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Mar 17, 2011

Setting SMART Goals For Weight Loss

Setting SMART Goals For Weight Loss
Forget about new year resolutions or sudden drastic changes to your diet or exercise regimen and set S.M.A.R.T. Goals to achieve a slimmer, healthier you!
Have you ever made a new year’s resolution to lose weight?  A lot of us have.  It’s exciting to start out the new year with a fresh diet and exercise plan with hopes of this finally being the year that you take control of your body.
Unfortunately, most of us never fulfill those resolutions.  In fact, I’d be willing to bet by February a lot of that motivation has waned  and people are starting to cheat on their diets and skipping workouts regularly.
This isn’t uncommon.  I’ve been there myself! Luckily, there is a way to transform those resolutions into easily attainable goals through a system called S.M.A.R.T. goals.
There’s a good chance you’ve heard of this acronym before and maybe even used it to reach personal goals in other areas of life. But, I want to talk about how you can use S.M.A.R.T. goals to achieve the body you’ve always wanted.  This tested and proven formula for goal setting has helped many people reach their objectives.   So, let’s get started!
Specific – Set specific goals.  You’re goal shouldn’t be to lose weight. That’s too vague an even if you lost half a pound you will have met your goal.  So, clarify your goal! For example, aim to lose 2 inches off your waist in 30 days.  Your goals can be fitness oriented as well.  Maybe your goal is to lift a certain amount of weight or walk 3000 steps a day (which can be easily tracked with an Omron pedometer).
Measurable – Make your goals measurable. Be it inches lost, a reduction in body fat % or clothing size.  It’s also good to include health goals.  For example, lowering your cholesterol.  Measuring pounds lost is a good, and probably the most common goal, but remember it’s fairly common to lose inches but not necessarily weight because you may be gaining muscle, but losing body fat.
Accountable – Make yourself accountable to your goals. You can do this several ways – first hold yourself accountable by recording everything you do to see your progress.  Use a food journal or an online nutrition and exercise program.  Then, have others hold you accountable, as well. Enlist the help of a friend or family member or post your results in online setting like a blog or forum.
Realistic – You want to set goals that are achievable. Losing 30 pounds this week may not be realistic for you.  Plus, if you were to achieve that, what are the chances that you keep that weight off?  Or that you actually lost fat and not just water weight and/or muscle mass?  Instead opt for more realistic goals that are attained through simple lifestyle changes, not crash diets or rapid weight loss programs. You’ll be more likely to keep the weight off.
Time-based – Set a time-frame to reach your goals.  There’s no real urgency to complete a goal with no deadline and you may be more likely to keep putting it off.

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