These days, many people are interested in shedding excess pounds so they can look good and feel great. If losing weight is your current objective, it’s important to know that your efficacy in setting goals will play an integral role in determining your level of success. As such, it’s important for you to learn how to set goals that will help you attain the positive results that you want. With that idea in mind, know that there are five important elements every weight loss goal needs, and these components can be understood in terms of the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-oriented, and Time-bound) acronym. Learn more about this acronym and how it can help you realize your weight loss goals by considering the following information:
Vague weight loss goals do not provide you with the direction necessary to take specific actions that will entail results. For this reason, make sure that the weight loss goals you set are as specific as possible. An example of a good, specific weight loss goal would be: “I will do 45 minutes of cardiovascular activity four times a week to lose one pound per week.” Also keep in mind that consistent exercise is only part of the weight loss picture. As noted in “5 Key Strategies for Successful Weight Loss and Beyond,” devoting substantive time to nutrition is important to ensure that you see the results you want.
In addition to being specific, your weight loss goal needs to be measurable. A measurable goal is one that enables you to chart your progress so you can see whether you are moving closer to or farther away from your ultimate objective. In “4 Steps to Making a Resolution That Will Actually Help You Lose Weight in 2016,” Cynthia Sass notes the value of sitting down and assessing where you are with your goal and determining what you can do to accomplish the goal. When you create goals that are measurable, you can do these things and thereby remain on the road to fine-tuning your weight loss process so that you keep seeing results.
In addition to being measurable, your weight loss goal needs to be attainable. This means that it shouldn’t be unrealistic. Unrealistic goals are damaging because they will almost never be completed successfully, which then results in a sense of failure. An example of an unreasonable goal would be “I will lose 10 pounds in 3 days.” While this goal has been accomplished, it is typically not done in a healthy way. Moreover, it oftentimes puts extensive stress on the mind and body. An example of an attainable weight loss goal would be “I will lose one pound per week by cutting my daily caloric intake from 2,000 calories to 1,500 calories.”
To be successful, your weight loss goal needs to be results-oriented. This means that it needs to be geared towards generating a specific outcome. The outcome could be anything from going down a pants size to losing three pounds. This type of results-oriented goal ensures that the activities you complete are all working towards the realization of your weight loss objective.
Your weight loss goal needs to be time-bound. If you simply say, “I will lose ten pounds,” this could mean that you are going to lose it next month or next year. Making your goal time-bound increases the likelihood that you will start now, thereby increasing the likelihood that you will realize the objective sooner rather than later.
If you’re ready to lose weight so you can feel good about yourself, know that the goal-setting process is important. Use the goal-setting strategies you see outlined above to get on the road to permanent weight loss and positive living now!