Epic Fail?  Here’s How to Properly Set Your Weight Loss Goals

Plan to fail when you fail to plan.  I love that saying and its rings so true in life.  When we are on a mission to lose weight and drop stubborn body fat, goal setting is a great way to plan out and create your roadmap so to speak.  Issue arise when you don’t know how to properly set your weight loss goals.  In all honesty, it’s not difficult – it simply takes a little more planning and thought than you would first imagine.  This article is going to help you strategically and methodically set your goals so you have an actionable plan set in stone and ready to roll.  Let’s get into it. 

1.What is your long-term goal?

Obviously, by the title of this article, we are talking about weight loss, but you can apply the same principles found in this content piece to anything.  But, for the sake of this article, you are on a mission to lose weight and body fat.  So, what does that look like long-term?  Well… let’s use the example that you want to lose 20 pounds over the next three months.  When you look out into the future, you see that as your ending point and the light at the end of the tunnel. 

Your first step is to write that long-term goal down on a piece of paper and put it somewhere you’re going to see it daily.  Use this as motivation to keep pushing forward in your quest.

2. Set short-term goals

Next, you want to write on that same piece of paper your short-term goals.  This is where you need to reverse engineer things a little and where I mentioned above that the process takes a little more planning than you thought.  In a healthy manner, you can lose two pounds per week.  Let’s use that as our short-term goal.

Your short-term goal should be to lose two pounds every week for the next 10 weeks which will put you at your 20-pound weight loss goal.  Again, it’s extremely important to put this piece of paper somewhere that you will see it often and helps to keep you motivated. 

How are you going to lose two pounds per week?  Maybe you decide that you are going to cut your calories by 500 each day as well as exercise each day to burn an additional 500 calories.  That equals a 1,000-calorie deficit from your baseline where you maintain your current weight.  Do that for seven days and it’s 7,000 calories.  There are 3,500 calories in a pound, so theoretically you should lose two pounds each week.

3. Are your goals attainable?

Unrealistic goals will only set you up for failure and leave you completely frustrated.  An example would be telling yourself that you want to lose 10 pounds this week.  There is no way you can lose 10 pounds in a single week in a healthy fashion.  It’s not attainable.  Or setting a goal that you want to drop 50 pounds over the course of the next month.  It’s just not possible.  If you set these unrealistic and unattainable goals, you are doomed to fail.

Not only that, but if you have never been in the situation where you tried to lose weight on your own, it’s going to take some time to understand your body and what you need to do in order to lose weight and drop body fat.  It’s not going to be easy.  After all, if it were, we wouldn’t have over 60% of our population overweight or obese.  So, clearly, it’s not going to be an easy journey and will take dedication and commitment on your part.

4. Ensure that your goals are measurable

Are you able to measure your goals?  In terms of this article, using weight loss, you can absolutely measure your progress.  By simply stepping on the scale or getting your body fat tested, you can get a measurable result that shows how you are progressing and if you are on track to hitting your goals. 

If you find you are not hitting your mark (using the 2 pounds per week goal), you can simply alter your nutrition program and caloric intake or do more cardio to see the desired result.  That being said, if you set a goal you couldn’t measure, you’d have no way of knowing if you were on track or not.  That’s why being able to get concrete numbers and measurements are vital to your success. 

5. Follow through and have fun

You are on a special journey and no one understands what you’re going through as much as you.  Each individual loses weight and body fat differently and unfortunately, there isn’t a program out there that fits everyone’s needs.  For that reason, keep things fun and don’t get frustrated if your progress stalls.  Part of enjoying the process is better understanding your body on what works and what doesn’t.  You might get better results from a full body workout rather than a split.  You might get better results from more of a ketogenic diet versus a low-fat diet.  Everything is experimental and trial and error.  If you find yourself getting stuck, look for a local personal trainer and/or dietician who can guide you along the way.

Never be afraid to ask for help.  But, know that your journey is only starting and that nothing will work unless you do in order to reach your goals.  Enjoy the process and it will make it go that much smoother. 


Article Courtesy Of Matt Weik