How to Set Smart Weight Loss Goals

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Getting Started on Your Weight Loss Journey

Setting an exercise goal is exciting, but it can also be challenging. A successful weight loss program doesn’t just last a week or a month. It becomes a new habit, one that you can work into your life going forward. To keep from stalling out once the excitement wanes, it’s important to set up your weight loss and fitness routine for success, from the very beginning.

Tips for setting smart weight loss goals

1. Plan for obstacles. Be ready for unexpected challenges that can put your weight loss plans in jeopardy. If mornings are frequently a disaster at your house, consider planning for success by scheduling your workouts for after work. If you tend to grab unhealthy food choices when you don’t have time to prepare meals that are good for you, try to spend one day a week cooking for the entire week.  This way you will always have food ready that’s in line with your weight loss goals. Also remember that obstacles are different for every person. They key to setting up a successful weight loss plan is being honest with yourself about your vulnerable spots and planning around them.

2. Don’t aim too high.In weight loss and fitness, it’s important to set goals that seem attainable in order to keep yourself motivated. Goals that appear to be unattainable, however, have the opposite effect.  If you set forth to lose 25 lbs. in a week, for example, and see you’ve lost no weight three days in, you’re likely to ditch your diet.  If, however, you set out to lose 2 lbs., that is much more attainable.  In short, make sure to set goals that you can reasonably meet in the time period allotted.

3. Be specific. Simply saying to yourself that you want to “lose weight” and/or “get in shape” can cause your plan to stall very quickly. It’s much more clear when you state that you want to lose 10, 20 or 30 pounds and/or lose a specific number of inches around your waist or hips. Specific goals make it much easier to measure your progress, which will help you stay positive and motivated as you work your way towards your end goal.

4. Set mini-benchmarks. Another way to stay motivated is to break up your ultimate goal into smaller “mini-goals.” Once you’ve accomplished a few smaller goals, you’ll feel more confident in your ability to tackle your end goal.

Staying on your weight loss and healthy eating routine doesn’t have to be an impossible task. Set yourself up for success by planning for obstacles, keeping your goals attainable, setting measurable goals, and appreciating each of the mini-benchmarks you pass along the way.

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