Realistic Goal Setting

Smart GoalsWhen we are embarking on a weight loss program it’s easy to get caught up in the mindset that we want quick results and we are going to commit to workout hard seven days a week and we are not going to eat ANYTHING we shouldn’t, EVER.  Unfortunately this type of thinking is setting us up for almost certain failure.

The reality is that if you have been sedentary for years and you have been eating whatever you want in whatever quantities you want for years, you are not going to magically change those habits overnight and making a plan centered around doing that is almost certainly doomed to failure.

One of the keys to embarking on a successful weight loss journey is to be realistic with your goal setting.  For me, I was faced with needing to lose 220 lbs.  When thinking of a time frame for this to happen in, I had to realize that I wasn’t going to lose that much weight in a matter of a few months.  Instead, I had to break it down into very small increments and make my goals accordingly.

Realist Goal Cartoon

I had to use the same thought process when planning an exercise program.  I wasn’t going to go from absolutely no physical activity to working out two hours per day, five days per week.  Instead, I started out with a goal to walk thirty minutes per day.  Maybe thirty minutes is too much for you.  That’s ok.  Instead, make a goal to walk ten minutes per day.  Give yourself a time frame for that goal and then challenge yourself to bump it up five minutes.

You can choose whatever time increments are appropriate for you, you just need to make sure you are being realistic with the goals you are setting.  If you set an unattainable goal, you will undoubtedly be disappointed when you don’t make your goal, then you are going to feel defeated and you’re going to want to give up.  Weight loss is hard enough.  Why would you set yourself up for failure from the very start?

I have found that one day at a time is the best possible way to approach this journey.  I try not to worry about where I will be in the next few weeks or months.  I try to just focus on being successful today.  If I make a misstep, I don’t even wait until the next day to start over.  I start over immediately.

Start out making yourself a list of realistic goals.  Remember, you are not in a competition with anyone else and you are not in a race.  If a realistic goal for you is losing ½ lb. per week and exercising 10 minutes per day, that is perfectly fine.  What is important is that you are setting attainable goals for yourself.  Every person is different and every weight loss journey is different.  Just focus on achieving the best possible results you can achieve for yourself by setting goals that are realistic for you.

Realistic Goals

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