Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Setting Small, Attainable Goals

When you make small, attainable goals the rewards feel so much better. Yes, originally I had wanted to lose 80 lbs overall but after almost 2 years I’ve only gotten half way there. I can admit to slacking for a lot of the past year but now I am only focusing on the future and my achievements instead of my past and mistakes.

I remember the first time I hit my 5% weight loss goal. I was sooo happy! Then came 10% and weight watchers reminded me every time I lost an extra 5 lbs. It felt great! Having small, attainable goals can really motivate you to push yourself harder and to not give up. You’re getting that little reminder that “hey, you’re making progress!”. If you are having small victories every so often it will help you stay on track and push you to hit that next victory. Before you know it you’ll have reached your long term goal! These small goals are stepping stones to the big goals. Doing this is setting yourself up for success!

Setting food related goals can be really helpful if that is something you tend to struggle with. Maybe your goal is to increase the amount of veggies you eat every day or to try to have veggies with every single meal. Maybe you want to set a routine of constantly keeping healthy foods cut up and available for snacking. Maybe you don’t consume enough water every day and your goal is to get in 10 glasses a day. Perhaps you struggle so much with water intake your goal is to cut out all pop and juices all together. Thats a toughie.. but trust me, if I can give up pop.. ANYONE CAN!!

Maybe your goal is to lose 50 lbs. Set smaller goals within those constraints. “I want to lose 50 lbs.” Attainable? Yes, but that’s the big picture! Now you need to set an action plan and create a set of smaller goals to get you there. How are you going to lose that weight? What steps are you going to take to make sure you stay on track?  “I want to lose the first 10 lbs within 8 weeks and to do that I am going to do the following.... I also am going to start working out 3 times a week doing...” By creating a plan and forming those tiny goals you are already making those goals more achievable. The smaller goals would be to lose 10 lbs in 8 weeks and to also start an exercise regimen of working out 3 times a week,

Tips on setting attainable goals:

  • Be realistic- Saying you want to lose 50 lbs in 2 months is hard, agressive  and incredibly unhealthy. if you make a realistic goal you’re more likely to keep focused and stay motivated
  • Be specific and include a timeline- “I want to lose __ lbs by ___” or “I am going to create a workout plan by”
  • Write these goals down and look at them daily.
  • Break it down- Write out steps you will take to achieve these goals.
  • Eliminate temptations- If you’re trying to stop eating junk food or cutting back on pop, eliminate all of the temptations from your kitchen. If you can’t see the bag of chips.. you’re not going to eat chips! Even if you live with others.. move it from an area you frequent regularly. I moved all of the christmas chocolates out of the kitchen and into a corner of the apartment. My boyfriend likes the chocolate but I don’t have to look at it anymore!
  • Set your limitations- Know your limits.. stay within them! I say this almost every time I do yoga.. I’m a clumsy, crazy yoga-er. Consider your personal fitness level, health, etc. Tailor your goal to this.

Goal setting doesn’t have to be hard if you take the time to set out a very detailed plan.

Keep smiling and start planning!

Steph

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