How Setting Realistic Goals is Crucial Towards Weight Loss
One of the best ways to ensure successful weight loss is to eliminate the stress and frustration that comes from setting yourself up for failure; instead of an “all or nothing approach” that would require a miracle, try setting smaller, progressive goals — you’ll be surprised how quickly they add up…
Regardless of why you’re setting your goals, or whether they are focused on weight loss exclusively, or part of a series of resolutions designed to get you closer to your ideal you, setting goals is a proven way to keep you motivated and let you know when progress has been made, no matter how small.
That’s why it’s of utmost important to approach your goals thoughtfully, making them your own!
The more aligned your goals are with that which you like or hold as a priority, the more likely you are to achieve success. So while we certainly don’t want to stifle your enthusiasm or your ambition, setting goals that make sense for your life and lifestyle is a good way to get some early, and encouraging, wins.
Don’t worry, you can always reassess goals and challenge yourself more and more as you go along, but starting with something to big, that takes too long to achieve, can lead to frustration.
To better explain an approach to goal-setting that we believe works, we present the following:
Start with your Outcome Goals
An outcome goal is exactly as it sounds: the result of your long-term efforts. It defines the vision you have for yourself? It should be bold, specific and measurable. They should inspire and excite you. Once defined, these goals will remain in focus as you plan the framework for the short-term process goals that, when achieved, will push you closer to achieving you Outcome Goal.
Examples of Outcome Goals:
- Lose 50 pounds.
- Pay off $25K in debt.
- Quit smoking.
- Become a stand-up comedian.
- Run a marathon.
Strategize Process Goals
Process goals lead us down a path of specific action, without concerning themselves with any specific, immediate outcome. They speak to actions that are appropriate and aligned with our Outcome Goal; things that can be done regularly, that when added together, lead to significant, positive change.
Using the same list of Outcome Goals above, here are some examples of aligned, strategic Process Goals.
- Stop snacking after 7pm
- Instead of buying Starbucks, make coffee at home and put $3/day in jar.
- Reduce the number of cigarettes per day by two
- Sign up for an improv class
- Always take the stairs
Many people find that when they focus on process goals instead of outcome goals, the outcomes (such as weight loss) take care of themselves. Small steps build confidence and healthy habits. They are the building blocks of true change.
Commit to a Variety of Daily Process Goals
When it comes to losing weight, these daily, process goals can help you track your calories and stay engage in physical activity. They can revolve around measurable actions, or support your need for emotional growth. In addition to taking physical action, how you think and feel can be influenced by goal setting as well.
Committing to things like:”Today I will stop eating before I feel full” or “Today I will focus for five minutes on what I love about myself and my life.” can be just as important as skipping that morning donut or walking to get the mail instead of driving that block.
Accomplishing something every day, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, will slowly change how you look at yourself and the world around you.
Don’t Forget to Enjoy Yourself
If it isn’t fun, then why bother?
All work and no play makes for goals that are easy to leave unaccomplished, so make sure your process goals fill your days with joy. In fact, if your goals aren’t any fun, add having fun to your list!
A study of individuals who maintained their weight after completing a weight-loss program attributed it to the feelings of satisfaction they got from engaging in high-quality daily activities.
So remember… in order to achieve your long-term goals, make a commitment, but then don’t focus too far into the future.
It’s all about today.
What are you going to do?