Goal Setting for Weight Loss
The biggest mistake people make embarking on a new fitness or fat loss program is not setting clearly defined goals. So today I’d like to have a chat to you about goal setting for weight loss in a simple, yet concise way that will set you up for success in your fitness or fat loss challenge.
I presume that you all have a program to follow. If you don’t, get hold of one. Make sure it’s reliable and not a fad diet that you won’t be able to stick to for a reasonable amount of time.
Of course if you are following any of my programs, you’re good to go! LOL. If you’re in need of one, check out my online programs here www.idealbodiesonline.com/solutions
Firstly, goal setting for weight loss should be Specific…
The outcome of the goal should be something you can measure objectively. Simply stating “I want to lose weight” or “I want to look good” doesn’t set a specific enough target. Make the goal quantifiable. For instance, “I want to see my abdominals”, “I want to fit into my skinny jeans”, or “I want to decrease my 5km run finish-time by 5 minutes” are much more specific goals that can be measured objectively.
And, goal setting for weight loss needs to be Exciting…
In his book Awaken The Giant Within, author and success coach Anthony Robbins describes what he calls the “magnificent obsession” and the importance of setting large, important goals in order to create the drive to reach them.
I can personally attest to this. It wasn’t until I had set goals like entering a 12 week challenge, having an ‘after’ photo shoot, or entering a figure competition that I was actually able to push through my comfort zones to get there. And the best thing, is the powerful feeling of achievement and confidence that comes with actually overcoming the obstacles you face on your journey.
How do you know when your goals are exciting enough?
Anthony Robbins states that you know you’re setting the right goal when “it seems impossible but at the same time it gives you a sense of crazed excitement just to think about achieving it”. Exciting goals are more likely to inspire definitive action.
I struggled for some time after I had my daughter as I found just trying to keep up with day to day life and work was hard enough. I couldn’t seem to find my mojo and regain my passion for training. I know a lot of ladies in the same boat. I don’t need to lose weight, but a little muscle and strength wouldn’t go astray – I’ve sure lost some in the last few years.
So, I recently created what I’m calling my own ‘Big Hairy Arsed” goal. I’ve taken my before photos and I’m starting my own 12 week challenge. I want to get some new photographs as it’s been quite a while since I’ve had some fitness shots taken. It’s provided just the shot in the arm I need to get my butt back in the gym and my hand out of the cookie jar!
So have a think about yours, and hit me up and tell me about your “BHAG” goal in the comments below.
It’s important to make sure your goals are realistic.
Making goals exciting generates enough motivation to work hard to achieve them. But be careful when “exciting” turns into “impossible”...
These days we are bombarded with unrealistic examples of what a fit or beautiful body should look like and advertising helps to support the fantasy by promising claims of major weight loss in ridiculous amounts of time.
So, once you have specific and exciting goals in mind, make sure that they are achievable. If you are a size 20, it’s unlikely and self-defeating to claim you will be a size 8 in six months.
Rather, shoot for losing two or three sizes in that amount of time. Keep the goal exciting, even challenging, but not improbable.
When goal setting for weight loss, create short-term goals too.
Let’s say you want to lose 25 pounds of body fat over the course of the next 6 months so you can wow your family in your skinny jeans at Christmas time.
It is specific and the thought of achieving the goal is very motivating. Split up over several months, the loss of a little less than a pound of body fat per week is indeed possible and realistic, provided you are focused.
However, it can be hard to stay motivated over the course of several months without benchmarks and rewards of some sort. Keep yourself motivated by creating short-term goals that lead up to your major goal.
The main reason to focus on short-term goals is psychological. You can create incredible momentum for yourself if you achieve on a regular basis. The positive reinforcement you receive every time a short-term goal is met enables your motivation and excitement to snowball, keeping you excited and on track for the long term.
Utilizing the motivational power of consistent achievement will encourage further success.
Set Daily Objectives…
Set up a few tasks that you will do on a daily basis. For example, you could have a Daily Meal Planner you fill in the night before, to keep you on track the next day (I put a whole week’s worth on my fridge, in advance).
If time is an issue for you, one of your daily objectives could be to prepare your breakfast or lunch the night prior.
You could fill up a 2 litre jug of water in the morning and keep it on your desk and make sure it’s all gone by the time you head home from work.
You could put your workout clothes out the night before so you’re ready to go as soon as the alarm goes off. I even know someone who sleeps in her workout clothes and just rolls out of bed and she’s off!
Keep the tasks simple, and not too many so as to feel overwhelmed. Between 3-5 is ideal.
But make sure that you do them every day–no ifs, ands or buts—and every day you’ll get closer to the completion of your goal.
You’ll find that after a few weeks they become a habit and you may then be able to set a new list of Daily Objectives.
Set a Deadline…
It’s no secret that we all work better with deadlines. Whether it’s getting the kids to school on time, completing a project for work, or even Christmas shopping, when we have a deadline hanging over us we know when we have to get it done.
So set an exact completion date of your long and short-term goals in order to motivate you to stay focused.
You’ve stated your goal so it can be measured, you’ve made it exciting enough so you are jazzed about completing it, and you’ve devised a set of logical steps that you can achieve on a daily basis. Now you even know the exact date you will have the goal completed.
Next in line, you must commit to achieve the goal by doing two things.
First, write the goal or goals down in a big, fancy new notebook. Make a contract with yourself and keep it in a place you will see it every day. Put it near your computer, hang it on the fridge, post it on your bathroom mirror so you’ll be reminded on a daily basis what you’ve committed to.
Second, tell someone about your goals. In fact, tell everyone you know who will be supportive of you.
Don’t include the people you know will be negative.
It’s important you surround yourself only with positive people. But the more people you tell, the more likely you will feel accountable to your actions and accountability is a very big key to success.
Visualize and dream about reaching your goal…
Imagination is a powerful tool in goal accomplishment. Sports psychologists have known this for decades.
Set your mind up for already achieving the goal hundreds of times through imagination and it will be that much easier to accomplish it.
What we believe, we achieve!
Finally, you should review and assess progress regularly, even daily.
This can be as simple as keeping a simple checklist and notepad by your bed asking:
‘Did I achieve all my daily objectives today?’
If “yes” is your answer, you’re one step closer – and you can feel the power that comes from small accomplishments.
If not, resolve to do it the next day by writing it down on your notebook:
For example “Tomorrow I promise myself that I will complete ALL my daily objectives”. No judgements, just action.
Fitness success is no different than achievement in any other part of life. The above steps form a solid blueprint to follow in your quest for a fitter, healthier body. Specific, exciting goals, with a clear deadline and daily steps chart a clear path to what you want to achieve.
And finally, THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP. Back your plan with determination and persistence and resolve to never, ever give up. The majority of people start ok but when things get tough they quit. Persistence is power and success, all rolled into one.
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