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Goal Setting For Weight Loss

Jan 18 2016 by Step2Change.

Goal Setting For Weight Loss

Picture of a Goal

Setting goals for weight loss is much the same as setting goals for anything else, the process is the same. However, it’s a sad fact that people spend more time planning for their holidays than they do for their lives, and that includes losing weight.

After all, as with any journey, and successful weight loss is a journey, if you only have a vague idea of where you want to go, how can you plan your route and equip yourself for it? So, to be of help, this blog post will take you through the key steps of goal setting with specific relevance to losing weight.

Be S. M. A. R. T.

Let us say you have a goal “I want to lose weight.” As it stands, nothing is likely to happen, you will get frustrated, give up and decide that goal setting doesn’t work. The best way to set your goal is to use the SMART technique. This acronym is used for the most popular goal setting method in today’s world. it stands for

S = Specific

M = Measurable

A = Attainable or Achievable

R = Realistic

T = Time Bound or Based.

Let’s put this into practise.

Make Your Goal Specific and Put it in Writing

You can do this by writing a sentence that defines your aim. An example would be “I will lose 10 stones by 1st September 20XX”. It is reasonably specific in that it says who is going to achieve what by when. But we are dealing with the subconscious mind, so we want to add in some extra principles when thinking about weight loss.

  • The subconscious mind cannot handle negatives. If I say to you “Don’t think about a purple pig”, the first thing you have to do is think about a purple pig so that you can tell yourself not to. Instead, think about what you do want to have happened.
  • Don’t say what you want, because sadly, that is usually what you get more of – the wanting. Re-phrase it as what you will have or will be.
  • State your goal in the present tense. This may seem to contradict slightly the point above, but you will be stating what you will have as though you already have it. In other words  I am, or I have.
It Must be Measurable

In other words it must have a ‘quantity’ or value attached to it. “I am lighter” won’t do. Try

  • I am 10 stones
  • I am a size 10
  • I am wearing my dream dress that I saw in [name of shop]
  • I can run for the bus without pain. (No numbers but it has a quality that can be judged by the absence of pain).

Remember also that you need to know what success looks and/or feels like. How else will you know if and when you have reached your goal.

Make Sure It is Achievable.

This relates primarily to the who is achieving the goal. So you must ask yourself if it is possible for you to achieve it and are you in control of achieving it. If you live in a household where you have no say on portion size or the type of food you eat, then you may have difficulties. If you want to exercise more but have a limiting disability, you have to make sure that you are in a position to be able to implement your goal.

Make Sure It is Realistic.

This is largely self-explanatory. Your goal must suit your body size and shape. If you are a large boned, 6 foot Amazon, having a goal of being a size zero is setting you up for failure. You have to be realistic about this, and making goals achievable should be considered in the section on Time Bound too.

Your Goal Must Be Time Bound.

Your goal must have a target date or time frame, otherwise your subconscious mind doesn’t see the need to start just yet. A target date will give you the required focus and sense of urgency. Your time frame is a crucial part of your goal and must be in your written statement.

Some Examples.

It is only right that I give you a couple of examples of what a good weight loss goal could look like. Please feel free to use them as they are or adapt them to suit your particular needs.

  • It is 1st September 2016 and I weigh a healthy 10 stones.
  • It is 1st September 2016 and I am a size 10 dress size.
  • It is 1st September 2016 and I am a 32 inch waist
  • It is 1st September 2016 and I am running a 5 mile circuit every week.
  • It is 1st September 2016 and I am a size 10 dress size.
  • It is 1st September 2016 and I am wearing that special dress at my daughter’s/son’s wedding

As ever, if you feel you would like some extra help, why not check out my Weight Loss page. You can also set yourself up by getting my free 4 Cornerstones of Successful Weight Loss by clicking on the picture below.

Image of leaning tower of Pisa with no firm foundations

My best wishes for your success.

Mike Rogers, Clinical Hypnotherapist
Step2Change Hypnotherapy, Edinburgh

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