Many people who begin the challenge of losing weight make the mistake of expecting landmark progress right away. Their minds are filled with such high aspirations that they’ve set the bar higher than they could possibly reach. This usually results in a flood of disappointment, frustration and even discouragement when the goals they’ve set out to accomplish become increasingly harder to obtain.
Does this sound like you? Maybe you’ve laid out a specific workout routine you feel a little too challenged by, or you’ve composed a strict diet plan with little room for error or flexibility. Perhaps you’re spending a significant amount of time determining the ratio of the calories you’re consuming with the calories you’re expending through physical activity.
If your ambitions seem impossible and you’re struggling to balance your health with the rest of your life, it may be time to re-examine your goals!
SMART Goals Will Ensure Long-Term Success!
SMART goals are realistic goals that help you to evaluate if what you’re trying to achieve is reachable. Whether you’re trying to manage your diet, exercise or a combination of both, use these goals to help you manage progress!
Specific – What is it you want achieve? Define your goals clearly by asking important questions such as “Why is this important to me?” or “How am I going to do this?” An example of a specific goal would be: “I want to be able to run my first 5K in September so that I have a fun fitness event to keep me motivated. To do this, I will train three times a week and make gradual progress.”
Measurable – Establish real and concrete criteria for measuring progress and tracking each step toward your goal. This will help you to stay on track and stay inspired! You can use a scale, measure your blood pressure levels, your cholesterol, or track other changes in your overall health. Pay close attention to how your body is feeling and behaving as you continue to move forward.
Attainable – Will you be able to keep up with your goals? For example, someone who hasn’t exercised in a long time might not be able to attain a specific goal of working out at the gym for an hour every single day after work. To avoid goals that aren’t attainable, evaluate your physical capacities, your budget and your schedule – then, use those factors as a jumping-off point.
Realistic – Are your goals “do-able?” Think about where you are currently on your journey with weight and health, and use that information to shape your goals. Instead of aiming to lose ten pounds in ten days by exercising daily and restricting your diet, you might try a more realistic goal of losing ten pounds in one month through consistent exercise and by cooking more meals at home. For more tips on setting realistic weight-loss goals, please CLICK HERE.
Timely – Give your goals an end point so you have a clear idea of what you’re working toward. That way, you’ll avoid the pitfalls of procrastination! For example – instead of making a goal to go on an hour walk three times a week, clarify your goals by aiming to walk on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings before dinner.
Remember, your ULTIMATE goal should be to form healthy habits that will allow you to create and follow a healthy lifestyle. Progress may seem slow and difficult, but the long-term benefits are worth every hurdle! Your success story is still in the making.