Why goal setting is so important when trying to lose weight

One of the reasons why I believe I have finally been successful in losing weight is that I learned to set realistic goals and hold myself accountable to achieve them.   Back in September of 2014 when I started my journey towards a healthier lifestyle I set a big goal to try and lose 50 pounds in a year.   As I inch closer and closer to achieving my goal what I know for sure is that having stated this goal publically and sharing the ups and downs of my experience with friends and family has helped keep me motivated.  I wanted to share with you some of my tips for goal setting to lose weight.

Determine your big goal

This is the most important part of starting a weight lose journey.  You need to sit down and figure out exactly what you want to accomplish.  Your goal needs to be measurable, time bound and realistic so that it’s achievable.  Once you have established your big goal you need to write it down on piece of paper and post it in big bold letters on your bathroom mirror so that you are reminded every day what you are working towards.  As time goes on and the excitement of starting something new is gone you’ll need all the reminders & support you can get to keep you motivated.     

Share you big goal publically

I believe one of the reasons I've been successful this time is that I put my goal out into the universe and let the people around me become part of my journey. I figured if I told enough people about what I was up too I wouldn't want to let them all down.  Use social media platforms like facebook or Instagram to share and talk about what you are doing.  Along the way you will be sure to find other people who are looking to do the same thing you are doing and you can support each other.   

Create mini goals

After you set your big goal the next step is to break it down into manageable chunks, I call these mini goals.  Over the past 11 months I have had tons of these smaller goals, some of them are daily goals, others are fitness related and some have been slightly longer goals like doing the whole 30 program for a month.  Keep your mini goals shorter and change them up often to keep things interesting.   All these smaller efforts will ladder up to helping you achieve your big goal!

Set goals that aren’t just about losing weight

It’s important to not solely focus on the scale as the only way to determine your success or failure.  To be honest at times the scale can be a real downer especially if you are working out and gaining muscle.  It can be better to measure you success by the way your cloths are fitting.  Find an old dress or pair of jeans you’ve kept from a time you felt amazing; your goal could be to fit into that dress again.  Try it on every couple of weeks to see if it fits – you will be surprised how motivating this can be! 

Reward yourself

It’s important to celebrate your success along the way, don’t wait until the end because a year is a really long time!  Rewarding your small victories throughout the process is a way of being kind to yourself and keeping you focused but not depriving yourself of all pleasures during your journey.  For me it’s been important that these rewards have not been food related.  When I finish a whole 30 program I have never said lets go out and indulge in ton of food that I haven’t been eating for the past 30 days.  I don’t consider food a reward since my main priority has been to establish a healthy relationship with food and overeating at any time is not part of my new lifestyle.   I did however treat myself to new things along the way that supported my big goal.  I would order some special green teas off the internet or a pick up a new kitchen gadget to cook something healthy. 

Goal setting is just one small step in the process of losing weight and while it’s an important one it’s not the only area you need to focus on.  Most people fail at weight lose because they only focus on the numbers on the scale and they don’t look at the emotional aspects of what lead them to gain weight in the first place. Before you set a big goal for yourself you should dig deep and evaluate why you are overweight right now.  Spend time to figure this out and you’ll have a much better chance of achieving your big goal.  Getting into a healthy mind set before you start is a very important part of the journey.  Losing weight and keeping it off requires daily effort and a mindset shift that you’ll need to maintain every day for the rest of your life so you must be ready to make that change.  Once you are ready set your goals and start believing you can achieve them! 

Good luck!