The start of your weight-loss journey is definitely exciting and full of promise. Before you make the first step, set yourself up for weight-loss success by setting SMART goals.
What are SMART goals?
You may have heard of SMART goal-setting in a corporate setup but it’s a tool that can also be applied to your personal life, including your weight-loss program. SMART goal-setting is an effective tool for achieving goals because it gives you structure.
To make goals SMART, they need to be Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. With these criteria, you have a structured plan instead of just vague resolutions.
Here’s a helpful guide on how you can use SMART goal-setting to help you with your own weight-loss program:
1.Make your goals Specific.
Set a concrete goal that lets you know exactly what you’re working for. A specific goal answers these four questions:
Who will be involved in helping you reach your goal?
When will you start and reach your goal?
What exact goal do you want to achieve? Examples of clear, specific goals are “I will lose 20 pounds” or “I will finish a 5k marathon”.
How will you make the goal happen? Your how’s can be: I will eat between 1500 and 1800 calories every day, I will exercise for 30 minutes every other day, or I will keep a food journal to track my food intake.
2.Make your goals Measurable.
After you have determined the specifics of your goal, now you have to look at how you can measure your progress. A measurable goal is one that you can quantify with real numbers, like the number of pounds or inches lost, or an improvement in your BMI.
3.Make your goals Attainable.
Everyone is encouraged to think big, but you also don’t want to bite off more than you can chew. A goal is attainable if you honestly believe you can achieve it and you have the resources needed to make it happen, including your time.
4.Make your goals Relevant.
Don’t set a goal just because you were pressured to do it. Set one that is meaningful to you and your lifestyle. Determine if your goal is relevant by asking yourself why you want to pursue it in the first place. Do you want to live a healthier life? Do you want to feel more confident? These reasons are important because they’ll serve as your motivation throughout your weight-loss journey.
5.Make your goals Timely.
Each goal should have a target date so you know how to pace yourself. Also, set up a few mini-deadlines to let you know you’re on the right track to reaching the major goal.