Ready…Set…Goal: 5 Steps to Setting Realistic Weight Loss Goals
You’ve taken the first step in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, now let’s work together as a team and set some personal weight loss goals. The Omega Soul Nutrition Team has carefully formulated a comprehensive weight loss program “The Start Something New Program”. This program is available to all Omega Soul customers at no additional charge. As part of this program, we ask that our customers begin setting short term and long term weight loss goals.
Why Setting Goals is Important to your Success.
Have you ever started the New Year off with a resolution like “This year I’m going to lose 20 pounds?” You’re excited and ready to get started on your journey to a new and healthier you, but life happens, the kids have after school activities, your job is demanding, and there just doesn’t seem like there’s any time for diet and exercise. As a nutrition coach, I see this pattern all too often and I completely understand that life can be overwhelming, but there are some steps we can take to set realistic weight loss goals and achieve them, one step at a time.
- Track Your Success: Journaling is an effective way to track your weight loss progress. This is a visual record of your day to day advancement and will allow you to make any meal planning and exercise adjustments to coincide with your daily routine. The great thing about today’s technology is that there are applications that can be downloaded to your computer, smartphone, or reading device which make keeping a health journal easy and convenient. This option allows you to keep track of your movement and daily calorie intake all while living the hectic lifestyle that we’ve become accustomed to.
Tip: A Journal is a tool that can be used to track those “Great Days” where you are feeling excited and motivated…ready to conquer the world. A Journal is also an effective way to get motivated on those “I can’t do this” days. You know, those days when all you can think about is cheesecake and Oreos. Everyone has bad days, you’re not alone. Keeping a visual record of your progress no matter if it’s a good or bad day will help you make the necessary adjustments to achieve and maintain weight loss success.
- Goal Specific: Setting defined and specific goals is an important factor in discovering personal weight loss success. The reason that a goal should be defined and not generalized is because stating that, “tomorrow I am going to exercise for 30 minutes” is a goal that is undefined, not specific, and could potentially jeopardize an individual’s desire to accomplish that goal. This is the “I’ll start tomorrow” syndrome and can be detrimental to obtaining weight loss success. All Goals should be defined, which means instead of “Tomorrow I am going to exercise for 30 minutes” a specific goal would be, “tomorrow I am going to walk for 30 minutes during my lunch break.” This is a precise goal that clearly defines your intent to accomplish what you say in your journal.
Tip: Think about setting a specific goal like going to the grocery to pick up a laundry detergent. It is something that is a necessity and cannot be avoided. You should think about a defined goal in the same way. This will hold you accountable and there will be a greater chance of achieving the goal that is being set.
- Make it Personal: Everyone has their own personal reasons for losing weight and maintaining a healthy life. Your goal needs to be personal, something you want to do for yourself. Weight loss should always be about what you want Not what someone else wants. It doesn’t matter if its health related, or you just want to look and feel better about yourself. This is a necessary element to finding personal success. The goal has to be yours. You own it… You want it… You’ll achieve it.
Tip: I always suggest that once you decide that today is the day I intend to live a healthier life, the first entry in your journal should be a question. It’s a very important question, because the answer will be yours and yours alone. “Why do I want to lose weight?” Omega Soul wants you to find the success you’ve been searching for, and a crucial part of setting a realistic weight loss goal is comprehending Why losing weight is important to you.
- Keep It Real: Setting goals that are realistic and obtainable is imperative to losing weight. Remember you didn’t gain those unwanted pounds overnight, so losing the weight is going to take time, commitment, and determination. Start with a short term goal that is reachable and commit to achieving the goal. For example, “This week I am going to remove sugar from my diet.”
I have worked with many people and helped them reach and maintain their personal weight loss goals. I admire the enthusiastic attitude, but sometimes people commit to goals that are unrealistic and result in what I like to refer to as a “Goal Overload”.
A Realistic Short Term Goal
Set 1-3 goals at a time, for example, “I’m going to walk 3 times a week for 15 minutes after work and remove sugar from my diet. I also want to lose 4 pounds in 2 weeks.” These goals are specific, which will hold you accountable for achieving them. These short term goals are also realistic, because they can be reached successfully. Achieving short term goals builds confidence, which motivates you to continue on the journey to healthy living.
An Unrealistic “Goal Overload” You’re excited about trying something new and living a healthy lifestyle. This is great and I’m excited that you are excited, but don’t place too many demands on yourself all at once. This can become a goal overload and sabotage any chance you may have of accomplishing personal weight loss success. An example of an unrealistic goal over load is: I’m never going to eat sugar, processed foods or food high in carbohydrates again….I’m going to work out every day for 30 minutes….or….I’m going to lose 20 pounds in 1 month. These are all examples of “goal overloads” It’s true you’ll want to remove sugary, processed, packaged and fried foods and those high in carbohydrates, but a realistic way to achieve this goal would be to remove 1 unhealthy food choice every 2 weeks. This gives your body time to adjust to the changes being made in your meal planning and gives you the time to adjust to the healthy changes that are being made in your life.
- Rewards & Celebration: Celebrate your accomplishments. So You’ve set goals (short term) and reached them with complete success or maybe you have only achieved half your goal, that’s okay too. The important thing to remember is that you’re taking the necessary step needed to maintain a new and healthier you. Make sure you remind yourself that you are doing this… that you certainly can do this… and together we will achieve this. Weight loss is not easy and will take commitment to find personal fulfillment, but always remember to celebrate you! Get excited about the changes you’ve made and remember your journal; this is a visual reminder and your own personal road map to living a healthy life. Keep your spirit high and remember: One step at a time.