Setting goals for your weight loss plan can mean the difference between success and failure. With realistic, well-planned fitness goals, it becomes easier to stay focused and motivated. The milestones can also keep you on the right track as you switch to a healthier lifestyle.
That said, not all fitness goals are helpful. Setting some overly-aggressive and unrealistic goals will only undermine your efforts. It’s thus crucial to ensure the goals you create will not only reduce your weight, but also improve your overall state of health.
Focus on the Process, Not the Outcome
Your weight loss goals can either focus on the outcomes you hope to achieve, or the process through which you’ll get there. While setting targets lets you know where your fitness journey is headed, it may not clearly spell out how you’ll attain your goals. A process goal, on the other hand, defines the steps necessary to achieve a certain outcome. For instance, you could aim to exercise for 30 minutes, or eat 5 helpings of vegetables and fruits every day. Because such goals help you focus on taking up habits and behaviors necessary for losing weight, they’re usually more practical.
Set Long- And Short-term Goals
Long-term goals keep you focused on the bigger picture. They can shift your mindset from simply adopting a certain diet to making wholesale changes to your lifestyle. But such long-term ambitions may seem too far away, or too difficult to achieve. Breaking them into a series of smaller, short term objectives could help keep you on the right track. For instance, if your objective is to lose 15 pounds in 3 months, you could break down into a couple of smaller goals for the first 2 months.
When setting both short- and long-term goals, ensure they meet the following criteria:
-Specific: Ensure your goals spell out all the details. Declare what you’ll do, for how long you’re going to do it, and when you’re going to do it as well. For instance, aiming to take a 30-minute walk every day after work is a specific goal.
-Measurable: Setting quantifiable objectives will help you determine how successful you have been at meeting your targets.
-Attainable: Whatever goals you’ve set, ensure you can achieve them with the resources you already have.
-Realistic: Depending on your current state of health, ensure you can plausibly hit the targets you’ve set. Setting goals that are unrealistic will only set you up for disappointment in future.
-Trackable: Goals are bet attained if you consistently note down the progress you’re making.
Allow for Setbacks
Almost everyone who succeeds in changing their lifestyle will have experienced at least 1 or 2 challenges. Since setbacks are part and parcel of behavior change, it’s better to anticipate them and figure out how you’ll deal with them. By identifying potential roadblocks, you can think of how you will overcome them and get back on course towards a healthier lifestyle.
As you try to fit into your new lifestyle, you might have to adjust your goals as you prepare to take on bigger challenges. So be willing to reassess the objectives you’ve set, and make changes whenever necessary. This is especially crucial if you’ve already achieved success, having started small. Adjusting your goals will help keep you moving forward on your fitness journey.