Weight loss is a worthy goal and like any thing else in your life that is worth having - It takes effort and is achieved one step at a time. Setting goals for weight loss can put you in a positive mindset and if done properly can set you up for success. On the other hand, an overwhelming goal can discourage you or set you up for failure.
Weight loss goals should be part of an overall plan to help you reach your ultimate goal.
Let's say your ultimate goal is to lose x number of pounds. Goals that can help you achieve that weight loss milestone might look something like this:
o Replace my lunchtime cola with water for the next 30 days
o When visiting public places I will park as far away from the entrance as possible so that I must walk. I will do this for the next 30 days.
o For the next 30 days I will plan on eating 6 small meals per day
o For the next four Sundays I will prepare my food for the following week so that I will be prepared and not be tempted to overeat.
30 days is a timeframe picked for two reasons: (1) It is about the time it takes to establish a healthy habit and (2) It is a small enough timeframe that it does not feel impossible to accomplish. These mini-steps (small changes in your diet and lifestyle) will be what ultimately lead you to your weight loss goal.
Some weight loss goals that might leave you feeling overwhelmed and/or set you up for failure are:
o I will never eat ice cream again
o I will run every day
I am not saying these are bad goals, they are just very large and present no plan for getting there and no feelings of victory on the way. Why not say for the next 30 days, my goal is to not eat ice cream? Then after thirty days have a small bite of ice cream. Enjoy it and then reset that goal along with another. That ice cream will be some of the best tasting, most guiltless ice cream you eat in your life.
I have a friend that used to call me from time to time and tell me the lofty goals that he had for losing weight. They usually involved a very strict "diet of the month" as well as a very intense exercise program. He had very good intentions and very good motivation at the time of setting these goals, however, we as humans tend to ebb and flow. When his motivation sagged and he "failed" at one of his goals he subconsciously registered that as a failure. Enough "failures" will discourage the best of us and then next thing you know we are back to our old habits - Just like my friend.
Our society has set us up to be an "instant gratification" society. We want everything now! I believe in using all the tools at your disposal: Nutritional weight loss supplements, exercise equipment, healthy diet plans, and weight loss programs but beware of the company that sells an easy, quick solution and beware of the goals that do the same.
Set your weight loss goals in small, easy to achieve increments and rack up successes. Change your eating and lifestyle habits over time and you will see that eating healthy and being healthy is enjoyable. We have spent years developing the destructive, obesity causing habits that we have - don't expect to reverse them overnight.