Setting realistic weight loss goals is crucial to any diet. If you set them too high and miss them, you may abandon your diet. Why struggle as hard as you are working and give up eating sweets if you are not seeing the progress you wanted? Set your weight loss goals too low and you may procrastinate. I still have 10 more days to lose 2 pounds – so I can still eat whatever I want for the rest of today. Finding that balance is important to remaining motivated and reaching your desired goal.
Start at the end
The easiest goal to set is your final goal. How much do you want to lose by the end of your diet? Once you have that established, you can then pick an end date. This can be the trickiest part of your goal. You need to be sure that you give yourself enough time to reach it, but not so much time that you slack off. The end date should be flexible at this point. Once you have flushed out all of your intermediary goals, you may realize that the final goal’s end date needs to change.
Ask yourself this question – WHY NOW? You’ve been this way for a while and could continue living this way if you choose. So, what is motivating you to start today? For me, I’ve just gotten tired of missing out on things I want to do – concerts I want to go to, events I’d like to attend. And I’m getting older. I’m 46 and I don’t want to be obese as I age. I really feel that it is now or never for me. And honestly, I wish I had done this 10 years ago.. or never gained the weight back to begin.
Is your end goal SMART?
Once you have decided on a specific weight and date for your end goal, review it to make sure it meets the criteria for a SMART goal. Is it:
- Specific – Do you have an actual weight attached to this goal?
- Measurable – If you have set a specific weight, then you can measure your progress
- Achievable – Have you given yourself enough time to reach your goal?
- Relevant – Are you ready to start this today? Why now?
- Time-based – Have you set a specific date you want to reach your goal?