Goal Setting for Weight Loss

By: Wendy Hearn

What goals are you setting for your weight loss and health? The setting of goals can really help you achieve weight loss or become healthier and fitter. Knowing how to set these goals is the first step in the process. Goals which are set effectively are more likely to be achieved. The process of setting the goal plays a very important part. The reason many people don't achieve their goals is often due to how they set them.

What are well set goals? One method is known as setting SMART goals. SMART stands for:


Ensure the goal you set is very specific, clear and easy. Instead of setting a goal to lose weight or be healthier, set a specific goal to lose 2cm off your waistline or to walk 5 miles at an aerobically challenging pace. Keep the goal simple so it's easy to understand what you want to achieve. The goal needs to be important to you and exciting enough to prompt you to do what's necessary to achieve it. If the goal isn't important to you, I encourage you to drop it because you're not likely to achieve it and often end up feeling as if you've failed. There are many goals you can set. Just choose one you really want to have as the end result.


The goal needs to have a specific, quantifiable result or else it ends up just as wishing. For instance, it isn't measurable to say you want to be healthier or feel fitter. But it is measurable to say you want to be fit enough to swim 20 lengths of the swimming pool.


Goals you set which are too far out of your reach, you probably won't commit to doing. Although you may start with the best of intentions, the knowledge that it's too much for you means your subconscious will keep reminding you of this fact and will stop you from even giving it your best. A goal needs to stretch you slightly so you feel you can do it and it will need a real commitment from you. For instance, if you aim to lose 20lbs in one week, we all know that isn't achievable. But setting a goal to loose 1lb and when you've achieved that, aiming to lose a further 1lb, will keep it achievable for you. The feeling of success which this brings helps you to remain motivated.


Devise a plan or a way of getting there which makes the goal realistic. The goal needs to be realistic for you and where you are at the moment. A goal of never again eating sweets, cakes, crisps and chocolate may not be realistic for someone who really enjoys these foods. For instance, it may be more realistic to set a goal of eating a piece of fruit each day instead of one sweet item. You can then choose to work towards reducing the amount of sweet products gradually as and when this feels realistic for you.


The goal should have a set time. If you don't set a time, the commitment is too vague. It tends not to happen because you feel you can start at any time. Without a time limit, there's no urgency to start taking action now. Set goals with a definite time limit. For instance, aim to build up to 3 sessions of exercising a week, by the end of next month.

I encourage you to pick up a pen and a piece of paper and jot down the goals you want to reach on your journey to weight loss and health. Look at each goal and evaluate it. Make any changes necessary to ensure it meets the criteria for a SMART goal.

What I want is for you to set goals which work for you and are achievable.

Wendy Hearn is the author of "The Top 10 Things That Stop YOU From Losing Weight" http://www.PositiveWeightLoss.com

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