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Weight Loss - Goal Setting- Get SMART!

Make this the year you decide to become a shining star!

Weight loss is the number one resolution of many people at the start of The New Year. Most people start the year all fired up and motivated to make changes. Gyms are full, dieting centers are packed with people. By Valentine’s Day the gyms have cleared and people have given up.

What happened?

Many people have simply tried to make too many changes too fast and too soon. Frustration sets in and they quickly give up.

How can you avoid being another New Year’s Resolution casualty?

The secret is to get smart. As in SMART goals.

S  = Specific

M = Measurable

A = Attainable

R = Realistic

T = Timely

Goals need to be specific. Exactly what do you want to achieve? How are you going to achieve it? Why do you want to do this?

A goal should be measurable; otherwise you won’t know when you’ve achieved it. It should be broken down into easily managed segments. A realistic weight loss goal is around 2 pounds a week. Anymore than that is unhealthy and will usually consist of water weight.

You will want to track your progress by writing down your goals so that you can see if you’re being successful or not. By breaking down your goal into a series of much smaller goals you will be able to feel successful quickly. Success builds momentum and the excitement and confidence to keep moving towards your larger goal.

Your goal needs to be attainable. You need to be able to see yourself reaching this goal. If it is something too far out of reach you will likely give up on it.  It should be just challenging enough that you have to reach out of your comfort zone to achieve it.

A goal needs to be realistic.

If you have a lot of weight to lose, let’s say 100 lbs., aim for an overall loss of 10 lbs. at a rate of 2 pounds a week. Make sure you celebrate at every 2 -5 lb. interval. When you see that you are able to lose 10 lbs. it will give you the confidence to go after the larger goal. After all, if you can lose 10 lbs., you can lose it 9 more times for a total of 100 lbs! All success is built on a series of much smaller success!

Don’t make your goal too hard. It should be just out of your reach. You want to stretch yourself out of your comfort zone.

If you’re currently not exercising don’t set yourself up for failure by telling yourself you must exercise every day. Don’t tell yourself  you are never going to eat sweets again if you’re a sugar addict. This is just too unrealistic and sets you up for feeling like a failure. It also sets you up to binge.

A better plan is cutting back on sweets gradually and replacing them with more fresh fruit and healthy snacks. If you don’t currently exercise start by walking 10-15 minutes a day or every other day.  When you are successful at that you can always do more.

A goal should have a time frame.

If you don’t have a time frame for achieving your goal you may never start. A time frame helps provide motivation for you to begin. You need to have a target date to work towards.

Your time frame should be attainable, realistic, and measurable.

Is it realistic to lose 20 pounds by the summer? How are you going to do this? How will you track your progress?

Make this the year you decide to become a shining star. Get SMART and your weight loss goal will become a reality!

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