Setting goals is important in order to achieve a dream. If your dream is to reach your perfect body weight then you should be aware of how much weight you’ll need to lose to reach that dream.
As you’re aware we cannot reach our ultimate goal within a few weeks, it takes planning, and for this reason it’s crucial to set realistic goals that can be achieved at regular intervals. Having your route planned out in sections also means you can see exactly how far you’ve come as well as how far you need to go.
It’s important to remember that weight loss is really quite simple, even though it has become a multi-billion dollar industry with enough products, diets and advice to shake a stick at. In the end it boils down to the calories that you burn each day versus the calories that you consume each day. If you are burning more calories than you are consuming, you will lose weight.
The best thing to do here is to set yourself small goals that you can tick off and feel good about achieving. There’s not much better than crossing things off a to-do list, or being able to say that you have achieved something and it is the same with weight loss. If you are trying to achieve something that may take months, it is easy to get lost along the way.
Achieving these Mini Goals can still be hard work
It’s so much more important to drive the body to adapt to your training rather than to merely go through the motions of any workout. We can all complete an easy exercise session from which we will burn some calories, but in order to allow the body to make effective, physiological changes, which result in an increased metabolism, most people need to push the body to a new and higher level.
Remember, just because the goals are smaller and set closer together doesn’t mean that you aren’t still working towards your larger goal of a great body that makes you feel good about yourself. The good news is, with the smaller goals, you will be able to dig deep within yourself and find the motivation to achieve the next incremental goal.
Developing the Motivation to do it
A trip of one hundred miles starts with the very first step, yet to most people the thought of walking those one hundred miles would seem like an impossible task at first. However, if we were to break down this goal into easily achievable steps then it should be much easier to motivate oneself to continue.
To do this we could view every one hundred steps as a small goal towards the ultimate achievement. This way we can achieve these goals frequently, which will train our thoughts into achieving regular success. Once you believe you’re progressing, the motivation to push on will develop automatically.
This process is the same when we try to achieve anything, even losing weight. When I train, I set a small goal for every aerobic or cardio workout. This way I know it’s within my own power to reach this goal by the end of the session, this habit propels me to push again next time. I do this by gradually working towards the higher end of the Target Heart Rate over the course of several months. Constantly pushing myself in this manner helps me to develop a greater level of physical fitness, in turn this drives physiological changes which help raise my metabolism and burn calories faster than ever before.
Setting SMART Goals
One useful tool for setting realistic, achievable goals is using the ‘SMART’ goal setting technique. These are often used for career goals, but can be applied to any area of your life. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timed.
Make sure your goals align to these criteria:
- Specific – Don’t set your goal to be ‘lose weight’, rather set an amount of weight or inches of waistline you want to lose, and a time frame.
- Measurable – Again, make sure that you have specific measures for whether you are on track. Record your progress against what you feel it should be.
- Attainable – If you’re a size sixteen, don’t try to get a bikini body in three weeks. Setting short-term goals is more likely to yield success than goals like “I will be down to ten stone by this time next year”.
- Realistic – This relates to attainable, but it’s more about asking yourself specific questions that are sometimes hard to answer. How likely are you to cheat on your diet, for example? Factor this into your goal. You can use our calculator to calculate average fat loss from a weight loss program
- Timed (or Timely) – Be sure to set a specific timeframe in which you want to achieve your goal. Break it up into chunks, like four-week segments, with notes on where you want to be at each milestone.
If you need extra motivation, there’s a great saying that you should remember: The only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Now, if you’re trying to lose weight, the last thing you should be doing is eating elephants, but hopefully that saying can give you some motivation, in the times when you feel that it’s just too much.
Before you know it, you’ll be slipping into that slinky little black dress, your thin jeans, that bikini or even that suit you never thought you’d fit into again. And the great news is that you can look back at all your hard work and be proud of all the little goals you achieve along the way. If you can achieve something like that – the chances are you will be able to deal with anything life throws at you.