in this vitamin tend to have slow and sluggish sperm.

Sugary snacks/beverages: several times a week Excessive consumption of high sugar items can lead to oxidative stress, which negatively impacts testosterone levels and sperm motility. Sugary snacks and beverages are also highly associated with obesity and low fertility.
CONCLUSION: To boost sperm quality, stay away from fast food, processed food, and sugary snacks or beverages. You need to implement a healthy prudent diet filled with necessary superfoods needed for good sperm production. Check out our guide to Male Fertility Superfoods. For personalized guidance and support on how you can start improving your sperm health, check out the Bootcamp.


Direct heat can inhibit optimal sperm production and cause Sperm DNA damage. Sperm cells like environments that are a couple of degrees lower than body temperature. Avoid overheating from warm blankets, seat warmers, heat from your laptop, hot showers, and saunas.

Cigarette smoking

The exposure to tobacco smoke has significant negative effects on semen quality. The damage of cigarettes and nicotine of course depends on how many cigarettes you smoke per day and for how long, but even low usage (up to 10 cigarettes / day) can inhibit healthy sperm production.  

CONCLUSION: Stay as far away from cigarette smoking as possible if you care about your general health and your fertility. Read more here.

Cell phone

When you have your cell phone in your front pocket, your testicles are exposed to electromagnetic radiation, which studies have shown to damage the sperm cells. Put your phone in the back pocket of your pants or in your jacket pocket.


There is a clear association between obesity and reduced sperm quality. At least part of the reason for this is that obese men may have abnormal reproductive hormonal profiles, which can impair sperm production and lead to infertility. 

A BMI higher than 30 can lead to several processes in the body (overheating, increase in oxidative stress in the testes, sperm DNA damage, erectile dysfunction) that can have a negative impact on male fertility. This can result in problems when trying to conceive.  

CONCLUSION: BMI is one of the risk factors that influence semen quality and, for example, sperm motility.  


A beer or glass of wine now and then do not really harm sperm quality. But excess alcohol drinking (more than 20 units per week) can reduce the production of normally formed sperm needed for a successful pregnancy.

CONCLUSION: If you want to stay safe, stay under 14 units of alcohol per week. For more information on how alcohol can affect male fertility, take a look at our blog: “Alcohol and Sperm Quality”.


Studies show that women younger than 35 and men younger than 40 have a better chance of getting pregnant. Men can produce sperm cells almost through their entire life, but the sperm cell DNA is more fragile and prone to damage after the age of 40.

As men age, their testes tend to get smaller and softer resulting in a decline in sperm quality and production. These changes are partly because of an age-related decrease in testosterone level, which plays a very important role in sperm

production. Higher male age (>40 years) is not only associated with a decline in sperm production but also with increased sperm DNA fragmentation and worsened morphology (shape) and motility (movement). These negative effects make the sperm cells less qualified for egg fertilization.

CONCLUSION: with an age under 40, you shouldn’t have to worry much about age as a factor in itself. However, studies have shown a slow decline after the age of 30-35 years

and if you are above 40 years of age, your sperm quality can be affected due to increased sperm DNA damage resulting in a decrease of sperm motility and concentration. Remember that you cannot evaluate the quality of a sperm sample by just looking at it – this requires a sperm analysis.