How to set weight loss goals that actually work

How to set weight loss goals that actually work

Having a goal in mind is a great place to start when you begin your weight loss journey. But if your main focus is a number on the scale or a specific target weight, you could sabotage your journey before it even begins. 

Instead of fixating on a goal weight, start by setting a small, specific goal and figuring out a plan for how to achieve it. With a road map in place, you can start turning your weight loss dreams into reality. 

Process vs. outcome goals

Having a goal weight in mind isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But making it your sole focus may not be the best way to get there. While a goal weight does give you a target to strive for, it doesn’t help you figure out how to achieve it. Plus, it may seem so far out of reach from where you begin that it could prevent you from staying motivated enough to keep going.

However, coming up with a process-based goal allows you to take specific steps to achieve a desired outcome. This is particularly helpful for someone trying to lose weight because it focuses on behaviors and habits, not just a lofty number with no road map for how to get there.

For example:

Outcome goal: Lose 20 pounds in 6 months.

Process goal: Eat 3 balanced GOLO meals every day and drink water with each meal.

Note how the desired outcome goal only has the weight loss result in mind. Whereas having a process goal helps you focus on a specific thing you need to do to lose weight.

It doesn’t matter how much weight you lose in a certain amount of time. What’s important is that your weight loss journey is guided by a specific strategy for how to get there. The process takes precedence over the results.

Karen, a GOLO Customer Service agent and former GOLO customer points out, “Try not to fixate on the scale. Weighing yourself once a week is more than enough. Instead, look for other evidence of weight loss, such as being more comfortable in your clothes or having an easier time getting out of a chair.”

When you have a process goal, it’s easier to focus on weight loss success that goes beyond a number on the scale.

Get SMART about your goals.

Man eating a fruitcup with a bottle of water, sitting on a sidewalk curb

A simple strategy to solidify your process goal is to turn it into a SMART goal.

What is a SMART goal? It’s a way to help guide your goal setting by making sure your goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

SMART goals help you create a simple and achievable plan to turn your thoughts into action.

Specific: Give your goal some detail! Having a goal to ‘exercise more’ doesn’t have the same staying power as a goal to ‘walk for 20 minutes, three times a week’. A goal works best when you know exactly what you will do, for how long, and when you will do it.

Measurable: The easier it is to measure a goal, the better you’ll be at determining if you succeeded. A goal to ‘eat healthier’ is good in theory but isn’t easily measured. Whereas a goal to ‘eat 3 balanced GOLO meals every day’ is measurable. 

Attainable: Make sure your goal is realistic, meaning you have enough time and resources to achieve it. If your schedule makes it difficult to go to the gym, find other ways to squeeze exercise into your day during the week.

Similarly, if you have a special event on the horizon that you’d like to lose weight for, make sure you give yourself enough time to do it in a healthy way.

Relevant: Set goals that are meaningful. Goals are meant for you, not what other people want from you. Think about what’s important to you in your life and set goals that align with your values.

Time-bound: Once you have a goal, give it some added commitment by creating a deadline. Having a time limit for your weight loss journey is a great way to motivate you to stay the course.

Focus on the big picture

Woman in the kitchen cutting fresh veggies and fruit

If you have a weight loss goal but fall short, don’t be hard on yourself, and don’t give up. 

Instead, think about how you feel now compared to when you started. After being on a weight loss journey for a certain amount of time, you may realize your goal wasn’t as realistic as you thought. That’s OK, too. Take a step back, re-evaluate where you are, and adjust your plan as needed.

Allow for setbacks

Most people experience setbacks. You may have a stressful week and can’t meal plan, or you may experience a plateau and need some time to figure out how to get past it.

Give yourself time to learn what works for you, identify roadblocks, and adjust your strategy so you can continue to lose the weight you want and lead a healthier lifestyle. 

How GOLO can help you achieve your weight loss goals

GOLO offers many simple and effective ways to stick to your weight loss goals. Between the GOLO for Life® Plan, the Release® supplement, recipes, and our personalized GOLO Support, you’ll have all the tools you need to achieve your weight loss goals.



GOLO is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any illness or disease. This blog provides general information and discussion about health and wellness related subjects. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. GOLO encourages you to consult a doctor before making any health changes, especially any changes related to a specific diagnosis or condition. All opinions and articles linked to and from this page are those of the individuals concerned and do not necessarily represent those of GOLO, LLC or its employees. No responsibility can be accepted for any action you take or refrain from taking as a result of viewing this page. GOLO will not be liable for any errors, losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. These terms and conditions are subject to change without notice.