“Weight loss” is a great intention, sound commitment and practical desired outcome, but it is not an appropriate goal to lose weight. A goal for losing weight – even one that specifies the amount of weight such as 10 pounds – requires an action step that will result in the weight loss. Without an action step, it is like wanting to win the a million dollar lottery but never purchasing a ticket.
Weight loss goals are more likely to result in weight loss when there are based on a vision, SMART – specific, measurable, action oriented, realistic and time specific – planned in smaller progressive steps and you have a contingency for barriers that may get in the way.
Here are 5 basic steps in creating your healthy weight goal.
1. Describe what you or your life will be like 9 to 12 months from now once you reach your healthy weight (your vision) and why it is important for you to be there (your motivation). Ex.; “I will have reached my healthy weight, feel happier and be energized so I can fit into my beautiful clothes and enjoy playing with my (children or grandchildren) and be an example for my children.”
2. Define where you want be in 90 days, in terms of SMART (specific, measurable, action oriented, realistic and time specific) goals. Ex.; “In 90 days I will be engaged in an aerobics spinning class exercise program, after work, three days per week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday -, for at least 45 minutes each day”. Repeat this process every 90 days setting new 90 day goals. Plan as many goals as you feel are achievable.
3. Define what small step you can take this week – this week’s goal(s) – to get you closer to your 90 day goal. Ex.; “By Wednesday of this week, I will investigate at least 2 gyms that offer spinning classes.” Repeat this process each week setting new weekly goals. Plan as many weekly goals as you feel are achievable. Making small incremental improvements increases you chances of achieving additional improvements in the future and builds self-efficacy.
4. Determine what barriers might get in the way. Ex.; “I might get stuck at work” or “I might not be able to afford the classes”.
5. Plan a strategy for each barrier. Ex.; “If I get stuck at work, I will exercise in the morning before work or on Saturday morning”. “If I give up my daily cappuccino, I can afford the classes and reduce my calorie intake at the same time.”
For additional information: Click here to read more about SMART goals. Click here for a self assessent to discover how well your attitudes and current behaviors equip you to lose weight and sustain weight loss?