Congratulations, just by reading this you’ve already taken a step to start making long-lasting changes to your lifestyle.
Setting yourself a goal is an important step in your weight loss journey. Your goals will be entirely your own, and you don’t have to compare them to anyone else. However big or small, it’s great to have something to aim for.
Here at MoreLife, we’ve seen time and time again the people who set and monitor goals consistently are the ones who make long-term changes.
However, we also understand that setting goals and sticking with them can be really hard.
We’ve put together our best tips to help you set and achieve your weight loss goals.
So, where should you start?
When you’re feeling motivated, it’s easy to get carried away when you start setting goals. You might be thinking: “I’ll get up early every single day and exercise.” “I’m never going to snack.” “I won’t eat chocolate ever again.”
Or perhaps you’ve got vague ideas of what you’d like to do. You might be thinking “I want to lose weight” or “I want to get healthier.”
While this sort of thinking comes with good intentions, it isn’t particularly helpful for achieving your goals. In our weight-loss programmes, we always tell our clients about the importance of setting SMART goals. These are:
Give yourself a clear target to aim for. Let’s use the example of exercise. Instead of saying, “I want to exercise more.” You could change this to, “I’m going to walk for 30 minutes on Tuesday and Thursday.”
Don’t set yourself up for failure by creating an unachievable goal. It’s an easy cycle to fall into of setting yourself a big challenge and then feeling bad about yourself when you can’t do it. So rather than saying something like, “I’m never going to eat crisps again.” You could change this to, “I’ll eat three packets of crisps a week.” Your goal should be challenging, but still achievable.
You should be able to measure your goal in some way. So rather than say, “I’m going to eat less chocolate.” You could try, “I am going to eat 5 chocolate biscuits this week.”
You can’t always plan for everything when setting your SMART goals. Sometimes life will get in the way. You could have set the goal of exercising for 30 minutes in the morning, but then suddenly you need to change your plan. This doesn’t mean you have to give up. You could exercise after work or the next morning. Make sure your goals can be flexible and fit into life’s everyday challenges.
Give yourself a time frame for your goal. We’ve already spoken about changing weekly food and exercise habits. What about the weight loss itself? Rather than say, “I want to lose weight.” You could change this to, “I would like to lose 4lbs in 4 weeks.” This is your journey so you’re in charge of the pace and direction you go in.
Be Kind to Yourself
Every time you achieve one of your goals, however small you may feel it is, celebrate it. You’ve accomplished a goal and you deserve to congratulate yourself. Acknowledge the work you’re putting in.
While it’s important to celebrate the good, it’s also ok to make mistakes. You’re only human and you can’t be perfect all the time. Changing habits can be challenging. Our brains like to do the same thing over and over again. It’s going to take work, patience, and time.
Give yourself a break and be gentle with yourself. When you don’t fulfil a goal, it’s an opportunity to learn. What went wrong? What could you change? The main thing is to keep going.
Short & Long-Term
Your SMART goals will fall into two different categories: journey and end. In other words: short and long-term. Your journey goals will be short-term, the kind of things you would like to achieve each week. As your progress on your weight-loss journey, these goals will change.
Your end goals are for the long-term. What would you like to achieve in the next 3, 6, or 12 months? You won’t have as many long-term goals but it’s important to remind yourself what you’re aiming to achieve.
At MoreLife, we love helping our clients achieve their weight-loss goals and helping them every step of the way. If you’re interested in finding out more and looking to start making long-lasting changes, check out our healthy lifestyle services in your area.