Setting SMART goals
The first step of any successful weight loss regime is commitment & motivation. The decision needs to be taken that you will do whatever it takes to lose weight. An understanding is also needed of what and how you are motivated.
The next step of a successful weight effort is goal setting. Many people start a diet and exercise regime with a very vague goal in mind such as, I want to “fit into these trousers” or “lose a few pounds”. This is actually pretty ineffective because it doesn’t really direct the mind in the most efficient way. Our minds work better at achieving things when we use SMART goals.
S.M.A.R.T is an acronym used by many coaches to describe 5 key measurements for successfully setting a goal. Research has demonstrated that goals are reached more often and faster when using tools such as S.M.A.R.T.
There is no standard definition for S.M.A.R.T, however the explanations below are most useful when considering weight loss.
Specific – A weight goal should be specific and not too vague. E.g. I want to have a 34 inch waist.
Measurable – Can your goals be measured? E.g. Weight, sizes, measurements are tangible and can be measured & validated.
Appropriate – When taking into consideration your circumstances, resources, and time available, choosing appropriate goals are more likely to succeed.
Realistic – is the goal realistic? Expecting to lose 6 stone in 7 days is not realistic.
Time bound – Putting a realistic time limit on your goal improves chances of success. For example “By June 5th I want to comfortably fit into these old trousers”
Write your goals down
It’s always a good idea to write down your weight loss goals. A scrap book is a good place, but a computer or smart phone is just as good. This helps channel your mind towards it’s desired target. Refer back to the goals often to measure success along the way.
It’s okay to fail
Remember that success is not always a straight line. When a plane flies to a destination, it’s actually constantly being blown off course. The pilots use this feedback and make the necessary adjustments to get back on course. They stay focused on their target, they measure their performance, and adjust accordingly.
This system of feedback is the same with weight loss. On the way to success, there will be small failures and setbacks. This isn’t a sign to have a cry or feel sorry for yourself, and it’s also not an excuse to have a binge. It’s feedback that you might need to adjust what you are doing to get back on course.