How to Set Weight Loss Goals That Actually Work
A well-planned goal can help you turn thoughts into action. Learn how to create and achieve your weight loss goals.
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 get there.
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.
Outcome goal: Lose 20 pounds in 6 months
Process goal: Eat 3 GOLO base meals every day + drink water for 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 precedent over the results.
As GOLO Customer Service agent and former GOLO customer, Karen I, 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
A simple strategy you can use to solidify your process goal is by making it 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-limited.
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 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. If weight loss is a priority for you, then you have a better chance of attaining your goal.
Time-limited: Once you have a goal, give it some added credence 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
Losing weight isn’t just about a number on a scale. It’s about how you look and feel. If you have a weight loss goal but happen to fall short, don’t be hard on yourself and definitely 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, maybe you 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
Setbacks are a part of just about everyone’s weight loss journey. Maybe you had a stressful week and couldn’t meal plan as much as you would’ve liked. Or you hit a weight loss plateau and need 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 once they’re set. Between the GOLO for Life Plan, recipes, and our personalized GOLO Support, you’ll have all the tools you need to achieve your weight loss goals.
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