Part 2: Post Summer Focus!! Setting Goals for Successful Weight Loss the Strategic Way!!
Part 2: Setting goals for successful weight loss the strategic way
For most people, setting a weight loss goal goes something like this; 'I want to lose some weight before I go on holiday.' or 'Christmas is coming, I'd better shift some of this flab to make up for the Christmas feasts.' Although these are goals, our mind needs to have some more info and more importantly, a plan, to get traction on creating and making the actions you will need to take to achieve that overall goal.
Setting goals does not have to be time consuming, or confusing. In fact, when simple, strategic step by step goals are made, your mind already starts creating and manifesting the actions and desires you require to make those goals happen and it becomes much easier!!
'A goal without a plan is just a wish.' Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
By far the most commonly known, used and efficient way to set goals for anything, not just weight loss, is SMART goal setting. I use this with my Transformation and BDBTT VIP clients all the time, by asking lots of questions and diving deeper into their overall weight loss and health goals. But you too can get really, really clear and create powerful goals that will transform your weight loss journey!
Grab a pen and paper, let's work through it together!
Write down your weight loss goal on paper as it rolls out of your head and we'll add and tweak it so you have a powerful goal to work towards.
Specific: Specific goals are literally just that-getting more specific about what you want to achieve; so taking one of the examples above, 'Christmas is coming, I'd better shift some of this flab to make up for the Christmas feasts.' Let's make that more specific.
Ask yourself these questions:
What does 'flab' mean to you? Weight? Inches? Toning up wobbly bits? Getting more fit?
Measurable: Now you know exactly whether you want to achieve, weight loss, inch loss, fitness, or all of them :) you now need to get clear on you will know when you have achieved these goals.
How much weight do you want to lose exactly? What weight will you be at your goal weight?
Is there a dress size associated with that ideal weight you want to be?
What level of fitness would you like to achieve? To swim 100 lengths of a swimming pool? To run a 10k? To go through a Zumba class without having to stop?
Achievable: Your goals have to be ones you can tangibly grasp and believe you can do it. They need to be a stretch, of course, because that's where you grow as a person, but if they are sooooo big they blow you out of the water before you've even started, you'll never get to where you want to be.
If you have set a goal to lose 5 stone, but the last time you were 5 stone lighter was when you were a child, this may not be an achievable goal.
If you want to run a triathlon as your goal, but you are not prepared to get in the water, you will have a problem achieving this!
Realistic: Realistic and Achievable goals are very closely connected. Realistic goals are those that can and will be achieved when consistent action is taken towards them. Sometimes when you do have a BIG goals that feels unachievable, they just needs breaking down into smaller, realistic steps.
Wanting to lose 6 stone in 12 weeks is not realistic. However, losing 6 stone in a year is very doable (IF you have that weight to lose!) but may need breaking down into losing half a stone every month. Feels more achievable AND realistic, right?
And once, you have these realistic goals, you can set about setting realistic action for achieving them too.
'Over the next month, I need to attend 2 exercise classes a week and reduce my calories by 500 calories a day from what I require to be as active as I normally am, in order to lose 7lbs.'
Achievable and realistic in that this could slide into your normal life with minimal effort and routine changes.
Time related: It is so key to have goals that have a deadline. If you have no timeline to work towards, you will simply float around and have nothing to focus on. Time related can be a specific date, a space of weeks or months or years, or by an event which has a date; birthday, wedding, anniversary etc. (I generally avoid coaching using holidays as a time related goal because it encourages driver lead action-in that it tends to be an urgency based goal that creates a downhill effect once on holiday. I do help people lose weight for holidays, but I ensure their goals are meaningful and not superficial, so they are strong about not losing their healthy ways whilst on holiday).
So with the goal we have been using already, 'Christmas is coming' should become something like 'by 1st December, I want to...'
Creating a powerful, clear SMART goal weight loss statement: So...bringing it all together...here's what a clear, powerful SMART goal would look like:
Old goal: 'Christmas is coming, I'd better shift some of this flab to make up for the Christmas feasts.'
New SMART goal: 'It's mid-September now, by 1st December, I want to lose 1 stone and go from a size 16 to a size 14. I know I can do this, because I was here 2 years ago. I am committed to attending 1 gym session a week with my Personal Trainer and walking 2 miles every Wednesday dan Saturday and I will start counting calories to ensure I am eating less than the intake I require to be generally active in everyday life.' (You can actually work out your calories requirements for this here: http://www.foreverfituk.co.uk/bmr-and-amr.html)
Shhhheeeeezz! This gives me goosebumps! How's yours looking?
Okay, now you have a powerful SMART goal, let's get your head focused on actually ACHIEVING it!
In my humble opinion, I try to steer people away from single goals that have a focus on something materialistic/superficial, such as to fit in a size 12 bikini, or for a holiday, or for Christmas. This is because they rely on external factors only, and your mind needs to feel the need to achieve this goal at a much deeper level. If you have a goal that is health related, or lifestyle related, it becomes so much more powerful and you will find you can become constant in your actions towards it because you will be more passionate about it.
Need some examples?
'I want to fit in a size 12 bikini' becomes 'I want to fit into a size 12 bikini because it means I have reduces my waist size by 4 inches, which means my risk of heart disease will have reduced, so I'll have more time on this planet.'
Or 'I want to lose 3 stone' becomes 'I want to lose 3 stone because it will help lower my high cholesterol, and my borderline diabetes will improve.'
Other ways to keep smart goals in check are: reducing IBS, blood pressure, arthritis, joint aches and pains etc. These tend to be personal, heartfelt goals, not ego-driven 'how will I look?' goals.
Manifesting your SMART goals:
Creating the corresponding action to achieve your goals is the key to success. That, my friend, is an inside job! You will need to do some internal work on yourself to help create the outside changes you desire.
'Your outer world is always a reflection of your inner world'
Here are some ideas for you:
Create a morning ritual around meditations, visualisations of your goal
Give yourself simple incentives to achieve small daily goals.
Act as if you have already achieved your goals.
Create powerful 'I am' affirmations.
Listen to hypnosis, personal development videos or CD's around health and weight loss.
Turning your what's into how's: My best tip for creating a powerful goal is to use as many of the senses when committing that goal to memory-say it out loud often, write it down, read it, listen to a short recording of yourself saying your goals. As you embody the words you are telling your Self, you start to break old habits and make new positive habits.
In closing: So, we're nearly there! You should now have a blooming' powerful, clear, meaningful goal you really, really want to achieve because it will mean the world to you! But remember this too, 'make your goals in concrete, but your plans in sand'. Stay fast to your overall goal, but allow your path there to meander slightly if something comes up that you haven't planned for. We sometimes set so much importance on the how's of getting there that we allow one obstacle to knock us off course completely. Instead-be curious - look for ways round it! For example, if the exercise class you were attending twice a week closes down, go and hunt for another, so think it's all over!
And finally, my advice is, keep moving forwards in some way, every day. It's the small actions, done daily that will ensure you achieve your big goals!
So what did you come up with on your piece of paper? Send me over a photo, or a copy of your goals - the magic of weight loss transformation is in sharing your goals with people who can hold you accountable to succeed!
And by all means, grab one of the limited spots to book your free 30 minute 'Beat your Food Addictions, Lose weight, stop your Aches and Pains and Get more Confidence' Call with me to dive even deeper into this!
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Giving you big strength and courage to go for your dream goals!