How to Set Weight Loss Goals
Losing weight might feel like you’re trying to move a mountain or save the planet. It’s hard. If you focus on all the work you have yet to do, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Rather than focusing on the end goal, set yourself up for success by creating smaller steps that you can conquer along the way. Goal setting is key to your weight loss success.
Writing out smaller, more manageable goals can help prevent you from feeling overwhelmed. You can easily tackle the small steps, like cutting back on soda or sneaking just 10 minutes of exercise into your day. Accomplishing small goals each day can give you the confidence to keep going and aim even higher.
As you see yourself achieving more and losing weight, increase the intensity of your goals. Working out three times a week can become four. Trying just one new fruit and vegetable each week can go hand in hand with adding more nutrients to your diet. The more accomplishments you make, the more confidence you’ll get. Put that enthusiasm toward continued success.
The more you zero in on the goal, the easier it is to accomplish. Make detailed goals that don’t allow you to find a loophole. The goal to “lose weight” is huge and vague. Try something like “I will walk for 20 minutes on the treadmill today.” This goal is incredibly specific, and it gives you a target. Having a specific target can help you stay on the treadmill until you’ve reached your goal. When you do, celebrate it and reward yourself (with something healthy, of course)! Goals need to be specific and something you can measure. In fact, logging your activities and calories you burn in a journal is a great tool to help keep you on track.
What’s the point of setting goals if you never follow through? Keep a journal that is filled with checklists. Every time you achieve a goal, cross it off. By self-monitoring and tracking your progress, you are more likely to keep at it.
Maintaining a journal also shows you when you’ve eaten that piece of cake or decided to just lay on the couch. You don’t want to shame yourself, but you do want to be aware. Self-monitoring allows you to see your slip-ups and your successes.
Find a friend to ask you how your program is going. Tell your best friend, spouse or family member what your goals are so he or she can cheer you on. When you don’t meet a goal, they’ll encourage you to do it next time around.
Give yourself a reasonable time frame in which to achieve your goals. Weight loss doesn’t happen overnight, nor should you give yourself too long. Talk to your doctor about a pace that’s healthy for you and use that as a frame of reference. Be sure to set weekly and monthly goals and log your progress to stay motivated along the way.
With all these tips, you are sure to set healthy, achievable goals that can lead you to weight loss success. Stay with it and watch your body, and life, transform!