Well-planned goals can help you turn your thoughts into actions. Here’s how to create effective weight loss goals.
Weight loss goals can be the difference between success and failure. Realistic, well-planned weight loss goals keep you focused and motivated. They provide a change plan for you to transition to a healthier lifestyle.
But not all weight loss goals are helpful. Unrealistic and overly aggressive weight loss goals can undermine your efforts. Use the following tips to set goals that will help you reduce your weight and improve your overall health.
Focus on process goals
Weight loss goals can focus on results or process. An outcome goal may be to lose a certain amount of weight. Although this objective may give you a target, it does not indicate how you are going to reach it.
A process objective is a necessary step to achieve a 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 particularly useful for weight loss. Because you focus on changing the behaviors and habits necessary for weight loss.
Set SMART goals
A good goal setting strategy is the SMART Goals Checklist. Make sure your weight loss goals meet the following criteria:
A good goal includes specific details. For example, the goal to exercise more is not specific. But the goal of walking 30 minutes a day after work is specific. You declare what you are going to do, how long you are going to do it and when you are going to do it.
If you can measure a goal, then you can objectively determine how well you are achieving it. The goal of eating better is not easy to measure. But the goal of eating 1,200 calories a day can be measured. A goal of cycling is not measurable. A goal of cycling for 30 minutes three days a week is measurable.
An achievable goal is one for which you have enough time and resources. For example, if your work schedule does not allow you to spend an hour at the gym every day, this is not an achievable goal. However, two trips to the gym on weekdays and two trips on weekends may be feasible. If a particular type of exercise, such as running, is physically too difficult for you, then running every day would not be an achievable goal.
It is important to set goals that are relevant and meaningful to you. And to know 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?
Choose your goal and set a time frame accordingly. For example, if you want to lose 10 pounds, circle the finish line on a calendar and work to get there. Setting yourself a time limit can motivate you to get going and stay the course.
Long-term and short-term goals
Long-term goals help you focus on the essentials. They can help you go from a simple diet to a lifestyle change. But long-term goals can seem too difficult or too far off. It can be helpful to break down a long-term goal into a series of smaller, short-term goals.
If your goal is to lose 7kg in three months, you can break it down into separate goals for each month, such as 3kg for the first month and 2kg for each of the last two months. Because early weight loss is often faster. An example of a process goal might be to walk 30 minutes a day. If you don’t walk regularly at all, you might want to walk 15 minutes a day for two weeks and then add five minutes to your walk each week.
Setbacks are a natural part of behavior change. Anyone who succeeds in changing their life has experienced setbacks. It’s best to wait for them and make a plan to deal with them. Identifying potential roadblocks (a big dinner party) and thinking about specific strategies to overcome them can help you stay on course or get back on track.
Reassess and adjust your goals if necessary
Be prepared to change your goals as you progress through your weight loss program. If you started small and made it through, you may be ready for bigger challenges. Or you may find that you need to adapt your goals to your new lifestyle.