SMART Goals for Weight Loss: Tips and Strategies
Losing weight is an incredibly difficult task, and it can be even more frustrating when you set unrealistic goals. We are going to discuss the importance of setting realistic goals for weight loss, and provide strategies to help make your goals achievable. We’ll also talk about how to avoid giving up on yourself in the process!
Specific goals are important because they ensure that you know exactly what it is you’re aiming to do. This way, no matter how hard the task may be, at least you have a clear idea of what your goal is and can work towards achieving it in small increments instead of just hoping for something vague.
For example, if I ’m trying to lose weight, a specific goal would be “I want to lose two pounds this week.” If instead I say “I want to lose a lot more weight,” the goal is too general. It isn’t specific enough. Your goals need to be broken into bite-sized pieces.
A specific goal can also help you measure your progress on a daily basis and set new goals for the following week, such as “My weight loss this past week was one pound; I want to lose two pounds next week,” or “I am averaging 5,000 steps per day; I want to increase this to 7,000 steps per day.”
Your weight is only one of many metrics you can use to track your efforts and progress. Be sure to explore what works best for you.
By breaking your weight loss goals into specific, near-term milestones, you set yourself up for success! …and everyone loves to win. For example, “I am going to walk for 15 minutes at lunchtime, each day this week.”
Each goal you achieve, no matter how small, helps build positive momentum. You’ll feel the progress as you pass these milestones, which will help keep you motivated.
In order to get the most out of your weight loss efforts, make sure that you’re setting goals that are relevant and important to you. Your weight is a factor in your overall health, but your goals must reflect more than a number on a scale.
Think of the things you are going to be able to do, and the aches and pains you are going to reduce… but first and foremost, make sure you are doing this for yourself. You can be a positive influence on those around you, but only if you give yourself the attention and self-care required.
Weight loss goals need to be short-term enough to be useful, while still allowing time and flexibility for change to happen.
One way to do this is the following:
- set weight loss goals that you can achieve in two weeks;
- if you meet your first set of goals, then make another set of two week goals
- if you fall short of your goals, re-evaluate… and adjust your plan appropriately, and make a new set of two week goals;
after several successful rounds of two week goals, you can try expanding to three or four week goals.
The best scenario will be where these goals are achievable and not too strict so as to discourage progress; have ample time to work towards the next goal, but not so long that you lose focus. This way, your goals are attainable and progress is built upon itself in a positive manner.