This is supplemental material for the June 4, 2014 Issue of Weights & Balances
SETTING SMART WEIGHT LOSS GOALS: What are SMART Goals? Let’s Review.
- Specific vs General (I want to lose a ton of weight vs. I want to lose 25 lbs.)
- Measurable (tracking progress/scale/measurements/charting)
- Accountable (keep a food journal/paper or online, write down everything you eat for the day)
- Realistic (nothing overwhelming/easily obtainable)
- Timeframe (e.g. six months to lose 30 lbs. /might need to adjust time frame, be flexible!)
Things to remember when setting your goals:
- On a healthy weight loss plan, you will be losing between .5 to 2 lbs. a week. Too fast is not healthy!
- Choose a definite start date and don’t put it off. Consider vacation plans, school demands, work demands, relationship issues. You might need to resolve some things before starting.
- Set short-term and long-term goals and write them down. Putting goals in writing makes them more “real.”
- Focus on the journey (process) not the destination (outcome). Changing your daily process is what makes for good outcomes!
- Know there will be setbacks. Try to pre-plan for those setbacks, such as a party, wedding, vacation, etc. Brainstorm ideas and set specific strategies to overcome setbacks.
- Be willing to change your goals as you progress. You might find you can expand your goals or find you might have some new goals with your new lifestyle. Such as I want to be able to run a 5K, be able to wear a bikini on vacation, a new dress for my daughter’s wedding, wear a smaller belt, run a marathon, etc.
- Eliminate these words “always” “never” “every” “must”
- Do it for you! Do not try to please others or impress others! It’s YOUR health, it is about YOU!
- Reward yourself for the small victories! These are foundations to long-term success. I have been buying clothes in a smaller size as my “inspiration” to keep going to reach the next size smaller. Now I am on the lookout for a “goal” outfit that I would like to wear.
- Don’t fall into the “trap” of advertisements that claim great losses in short period of time!
- Try stating your goals in a positive way. Eliminate “negative” words such as: never, ever, every, won’t, etc.
Examples of rewards: (for #9)
- Treat yourself to a manicure/pedicure
- Relax with a massage
- Freshen up with a haircut or blowout
- Splurge on jewelry
- Get fitted for a new bra (you may need to be re-sized after losing some weight)
- Invest in new workout gear, sneakers or a yoga mat
- Buy a book you’ve been wanting to read
- Enroll in a new group fitness class
- Spend some time downloading new music (or old favorites)
- Sleep in at least one day on the weekend
Examples of Unrealistic/Realistic Goals:
|Unrealistic Goals (negative)||Realistic Goals (positive)|
|I’ll never eat more than 1,000 calories every day.||I will eat one more serving of fruits and vegetables each day.|
|Starting tomorrow, I’m going to begin walking two hours every day.||I’ll walk for 20 minutes four times this week. Log your accomplishment! Reward yourself for achieving your goal!|
|I’m going to bake cookies for the bake sale, and I won’t eat or taste any.||I’ll buy cookies for the bake sale and drop them off at the school on my way home from the grocery store. Give yourself a cheer after you drop them off, yay you!|
|I’m going to lose ten pounds before my class reunion next month.||I’m going to eat smaller portions and take a 15-minute walk four times a week so that I’ll feel healthier, more fit, and confident at the class reunion.|
|I am going to eat only one meal a day||Eating smaller “meals” of low-fat/low-calorie foods throughout the day. This will keep me from getting too hungry at any time during the day.|
|I will never ever snack (eat after 8pm, etc.)||I am going to eat more healthy snacks such as fruits, vegetables, and drinking water. When I am hungry after (a certain time) I will drink a glass of water/brush my teeth, etc.|
Although the exact number of calories you need to burn in excess may vary slightly, a 1.5 pound weekly loss means burning about 5000 calories more than you take in. To put that number into perspective, burning 5000 calories is like a 130 pound female doing 15 hours of aerobics!
This is supplemental material for the 03/26/14 Weights and Balances Newsletter article on Breaking Bad…Habits: Winging it! (not having goals!):
Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals
What are smart goals? S is for significant or specific to me. M is for meaningful/ measurable. A is for action/attainable. R is for rewarding and relevant to me. T is for time related/track-able. The mnemonic SMART works is a great tool for setting goals.
Tips for setting goals:
- Write them down. This seems to be obvious, but many do not write down their goals.
- Make a “to do” list to obtain your goals. These are the steps you must do to obtain your goal. Often people forget to do this! They would like to lose 25 lbs but do not write down things they have to do to achieve this goal!
- Each goal should be stated in a positive manner. For example; eat more fruits and vegetables instead of don’t eat chocolate for the rest of my life.
- Be realistic. Goals must be achievable and not unrealistic.
- Set goals that motivate you. (i.e., they are very important to you!) Think about why this is important to you, write it down!
- Make small achievable goals. For example, I want to eat at least one piece of fruit today. I want to walk an extra five minutes today. etc.
- Commit to your goals. Understand that accomplishing all goals are not done overnight. It takes time!
- Be precise. Such as, I want to lose 5 pounds this month instead of I want to lose some weight.
- Reward yourself when you accomplish a goal appropriately. For bigger and more significant goals the bigger the rewards!
- Be flexible. If you find something that changes how you view your goals and you need to change them a bit, do it!
- Set a time frame to achieve. This one can be your best friend if you are realistic or your worst nightmare if you are unrealistic. For example, I want to get in better shape this year vs. I want to lose 50 lbs by April of this year (it is already March!).
- Stick with it! Don’t give up! Give yourself reminders to stay on track! Your community, co-workers, friends and family can be great supports when you need it.
- Track your achievements. Check off your goals as you accomplish them.
- Make your goal public. This does not mean you have to post it on Facebook or have it printed in the evening paper. It might mean finding a person who is interested in your efforts and can help cheer you on as you strive to reach your goals.
Setting goals and writing down steps to achieve those goals is one of the best ways to keep focused on your weight loss journey.