Chalene Johnson on How to Set Achievable Weight-Loss Goals

Featured Article, News and Advice, Weight Loss
on May 18, 2012

After spending many years helping others lose weight, I’ve found people often struggle with choosing the right health and fitness goal and figuring out where to start. They set a goal without doing any research or making a plan, and when the weight doesn’t magically fall off, they get frustrated, lose motivation and quit. This can be avoided by choosing the right goal, doing a little research and getting an action plan into place.

Choosing the Right Health and Fitness Goal for You

When setting your health and fitness goal, consider this: There’s a big difference between choosing a goal that’s possible and one that’s realistic and achievable. Sure, it’s possible for a person with bad knees and a disdain for running to win his or her division in the Boston Marathon, but is it realistic? Not so much.

So before you choose a health and fitness goal to tackle, do your research. What does it entail? For instance, if you want to lose a certain amount of weight by a certain date, how many pounds will you have to lose each week? How many calories are you burning each day on average? How many calories should you be consuming?

Questions like these must be answered to help you figure out if your goal is realistic, if it’s right for you, and how to formulate a plan.

Goal-setting Guidelines

Once you’ve done your research and determined a goal that fits with your wants, needs, and priorities, ask yourself this:

Is your goal measureable? A goal has measure if a complete outsider can determine whether or not you’ve achieved it. For example, if you set a goal to “feel better,” there’s no real means to determine if it you’ve achieved it. A great place to start is by setting a numerical value to assess your progress, such as a number of days you will exercise each week or the number of pounds you will lose in 30 days.

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Is your goal time sensitive? Not only should your goal be measureable, but it should also have a deadline. This gives you something to work towards and keep you focused and on track.

Can your goal be broken down into baby steps? Following through on the smallest of objectives creates momentum. Break your goal down into bite-size pieces—easy little tasks that can be tackled daily. Create a brainstorm list of everything you could possibly need to know, do, change, research, buy, organize and schedule to make this goal happen. Break each task into simple tasks that can be taken on one at a time and keep you motivated.

Get Moving!

Now that you’ve done your research, set a realistic goal, and created your brainstorm list, get moving right away! Start with the easiest item on your list to create momentum, and tackle at least one bite-sized task every day. If you keep chipping away at your list, you’ll begin forming healthier habits, and be well on your way to success!