Win the Weight Loss Mind Game
Setting Goals and Rewarding Yourself
Set Your Weight Loss Goals
If you’ve ever traveled, you’ll know that a road map is important. That concept of a roadmap is crucial for your weight loss plan as well. When you set goals, you create a picture of where you are, where you want to go and how you’re going to get there. The key is to set realistically attainable goals in your weight loss journey.
An attainable goal is important for your success. If the goal you set is not realistic then you’ll wind up failing and wondering why you couldn’t lose 50 pounds in a month. Keep in mind the following about goal setting:
- Goals should have three components in order to guarantee your success. They should be attainable,
- People run the risk of failing at weight loss when their goals lack one of the above characteristics. An example of a weight loss goal that is attainable, measurable and specific is to set the goal of losing 1-2 lbs a week. This is a realistic and healthy amount of weight to lose in that time period. It is specific, measurable and attainable.
- Keep your weight loss goals focused on the short term. While you might like to lose 50 pounds in all, set goals to lose the first five or ten lbs is a lot more realistic especially if you plan to reward yourself for meeting your goals. Even more realistic than basing your weight loss goals on specific numbers is to set behavior based goals.
- An example of a behavior based goal is to set the goal to drink 8 glasses of water each day in a week. It is an attainable goal, requires specific action and is measurable. Weight loss, itself, depends on all kinds of factors, some of them out of your reach, but you totally control your own behavior.
When you use goal setting properly, they can be powerful motivators in your weight loss plan. For example, when you set a goal for eating a certain number of fruits and veggies each day, record in a journal how much you do eat and whether you’re meeting that goal. You will be achieving the goal by doing it and writing it down while at the same time encouraging yourself to continue. And continuing to do so will inevitably lead to weight loss and increased health.
You can use goal setting to stay on track. Monitor your goals so that they do not become too broad or ambitious (and end up being unrealistic). Realistic goals will help you stay focused.
Reward Yourself When Meeting Weight Loss Goals
Sometimes dieting can feel like a chore especially if you’re waiting for that big day when you reach your goal weight and its taking a while to become a reality. You can motivate yourself to continue with the long haul if you reward yourself along the way. Here are some weight loss land marks that can be rewarded:
- Every five lbs lost
- Bigger weight loss goals like 20 or 50 lbs gone
- Drinking that daily water over two weeks or a month
- Exercise goals like working out a certain number of times in a week or a month
- Lowering your medication dosage due to improved health from weight loss
- Improved blood test results (like your overall cholesterol dropping under 200, for example)
When choosing rewards to celebrate a mile stone, do not use food as a reward since you want to undo any associations of food and celebration in your weight loss plan and your rewards system.
Reward yourself in ways that are good for your mind and body to keep you motivated. Some examples of these kinds of rewards:
- A manicure or pedicure
- A full body or foot massage
- A new outfit in your new, smaller size
- A movie or a new good book
- A new piece of jewelry or handbag (they’ll always fit you!)
- Take a mini-vacation or staycation
Embarking on a weight loss plan is usually a long term project for most folks. Setting short term goals can keep one motivated during the long journey. It feels great to accomplish a goal, no matter if it’s small or big, and these victories can go a long way in terms of keeping you motivated to continue with your plan.
When you meet your weight loss goal, think of how you can reward yourself for doing so. Celebrate those small accomplishments especially since they will keep you positive about working towards your end goal number of overall weight loss.
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