My Healthy Weight Loss

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How to Set Weight Loss Goals Part 1

Lindsey Samuel Motivation

Okay. Okay. 

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.

the-road-aheadGoals 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?

mental-aspect

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? 

a-hand-writing

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!

12 thoughts on “How to Set Weight Loss Goals Part 1

  • I always tell people losing weight is not the hard part but mainting the weight is the hardest thing. I find it more of a mental challenge than a physical one. Once you manage to get beyond that mental block of losing weight there’s nothing that can stop you from achieving any other goals.

    • I couldn’t agree more! Weight loss is way more than the physical. Our bodies can do it but it’s our minds that hinder us from actually achieving and sustaining what we have achieved.

  • I lost over 60 lbs in the last year. My initial long term goal was to drop down to 200 lbs from 246. But I would focus on doing it 10 lbs at a time.

    Once I hit the 200 mark, I adjusted to 180, but this time 5 lbs at a time. It got harder to lose the lower I went. Now I’m down to 178 lbs. Just need to get down to 170 now.

    • Thanks for sharing! Your goals are definitely well defined. The great thing is that you have not given up on your goals, simply amended them. Keep going!

  • I agree that goals are necessary in order to achieve one’s fitness goals. not only are goals important, but making sure that goals are measurable and attainable.

    Too many times we generalize our goals instead of making it concrete. Sometimes i forget myself to put my goals in writing which makes it more real. thank you for this article.

    • You are absolutely right, Ralph! Make sure to get those goals in writing as soon as possible and stick to them. If they’re not working out, amend them. Just never abandon them. All the best to you Ralph!

  • Hey Lindsey!
    I like your site a lot compared to other weight loss sites.
    Thanks for sharing your story. I like how your story is super relatable.

    I have also had the same problem with roller coaster weight loss. Something I would like to see, is maybe some more motivation.
    I noticed you have a page for it, but if you posted motivational posts maybe including a success story that someone sends in, that would even more motivating!
    Does anyone else agree?

  • Hello, Lindsey, it is without any doubt that goals really matter in everything we wish to achieve in life. Not just in weight loss but in everything, which means it has to be part of life like you said, it is integral to us.

    Therefore, having goals will help us to achieve that weight loss we have always wanted and thank you for the tips and awareness that you have created here in your post.

  • Good suggestions on how to get started working towards a healthier lifestyle and lose weight, it does take a combination of moving more and eating less to lose weight and keep it off.

    Many people in their 50’s begin to experience low energy and health issues which can affect their activity levels and before they realize it they are overweight.

    Starting slowly and gradually I think works for most people, often we will overdo exercise and cutting back on eating which overwhelms us and many times we will eat even more .

    • That’s a great point! Slow and steady wins the race and more times than not, keeps the weight off! Thank you for your comment.

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