How to Set Weight Loss Goals Part 1
I know I said that goals sometimes fail but that does not mean that they are not important. Though sometimes we lose sight of our goals, they are integral to us in our journey of healthy weight loss.
Goals are like our very own road maps.
They allow us to envision our end, chart out our course of action and arrive at the destination that we choose.
Goals give us a sense of accountability in that we can and should always refer to them when we feel as though we have fallen behind or we have given up totally.
Most importantly, goals allow us to constantly make adjustments based on our changing situations and desires. They are never static. As our journey changes, goals allow us to change with it.
Yes, Yes goals are important. But how do we create these goals?
I’ll share with you the process I go through when I chart my goals.
Firstly, I look at where I am. What is my current situation? And because I want to lose weight, I deal with this specifically.
What is my weight? My focus area or areas? The measurement of my arms, waist, thighs, hips etc, etc? The see-able characteristics of these areas that I would like to improve or change? How do I see myself now? What do I think must be done through this journey?
As weight loss is not only a physical process, in this stage, I also address the mental aspects that would be involved.
Why do I want to lose weight? What is my motivation? Am I doing this to make me happy or will doing this enhance my happiness? Where is my confidence now and where should it be?
All these things help me assess whether or not I am mentally prepared for my weight loss journey and if not, I go over and explore these areas.
Secondly, I decide on which course of action I must take in order to make these improvements and changes.
Would I exercise? How would I exercise? Length/intensity? Would I focus more on cardio or strength training or both? What would my diet be like? What would I eat? What would I drink? What would I not eat? What would I not drink?
This ensures that I know what I must do and again, keeps me accountable when I fail to do it.
And thirdly, I write down my goals. This part of the process clearly defines what you would like to see at the end of your weight loss journey.
It outlines the what and when. When I was losing weight, my goals were that I wanted to lose 20 pounds in the shortest amount of time possible. I wanted to see a drastic reduction in the size of my legs, my arms and my belly. Quite vague, right?
Just one thing to note.
Ensure that your goals are specific.
As you see, mine were not. Have a clear what. How many pounds do you want to lose? How many inches off you waist, thighs etc do you want gone?
In other words, use measurements. Your when. When do you want to see these things achieved. By what date? What year?
Always make sure that your goals are objective and not subjective in completion.
What I mean is that…by saying, “I want my waist to look smaller”, any size other than what it was before would mean that your goal was completed. However, by saying, “I want to lose 2 inches off my waist”, your goal is only completed when those two inches are lost and not when your waist looks “smaller”.
Most other sources that deal with goal setting only focus on the third step- the final goal- without looking at the other undeniably important aspects that go into goal setting- where you are now and the means through which you would achieve these goals. I have found these extremely important in keeping me in check through my entire journey of healthy weight loss and I know that you would too!
I recommend that when you go through this process, you write it down and place it somewhere that is in view. Always refer to your goals. Always keep them in mind. Always honour them.
And if you fall, get back up, adjust your goals if needed and keep going!