Best tips on how to set and reach a SMART weight loss goal and why you need a goal.
Well, imagine trying to hit the dart board in a dark without even knowing on which wall the dart board was. How would you ever hit it?
It’s the same with weight loss. Without a goal, where would you focus? How would you know what to change if things went wrong?
What is a Goal?
A goal is something SMART;
“I will stop eating donuts” is not a SMART goal; it’s not even a goal, it’s a statement.
“I will eat one serving of fruit today” is a goal and a SMART goal.
It’s specific, you will do something: eat….and you will eat fruit.
It’s measurable, you will eat one serving.
It’s attractive, you like fruit.
It’s realistic, you can do it.
It’s time-lined, you will do it this day.
How Do You Set a Weight Loss Goal?
Your goal is not only to lose weight but also to keep it off! So when you set your goal you are dealing with three different aspects.
1. Your final weight loss goal
2. How to get there
3. How to stay there
The first part is easy. You just check with a BMI index calculator to get an approximate healthy weight for your height. This will be your final goal. Don’t set a time limit for this goal.
The second part is the “How?” and can be quite tricky. Wanting a slimmer body is easy; being able to actually do what it takes is something else. The way to a successful weight loss consists of many small changes so you will be setting “small goals”.
The third part has to do with habits. The main reason people put back the weight they just lost is that the moment they stop focusing on losing weight they fall back into old habits. The changing of habits takes time and it’s best to allow it to take time. That will give you the chance to allow your choices and your new skills to become habits.
You will probably be alternating between setting small goals “on the weigh” and reaching them and taking the time needed for turning them into habits. There is nothing wrong with losing a part of the weight and then keeping that new weight for a while to get used to the new feeling of your body.
What is a Realistic Weight Loss Goal?
A realistic weight loss goal is a goal you honestly believe you can reach. It’s the point between your wishful thinking and your excuses for not doing it.
You will set both long-term goals and short-term ones.
Your long-term goal is your final weight loss goal, your final destination.
Your short-term goals are the small steps you’ll be taking. This is where your main focus will be.
Every now and then you will have to “look up” to make sure you stay on track. Is your short-term goal taking you closer to your final goal or are you on a sidetrack?
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Successful people are people who know how to reevaluate themselves when things don’t their way and don’t hesitate to make the necessary changes.
It’s true that we learn from our mistakes, but we learn more from what we do right. Your weight loss success is depending on you keeping your focus on the right choices you make.
Do You Like Your Goal?
Is your weight loss goal attractive to you? Will you like the outcome? Is it something that you will enjoy doing?
If you don’t like to “be on a diet”, don’t. There is no reason to make something hard that is supposed to make you feel better.
Your weight loss is for your own benefit and reaching your weight loss goal in a pleasant way is essential. This can actually be the difference between your weight loss success and your weight loss failure.
You shouldn’t be losing more than 1-2 pounds a week. Losing weight faster can have severe consequences on your health. This is your long-term weight loss goal.
Check the BMI Index calculator to see what your weight should be according to your height (Don’t become number bound!)
It can be tempting to try to count and determine when you will reach your goal.
“If I lose 1 pound a week I will have reached my goal by…. If I lose 2 pounds instead I will have reached it by …”
The problem is that we don’t lose weight on a steady basis. Just because you lost 2 pounds one week doesn’t mean that you will do it the next week as well.
Your long-term weight loss goal is only your final destination. Don’t put all your focus on it, what matters more are your…
Losing weight is an ongoing process that takes place parallel to the rest of your life. It has to fit in with your other daily obligations.
Balancing your daily obligations and your desire to lose weight is one of the main challenges when losing weight.
A short-term weight loss goal is realistic when you can handle the rest of your life and still work on your goal. Have you ever thought of under what weight loss conditions you are trying to lose weight?
Weight loss takes planning. You need to plan menus, your exercise, etc. If you have a time problem, your first weight loss goal can be to free up time. Your weight loss success can be as simple as taking the time to do the necessary planning.
“Tomorrow never comes.”
Every goal has a time limit otherwise it’s not a goal, only a dream, and will probably never come true.
It’s amazing how writing down your goal will make it into a statement and not only wishful thinking.
Losing 1-2 pounds a week is a good rule of thumb. Of course you will have weeks when you don’t lose any weight at all, so setting a time line for your final goal can be difficult.
If you have put on a lot of weight, it might take years before you to lose it all and reach your final weight loss goal and that’s OK.
It has taken years to reach your current weight. You are now used to your body, so it’s much better to allow it to take time to change.
Don’t let the fact that it will take time disappoint you. We will still be here next year too; the secret to your weight loss success is having a good time “on the weigh”.
Very important is to celebrate when you reach your goal. That’s why it’s better to work with short-term goals, even as short as weekly or daily goals are perfectly fine. Having to wait a year or so before you celebrate makes the whole process too boring. Celebrate often!
The most important thing is of course to get started. Check out these weight loss tools. They will help you.
Why not start with your eating habits? When do you eat during the day? A weight loss eating plan will give you a good frame to start from.
Have you checked your weight loss motivation? Having the right motivation will get you started. When you know how you will benefit by becoming slimmer, you are ready to take on the challenge.
With you on the weigh,