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“I want to lose 10 lbs in 3 days!”
“I need to lose 20 lbs this month so I am only eating one meal a day.”
“I have a wedding next month and bought a size 6 dress already so I need to fit into it (you were a size 10 when you said that).”
Weight loss goals like these are rarely met with success.
Many set too lofty objectives and so you run out of steam and even the desire before you can achieve them. This can send you into a downward physical and emotional spiral and can cause even more weight gain.
Setting weight loss goals, and sticking to them, can be challenging.
Most people do the bare minimum when it comes to setting a weight loss goal – they just say “I want to lose weight.” With an light weight goal like this, it can get derailed pretty quickly at the sight of a bread basket or piece of cake. There’s no grounding or meaning to the goal. And there really isn’t anything locked in your head so it just doesn’t stick.
Others may state a simple weight loss goal like “I want to lose 20lbs.” That’s a little bit better but you still can’t sink your teeth into it – it’s still pretty flimsy.
If you want to set yourself up for weight loss success, then you need to set SMART goals. I’m going to show you how to set a weight loss goal the SMART way + some tips that’ll help make ’em stick.
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Based
As a board certified Integrative Nutrition Wellness Coach, I understand how to set wellness goals for success. If you are ready to set some new weight loss or wellness goals, follow these 5 SMART tips.
5 Tips on How to Set Weight Loss Goals the SMART Way
Big contributors to successfully reaching your weight loss goal is how you set them up to begin with.
#1 Be Specific
Asking yourself these questions while will help (I hope you grabbed a notebook and pencil and are starting to writing things down):
- Why are you setting this weight loss goal?
- What are the benefits? (think physical, emotional and health)
- How will it make you feel? (vibrant and full of energy)
- How will you reach that goal?
When you set a weight loss or wellness goal, choosing something specific is going to give you much greater success to reaching the end results that you desire. Instead of saying, “I want to lose weight and get healthier.” try saying, “I want to feel better in my clothes, have more energy and clearer skin by eating less sugar & healthier food and moving everyday.” Defining the goal in this way will give you something much more concrete to work towards.
#2 Make them measurable
If you don’t make the goals measurable, you won’t know when you reached them. Whether it’s how many pounds or inches to loose or size clothing to fit into, setting a measurable goal is key to achieving it. For example, make your measurable goal to lose 15 pounds at a healthy rate of 1-2 lbs lost per week.
“I want to feel better in my clothes weighing 130 lbs, have more energy and clearer skin by eating less sugar, more healthier food 6 days and walking 20 minutes everyday.”
You could also have what I call layered goals, meaning a short term goal to achieve first that will help your longer term goal. This could be something like losing your sugar cravings which may be a big part of getting yourself ready for the weight loss to begin. Making a shorter term goal like this could really help support your greater goal.
#3 Be sure they’re attainable
A weight loss or health goal needs to be attainable or you’re just setting yourself up for failure. Look at your goal, your life and make a decision if you can realistically reach it or if you may need to adjust it down. Making pie-in-the-sky goals is never a good thing. If your life is crazy busy, take a step back and look at your initial goals and ask yourself “Is this an attainable goal?”. Getting to 120lbs might be somthing you really want but is it realistic? Is it a healthy weight for you? And what about the time frame? And is walking 10 miles seven days a week really something you can do? It’s ok if you end up saying “This is way more than I can handle right now.” Turn your goal into something attainable and that feels doable to you. You can always set more goals after you’ve reached these.
“I want to feel better in my clothes weighing 130 lbs, have more energy and clearer skin by eating less sugar, more whole foods and walking 20 minutes 5 times a week.”
If you believe you can do something, that confidence will go along way. Make a goal challenging enough without being overwhelming. Tweet This
#4 Make them relevant
You want to incorporate your realistic weight loss goals into your schedule by choosing ones that fit into your life with easily. For example, if you are a mother of young kids with a part or full time job, it might not be a good idea to start with meals and snacks that require alot of shopping and preparation, especially if you don’t like to cook to begin with. Instead, choosing a good kickstart or jumpstart program that helps you take the first important steps will give you a great start. Usually these programs have a balance of a foods and fitness focus so neither dominates and once the jumpstart is over, continuation is simple and much easier.
#5 Choose a timeline
If a safe and doable rate of weight loss for you is 1-2 lbs a week and you have 15 lbs to lose, you know it will take you about 8 weeks losing 2lbs a week. Remember a goal needs to be attainable, you can decide to give yourself a bit of flexiblity and make it 12 -14 weeks giving you timeline you can live with. You can choose a start date depending on your current weight level or health urgency or upcoming event. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll look & feel better and have the vitality you desire.
Other important tips
I think you would agree that goals are much easier to reach when you have small victories a long the way. Remember your goal and set daily reminders for yourself. This will remind you why you are working so hard and give you ongoing encouragement to keep going until your goals are met. You can start each day by saying your goals out loud to yourself and looking into the mirror. Or your could set a daily reminder in your phone- put a sticky note on your computer – just figure out the best way for you and do it daily. Trust me, it does make a difference.
Celebrate! Celebrate! Celebrate!
Once you reach your goal, shout it out and give yourself a pat on the back. Woo Hoo!!! This is for both the little goals along the way and the bigger long term ones. Be very proud of each success! Acknowledge your hard work and give yourself the appreciation that you deserve. You deserve it!! (And let me know so I can celebrate your success too!)
And that’s how you set weight loss goals that will support your slimming down success. 🙂
Download Free Smart Goals Worksheet
Helpful SMART Goals Tools PDF
FREE 2 page PDF.
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Which of one of these Goal Setting Tips was an ‘aha’ for you? Is there one that is missing from your plan? Go make the adjustment, leave a comment below & know you’re not alone.
Feel free to share this with anyone you think could use these 5 Tips to setting their own personal weight loss goals.
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P.S. When you read this info does it make sense? Or do you get confused on how to put it all together & make it work for you?? Don’t worry – I’m here to help! Email me at email@example.com to schedule a free 20 min consultation. If you still need more, you can sign up for one of my successful online programs or get some personal one-on-one coaching with me.
Do you have any other tips for creating a weight loss goal? Feel free to share this post – i’d love it if you did!!!