Goal setting is an essential drive of our life and an important factor of motivation. Some people consider it as the fuel of our daily and everyday living. This becomes even more important when the goals are set by us, thus transforming us to self-driven individuals.
One of the goals set by millions of people every day is the loss of weight. Our goal should be the loss of weight that can be achieved through a healthy way of living and this can be definitely achieved by setting SMART goals.
SMART Weight loss goals
Setting goals is an art. In order to see the best results, the goals must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely, SMART. The weight loss goal cannot be an exception to this rule. Following the SMART guidelines enables us to achieve our goals, feel happy and repeat the exercise setting higher and more ambitious goals.
How can a weight loss goal be SMART?
In order to explain the idea let us assume that at the end of the summer period after a lot of abuse, you have gained 11 pounds and you are now 187 lbs. You want to lose 11 pounds, this is Specific. You do not state I want to lose weight. Can you Measure the goal? Yes, you can. Every Monday morning you get on your scale and measure your weight, noting it down on a board so that you can easily see it. Is it Attainable? This depends by when you want to lose those 11 pounds. If you say by tomorrow this is impossible, if you say in a month almost impossible but if you say by next summer, that is in 8 months then this is achievable and attainable by anyone. It is at the same time Realistic because 11 pounds out of 187 is 6% of your weight but if you were 100 lbs then 11 lbs would have been 11% of your weight, which is less realistic. Surely, this goal is Timely. It should be completed in 8 months for a specific reason.
You have set your SMART weight loss goal and now you need to monitor it and ensure that you are within this goal. Since a goal cannot be achieved once in a big chunk, it has to measured and monitored so that we achieve it in small but steady increments. Therefore, we measure our weight, week after week and we record the readings in our computer or a board where we can see and monitor the progress.
Once we set our weight loss goals, we have to find the way to meet our targets through healthy living. By healthy living, we mean taking care of what we eat and by being physically active. The tools we have in our disposal are no other than a natural diet and exercise.
What is a natural diet? A natural diet consists of fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, whole grain and cereals. Other foods like low fat dairy products and fish should be consumed many times a week, white meat in less frequency and red meat a few times a month. A natural diet is not restrictive but rather selective in the sense that you have to select what you eat and in normal quantities rather than restrict whole food groups from your daily meals.
Exercise: You cannot live healthy without exercise. Daily, or almost daily, physical exercises like walking for about 30-45 minutes a day is necessary. You should stand up and leave the couch for a couple of hours per day and deal with activities that keep your muscles moving. This is the only way to burn calories but refresh your spirit at the same time.
Do not forget that it is important to have a healthy body but it is equally important to have a healthy mind. There are many ways to get active and this is not limited to joining a gym but you can do sports (basketball, football etc) or engage into other outdoor activities alone or with friends.
Finally, do not forget that having a healthy weight is not only good for your appearance and health but is important for your self-esteem and confidence.