The SMART way to lose weight: set SMART goals

Weight loss goals can be the difference between success and failure. Realistic, well-planned weight loss goals keep you focused and motivated. They offer a plan for change as you indulge in a healthier lifestyle.

But not all weight loss goals are effective, far from it. Unrealistic and overly aggressive weight loss goals can undermine your efforts. Use the following tips to create goals that will help you reduce your weight and improve your overall health.

Focus on process objectives

Weight loss goals can focus on results or process. An outcome goal, what you ultimately hope to achieve, might be to lose some weight. Although this goal may give you a target, it does not address how you will reach it.

A process objective is a necessary step to achieve the desired result. For example, a process goal might be to eat five servings of fruit or vegetables a day, walk 30 minutes a day, or drink water with every meal. Process goals can be especially helpful for weight loss because you focus on changing the behaviors and habits that are necessary for weight loss.

Set SMART goals

A good goal setting strategy is the SMART Goals Checklist. Make sure your weight loss goals, whether a process goal or an outcome goal, meet the following criteria:

– Specific.

A good goal includes specific details. For example, a goal of increasing more physical activity is not specific, but a goal of walking 30 minutes after work each day is specific. You declare what you will do, how long you will do it and when you will do it.

– Measurable.

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If you can measure a goal, then you can objectively determine how well you are achieving the goal. A goal to eat better isn’t easy to measure, but a goal to eat 1200 calories a day can be measured. The goal of cycling is not measurable. A goal of cycling for 30 minutes three days a week is measurable.

– Reachable.

An achievable goal is one that you have enough time and resources to achieve. For example, if your work schedule doesn’t allow for an hour at the gym every day, then that’s not an achievable goal. However, two sessions per week at the gym and two weekend sessions might be feasible. If a particular type of exercise, such as running, is physically too difficult for you, then running every day is not an achievable goal.

– Realistic.

It’s important to set goals that are relevant and meaningful to you and where you are in your life right now. Don’t set goals that someone else wants you to achieve. Ask yourself what is most important to you, then determine your goals. Is weight loss a priority for you? If so, ask your doctor to help you set a daily calorie goal based on your current weight and health.

– limited in time.

Choose your goal and set a deadline accordingly. For example, if you want to lose 5 kilograms, circle a finish line on a calendar and strive to meet the date. Giving yourself a time limit can motivate you to get started and stay the course.

Long and short term goals: be SMART

Long-term goals help you focus on the big picture. But long-term goals can seem too difficult or too far off. You can benefit from breaking down a long-term goal into a series of smaller, short-term goals.

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If your goal is to lose 7 kilograms in three months, you can break it down into separate goals for each month, maybe 3 kilograms for the first month and 2 kilograms for each of the last two months because early weight loss is often quick. An example of a process goal might be to walk 30 minutes a day. If you don’t walk regularly, you might want to walk 15 minutes a day for two weeks, then add five minutes to your walk each week.

Consider Setbacks

Setbacks are a natural part of behavior change. Anyone who successfully makes changes in their life has experienced setbacks. It’s best to expect them and make a plan to deal with them. Identifying potential roadblocks, like a big holiday dinner or office party, for example, and brainstorming specific strategies to overcome them can help you stay on course or get back on track.

Re-evaluate and adjust your goals as needed and you will achieve your goal for sure.


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