If you’ve been struggling to lose weight, take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. In desperation to drop pounds, thousands turn to fad and highly restrictive diets that cannot be sustained over the long-term. Surely there is a better way.
There is! Focusing your goals for weight-loss prepares your mind, helps you to organize your weight-loss efforts and equips you with the tools you need to achieve the goals you set for yourself.
Learn how to focus your goals using the “SMART” goal system below.
FOCUS YOUR GOALS USING THE “SMART” GOAL SYSTEM
If you haven’t heard about “SMART” weight-loss goals then you are in for a treat as these strategic goals offer common sense applications and tips that have the ability to transform your weight-loss resolutions in a far more attainable way than any fad or restrictive diets out there.
What are SMART weight-loss goals you may ask? Let’s have a closer look at what “SMART” stands for as well as their individual applications in the rest of this article.
“SMART” weight-loss goals stand for:
- Specific – goals
- Measurable – goals
- Accountable – to your goals
- Realistic – goals
- Timeframe – for your goals
Here’s how to set SMART goals which are essentially 5 goal-focused weight-loss tips and strategies that can easily be applied to not only lose weight initially but to also keep it off for years to come.
The more you practice these SMART goals, the easier it’ll become for you to form healthy habits. Before you know it, they will become part of your daily routine, setting you up for weight-loss success!
Let’s get to it then!
5 GOAL FOCUSED WEIGHT LOSS TIPS
#1. IDENTIFY AND SET YOUR SPECIFIC GOAL
Sorry to break it to you but a goal such as “to lose weight” is way too vague and broad as it doesn’t explore why you want to lose the weight or how you intend losing it. Without those details, it’s like taking a hike in the wilderness with no map or compass.
Sticking to the analogy above, life interruptions and unexpected situations can consequently have the effect of throwing you off the weight-loss trail.
Your goals must be as specific as possible. For example, instead of saying that you want to lose weight, your goal may in fact be that you want to lose 25 pounds in 12 weeks by eating healthy and going for daily walks so that you can play more with your children without being physically exhausted within the first five minutes. It’s a simple example but I’m sure you get the point. It explains the how and the why which are powerful motivators for when times get tough and it will keep you going.
#2. MAKE EACH OF YOUR GOALS MEASURABLE
How do you know if you’ve reached your goal or how much further you still need to go to reach it if you don’t make each of your goals measurable?!
Once you’ve set your goal, it’s extremely important to know how you are going to measure your progress along the way. Measuring progress is a huge motivator as well. Nothing puts fire under you more than seeing visible measurements of progress!
While many use the traditional scale to measure their weight-loss progress, it’s also a good idea to measure using various tools such as a measuring tape or setting aside an item of clothing that you’ve been dying to get into and try it on every 2 weeks to assess whether it fits better.
Using the scale alone or as your primary means of measurement is dangerous, particularly for women as we undergo hormonal changes throughout our cycles which can be responsible for water retention. You may think that you haven’t lost any weight when in fact you have and it’s just water retention reflecting on the scale.
Whether it’s pounds or inches lost or how your clothing fits, setting a measurable goal is key to achieving it. Ask yourself how many pounds you want to lose at a healthy rate per week and work from there.
Next, track your weekly progress by recording it in a journal. Soon, you will start to see smaller weekly goals being achieved leading to your bigger overall goal. These successes build momentum which is key to keeping you motivated towards your overall goal. The great side effects of reaching mini weekly goals is also increased confidence!
#3. BE ACCOUNTABLE IN THE GOALS YOU SET
Being accountable in the goals you set yourself for weight-loss ties in with measuring goals in that it’s a form of personal accountability for what you’ve set out to achieve.
You can be accountable by tracking your progress in a journal or through many online free apps that neatly record your daily, weekly and monthly stats. Whether you choose the traditional pen-to-paper tracking or digital tracking is entirely up to you so long as it’s done.
Another great source of accountability is getting a friend or family member to be your accountability partner and as an example this could involve that person meeting you at the gym each day for a workout session.
#4. SET REALISTIC GOALS THAT ARE ATTAINABLE
There’s no point in setting goals which are unrealistic, unhealthy or will add undue stress just for the sake of trying to achieve them.
Take some time out to assess whether the goal you initially chose at the beginning is realistically attainable for you (without comparing yourself to others). If you make a goal too difficult, you will set yourself up for disappointment which can lead to demotivation and sometimes giving up altogether!
At the end of the day, it’s sobering to acknowledge that most weight-loss is not easy. Hard work has to be put in. With this said, your goal shouldn’t be so unrealistic that it can’t be achieved even through said hard work.
#5. HAVE A TIMEFRAME ALLOCATED TO EACH GOAL
It’s never a good idea to set a goal in a timeframe that is unhealthy and unrealistic as again, this will make it unattainable leading to discouragement.
On the flip side, not setting a timeframe at all for your goal leads to a lack of direction.
Choose a healthy timeframe to lose the weight you set as your goal, and include mini timeframes with mini goals to motivate you throughout the process. This is especially important if you have a considerable amount of weight to lose which should be spread over a good amount of time to allow for your body to adjust.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Losing weight can seem daunting and it can be that much harder if focused goals have not been set to help navigate you through the process.
Take the time to apply the “SMART” weight-loss goals before starting your weight-loss journey. It will not only help you to achieve your goals but you’ll also end up enjoying the weight-loss process!