7 Important Steps to Setting Your Weight Loss Goals

Posted in: Goal Setting, Mind & Motivation, Weight Loss   

Setting weight loss goals is one of the most common practices among people who want to lose weight, but few people do it in a way that makes them more likely to succeed. Below we’ve compiled some excellent tips for setting effective weight loss goals, and the reasons why you should do so.

First, the benefits of setting weight loss goals:

  • You’ll have a clear idea of what you want to achieve.
  • You’ll have a clear plan of action for achieving it.
  • You’ll have fewer opportunities for excuses.
  • You’ll be more motivated to stick with your plan long-term.
  • You’ll be able to see your progress clearly along the way.

There are other benefits to setting weight loss goals, but those are some of the best ones.

Next let’s cover how to set weight loss goals and follow through with them:

1) Set a long term goal.

First, consider where you want to end up long term – for example, how much you want to weigh, the size clothing you want to wear, or any other definitive objective you want to accomplish.

See: Estimate Weight at Body Fat Percentage

2) Set some smaller, short-term goals.

Next, come up with some smaller “stages” that you will go through on your way to the big goal.  For example, if you want to lose 50 pounds, you may want to set 5 smaller goals of losing 10 pounds each time.  You may be wondering why this is necessary; why not just set the main goal of losing 50 pounds?  Because bigger goals can be overwhelming and you may hesitate to pursue them, or you may lose motivation and give up long before you reach them.  If you choose smaller goals, you’ll enjoy a sense of satisfaction and pride as you complete each stage, which can motivate you to keep going.

See: 6 Steps to Setting Realistic Goals

3) Create a plan of action.

Decide exactly how you will achieve your weight loss goals.  Will you reduce your daily calorie intake?  If so, by how muchWhat kinds of foods do you plan to eat?  Do you plan to allow yourself occasional treats?  If so, what kind of treats and how often?  How often and for how long do you plan to exercise?  Create a very detailed, daily action plan that you can follow.  This is important because there won’t be any questions or confusion about what to do each day – you’ll be able to see it in black and white.

See: Workout Plan/Workout Planner

4) Commit to it.

Read over your plan and make a solemn commitment to stick to it no matter what.  Too often we allow ourselves to slide because we’re tired that day, or because we’ve had a stressful week at work, because the kid are acting up . . .  NOTHING should keep you from sticking to your plan, aside from true emergencies.

5) Follow through.

Each and every day you’re going to have to make dozens of decisions that will help you follow through with your goals, or cause you to abandon them.  Keep this in mind as you face challenges each day.  Say to yourself, “I can eat this donut and fail to achieve my goals, or I can eat this apple and move one step closer to my goal.”  when you make it clear to yourself that every action either moves you closer to achieving your goals or further away, it’s easy to make the right decisions.

See: 7 Ways to Boost Your Weight Loss Willpower

6) Gauge progress.

Every few weeks, be sure to gauge and record your progress.  Are you losing weight at the pace you expected?  Are you losing inches?  Are you sticking to your plan each day and making progress?  Stay clear about your results and how they are affected by your actions.

See: Keep a Journal for Progress

7) Make adjustments when necessary.

Finally, you may need to make adjustments to your plan as you go along.  If you’re struggling to keep up with a rigorous workout routine, you may decide to slow it down a little bit.  If you’re indulging in treats a little too often, you may need to think up some alternative activities that will distract you and keep you on track.

Setting and achieving weight loss goals is really easy as long as you stay clear about three main things:  where you are starting, where you hope to end up, and what you need to do to get there.

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