Goal Setting: Forward progress despite real life
Learning workable goal setting is a must in successful weight management. If carrying extra body fat is a disease process, then we need a good plan to treat that disease. When you visit a physician’s office they may treat your infection with an antibiotic and some natural therapies. They then write that plan in a chart and give you education on that plan. Goal setting for the treatment of lifestyle-oriented disease is NO different. Would you ever say, “I am going to treat cancer with no plan and hope it goes away”? No, you wouldn’t, but we do this all the time with weight-related issues. Believe it or not, people with obesity don’t simply choose to eat more or exercise less, there is a disease process inside that results in complications sometimes out of our control. We will work through some goal setting principles and learn to attack difficult to master changes needed to succeed. Pay particular attention to the bold words, they are key. Remember making progress means repeating these steps until you accomplish whatever your goal is, not quitting once you run into trials.
1. Pick a specific activity, eating habit, emotional response, behavior, exercise, etc… that you want to tackle.
- “I want to lose 2 pounds a week for 8 weeks.”
- “I want to go to the gym for 30 minutes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.”
2. Make your goal measurable.
- “I keep a log of my weight. I weigh myself on my scale in the nude at 9am every Sunday.”
- “I track my workouts on a calendar log sheet.”
3. I will hold myself accountable.
- I will pick an accountability partner, coach, or mentor to monitor my activity.
- I will give them permission to do two things. First, I will allow them to privately critique my progress even if it means being kindly disciplined or reminded why I am goal setting. Second, I will allow them to encourage me and build me up as I work diligently (not perfectly) towards my goals.
4. My goals are adjustable.
- “If my leg breaks, I will eat healthful to promote healing and hold off the weight loss until I am healed.”
- “If my car breaks down, I will get a ride with my friends.”
5. Set an action to achieve the goals.
- “I am going to do the above by eating 1400 calories per day using meal replacements, scheduled eating times and an adequate protein menu plan.”
- “I am going to achieve the above goal by packing my gym clothes and driving right to the gym on my way home on those three days each week for eight weeks.”
6. Set realistic physically and emotionally healthy goals.
- “I am going to stand up to previous failures with weight loss, set 1 to 2 pounds weight loss per week for eight weeks and keep a positive outlook on my progress.”
- “I am not an athlete and I will set a 30 minute exercise time three days a week to start for eight weeks.”
- “I will increase the amount of non-exercise physical activity during the day at work by walking around 10 minutes every hour of the day.”
7. Set a specific time in which to complete your goal.
- “I will complete my weight loss and exercise goals in 8 weeks!”
- “If for some reason I accomplish less than desired results, I will rebuke feeling as though I failed and repeat steps 1 through 7.”