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Setting Weight loss Goals

Setting weight loss goals

I wonder how many of us have our goals for this and future years written down. And I don't just mean our weight loss or fitness goals.

A happy and healthy life is based on balance. To ensure our lives have the necessary balance, we need to think about and actually write down what our goals are under a range of different life aspect headings.

If you haven't written down your goals for this year, this article serves as a wake up call and will provide some ideas to get you started.

Getting the right Balance

Getting the right balance in our life is about making sure all the aspects of life are covered.

Now those aspects are going to be unique for each of us but may include areas such as:

  • Physical Health
  • Mental Health
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Career
  • Work
  • Hobbies
  • Financial
  • Relaxation
  • Soul
  • Cultural

Of course our weight loss goals will come under physical health in the examples above, but you may want to get more specific than that to really focus your attention. For example, you might break this down into other categories such as aerobic exercise and resistance training, stretching, etc.

Long-Term and Short-Term Goals

The goals we have for 2006 may or may not be part of our longer term goals. For example, if we wish to change careers or lose a significant amount of weight beyond 2006, the goals for this year should represent steps towards those longer term goals.

Let's say our long-term goal is to lose 50 kilograms. If we expect to lose this weight at a rate of around ½ a kilo per week, reaching our end goal will take you into 2008.

This means that for 2006, our weight loss goals should include losing say, 16 or 20 kilos.

The key here is not to get too ambitious with our goals, because if they are unrealistic they will serve to de-motivate us rather than motivate us. We want our goals to focus our attention and effort on the things that are important to us and lead to the future life we want.

To make sure your goals aren't unrealistic, try breaking them up into long-term (5 years or more away) and short-term (12 months or less away).

Focus on Actions

Sometimes it is better and more effective for us to be focusing on the things we need to do in addition to our end goals.

For example, if our goal is to lose 10 kilograms, it's important to focus on the actions we are going to take to get us to that end goal. In this instance, our goals for 2006 might include walking for 45 minutes Monday to Friday each week and for an hour on Sunday's. In addition, we might set a goal of limiting the amount of take away food we eat to once a fortnight or once a week if we are currently eating it more often than that.

Focusing on actions in addition to our goals is particularly helpful if our goals seem a long way off or hard to achieve. Also by focusing on the day to day lifestyle type actions we are going to take will help us keep our spirits high and cope when progress on the long-term goal comes slowly.

As we start to action our actions we will get a real sense of achievement which is really important.

Make goals S.M.A.R.T

Like all goals, weight loss goals need to be S.M.A.R.T. In this context S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Realistic, Attainable and Timely.

Ensure the goals you set are very specific and clear. For example, instead of setting a goal to "lose weight" or be "healthier", set a specific goal to lose 2cm off your waistline or to walk 5 kilometres a day.

Choose a goal that can be broken down into measurable steps. Doing this will help keep you motivated because it will remind you that achieving your end goal shouldn't happen over-night and you can start to enjoy the satisfaction of achieving each step towards your ultimate goal sooner.

Don't set goals that are too far out or un attainable . Doing so only forces you to judge yourself overly hard and you'll end up loosing motivation quickly and quitting. It's far better to set yourself an intermediate goal that is at least part way towards your ultimate goal and once you've achieved that set yourself a further goal that to start off ballistic.

For example, aiming to lose 10kgs in one week is setting yourself up to fail. But setting a goal to lose 5kgs over 3 or 6 months and when you've achieved that, aiming to lose a further 5kgs will keep you motivated.

To be realistic , a goal must represent an objective YOU can achieve. This is different from attainable, because it relates directly to your ability to achieve it. For example, a goal of never again eating chocolate again may attainable, but not realistic for many of us.

Set a time frame for your goals. Putting an end point on your goal gives you a clear target to work towards. If you don't set a time, the commitment is too vague. Chances are you won't achieve your goal because you feel you can start at any time. Without a time limit, there's no urgency to start taking action now.

Put goals in writing

Writing our goals down on paper is very important because:

  • It crystallises them
  • It makes them accessible
  • It forces us to think about them in detail
  • It forces us to question our current priorities
  • It creates commitment
  • It creates a roadmap for us to follow

Once our goals are in writing

Once our goals are in writing it's important to:

  • review them frequently
  • revise them regularly if necessary
  • visualize our end goal often
  • enjoy moving closer to the happier, healthier you

Conclusion

A quarter of this year is almost gone and I wonder how many of us have our goals for 2006 written down. And I don't just mean our weight loss or fitness goals.

A happy and healthy life is based on balance. To ensure our lives have the necessary balance, we need to think about and actually write down what our goals are under a range of different life aspect headings.

If you haven't written down your goals for this year, this article should have served as a wake up call and should have provided some ideas to get you started.

Good luck, remember you can do anything that you really want to and thanks for visiting weightloss.com.au.

Copyright Ultimate Weightloss.

This article was written by Scott Haywood.

Scott is the editor of weightloss.com.au. Scott has developed an expertise in fitness and nutrition, and their roles in weight loss, which led him to launch weightloss.com.au in 2005. Today, weightloss.com.au provides weight loss and fitness information, including hundreds of healthy recipes, weight loss tools and tips, articles, and more, to millions of people around the world, helping them to lead happier, healthier, lives.

You can follow Scott on Google+ for more interesting articles.

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