Some people start a weight loss plan because they want to look and feel better. And for many, the promise of warding off chronic diseases is another powerful motivator. But for most people, “lose weight” is the main goal they have in mind. That’s fine, but research shows that you’re more likely to achieve your goal if you define it.
Research in psychology has repeatedly shown that we our brains recognize concrete and specific objectives, and tend to ignore (or at least undermine) those that are vague and not well defined. When we set very specific goals, we can then translate those goals into a direct plan of action. We know what we need to do, and we can monitor our own progress along the way. This makes it easier to correct course if things aren’t going as we had hoped.
Plus, it is easier to focus on a goal that feels attainable. Imagine you’re running a race, and you have no idea how far away the finish line might be. At some point you could feel discouraged or tempted to give up. Now, imagine you can see the finish line just ahead of you. Doesn’t that prompt feelings of hope and a burst of speed? The same can be said of your weight loss plan goals. They need to be defined, visible, and obtainable.
So, as you put together your strategy, remember to define exact goals. Avoid language like “look better in a swimsuit” or “get into shape”. Instead, set a target weight goal and include benchmarks (such as losing one pound per week). For fitness, you might decide to increase your walk time by five minutes each week, or to compete in a charity walk by May.
Now that you’ve set specific goals and benchmarks, remember to track your progress. That way, you will know if something isn’t working just right, and you can make the necessary adjustments. And on that note, give us a call to discuss your weight loss plan. We can help you determine reasonable and attainable goals, and make a plan to achieve them.