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How S.M.A.R.T. Are You When Setting Your Weight Loss Goals?

By: Jeff Cadwell

In terms of weight loss goals, this is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.

By establishing S.M.A.R.T. weight loss goals, you will show yourself that you have a solid determination and drive to get to your purpose. Setting goals is so very important to your success and will be influential in maintaining your weight loss for a lifetime.

Simply, goals give you something to work toward. They also confirm that you are moving along a specific, achievable and self-defined path. The system I am about to present will show you a way to achieve your goals more effectively.

Got a weight loss goal? Examine it against these S.M.A.R.T. guidelines:

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SPECIFIC - Set clear, concrete, significant and well-defined goals. Your goals for losing weight should be clear-cut and specifically define what you want to happen. The more detailed your goals, the more it will help you focus your efforts and clearly identify how you are going to proceed.

For example, if you wanted to build a house, you would first think about what type of house it would be. You would consider whether it would be a condominium, a bungalow, or maybe even a mansion. You would also think about the location that you wished to live in.

In setting goals for your own weight loss, these same clear and concrete planning strategies should apply.

You need to think about what you want, why you want to do it, and how you are going to do it.

- Do you have the means to do it? (financial, self-control, patience)

- What tools will you need to complete this? (books, food diary, gym)

- What kind of foundation will you need? (coach, doctor, support group)

Unfortunately, many individuals miss this critical piece of the puzzle when setting their weight loss goals.

Imagine if that house you wanted to build did not look the way you wanted it. Think about if you did not have an ample supply of tools to get the job done. Consider the possibility that your house did not sit on a firm enough foundation to give it the necessary support.

Once you have thought your plan through, write down the details so that you have a clear understanding of your goal and the finer points involved. Post them somewhere visible as a constant reminder of what you want to accomplish.

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MEASURABLE - Make certain that your goal is meaningful, motivational and measurable by markers. Always keep in mind that if you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it.

The wonderful aspect about this part of the process is that you get to see the change come about. Aim for a specific target and establish solid deciding factors for measuring your progress. During the progression, you will not only get to measure your growth, you will also be able to stay on track and experience the joy of success, which will motivate you to keep moving forward.

When I work with clients, I not only request that they weigh themselves on the scale at regular intervals, but that they take their body measurements on a quarterly basis. Their key, though, is to record their results in a journal of some sort. This is also a place where they can document their triumphs and challenges.

Journaling can be a powerful tool. It can become a tool in which to track your progress as well as a place to reflect on your journey to health.

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ACHIEVABLE - Aim for action-oriented, attainable goals. When you discover the goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out the means to make them come true. You develop the spirit, abilities, skills and financial capacity to achieve them. You realize previously unseen opportunities to bring yourself nearer to your goals. Have you heard, ''Where there is a will, there is a way''?

A common mistake is to aim too high. It is just much easier to accomplish smaller goals that fit into a larger objective instead of trying to complete all of them at once. Although you aspire to get that big grand prize, you need to be sensible and break it down into smaller chunks. It will turn the odds of success in your favor.

Great examples of aiming too high and too fast are the products that promise you overnight success. Yo-Yo dieting or drinking weight loss drinks filled with sugar and chemicals, are shameful cases of seeking the ''Magic Pill.'' Yes, you might lose a few pounds. But, are you really going to be able to eat and drink like this for the rest of your life? Also, consider that these quick and easy solutions have been proven to put health at risk.

If you are to make smaller goals, they need to stretch you slightly, not be ''pieces of cake'' (no pun intended). You should feel that ''you can do it'' and understand that you will need to make a firm commitment to accomplish each step.

See yourself as a pirate looking for buried treasure. Like you, he knows that he has a goal in sight. He just needs the strategy to achieve it. Once he understands why he wants it at this time, he develops a plan of many steps. He searches out the resources to get to the buried treasure. Once he has accomplished his steps, he gets to relish in his riches.

Do you see a similarity within yourself as you come up with the strategies to reach your weight loss goal? Do you see that you, too, can have many riches just by making sure that your goals are truly attainable?

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REALISTIC - You goals must be attainable, relevant to your life, improving, rewarding and results-oriented. Be honest with yourself. You know what you can do. You need to guarantee that the skills and tools needed are available. Make sure that your weight loss goal fits into the grand scheme of things (your life). This goal should not break you by attempting it.

Keep in mind that if the goals you set are far too improbable, you probably will not make a commitment. Although you may start with the best intentions, the knowledge that it is too much to handle means your subconscious will remind you of this and will hinder you from giving it your best effort. Honestly, making ''Pie in the Sky'' goals will only leave you feeling more depressed and inadequate than before.

Devise a plan that makes the goal practical. The goal should fit in with where you are right now, at this very moment. Think about whether the goal will fit into your lifestyle, your stresses, your surroundings, etc. The better you evaluate everything involved in your life now, the greater the chances are that you will succeed.

If you go to the other end of the spectrum and set a goal that is too low, your integrity tells you that you are not going to be very competent. Remember, it is always good to put a little pressure on yourself. By setting firm guidelines with yourself, whether it be to only have ice cream once a week or have a small portion of potato chips in the afternoon, you are being more realistic and setting yourself up to succeed. In the end, your sense of pride will be well worth it!

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TIMELY - Set goals that are trackable, manageable, and have a clear timeframe. Setting a deadline for your goal gives you a clear target to shoot for. Whether it is a day, a week or a month, you need to set a time limit. If you do not set a date, your goal is too vague. Without a timeframe, you feel that you can start at any time and there is no urgency to start taking action.

Many of my clients have told me that they started diet programs during times of deep depression or extreme pressure from their physicians. Let's face the facts. If you are not the one who sets the timeframe for when you are going to start your plan, you are going to become belligerent and downright rebellious. The fact is that it needs to be your decision and you need to think about how your weight loss goal fits in with your schedule.

S.M.A.R.T. goal planning starts with sitting down and realistically asking yourself, ''Is this the right time to do this?'' Without this piece, you are not being very sensible. You may need to take the time to meditate and determine within yourself what kind of time commitment this is going to take.

If you are ready to start setting some goals for yourself, you are taking a step in the right direction. It clearly shows that there are good things there, like purpose and determination!

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It is important to put into perspective why you wish to lose weight and to keep that reason in the forefront of your mind. Being overweight, do you want to save you life? Would you like to see your kids graduate from college? Have you always wanted to sit comfortably on an airplane? There are so many reasons. Which one is yours?

Once again, I encourage you to write down each step of your S.M.A.R.T. goal strategy so that you can refer to them along the way.

Always keep in mind that your ''intentions'' mean nothing until you take that first step.

Are YOU ready to take that first step?


About the Author

Jeff Cadwell
Maximum Life Coach
714-669-2928
"Welcome to the beginning of the New YOU!"

I am a Life Coach who is passionate about empowering people to live more robust lives - physically, emotionally and spiritually. My specialty is people who are considering or have had Weight Loss Surgery.

Visit Site: http://www.jeffcadwell.com

Source: ArticleWareHouse.com


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