What are Weight Loss Goals?
Your desire plus intentions for a specific body size make up your weight loss goals. A desire is a strong feeling of wanting to have something, and intention is a plan. When desire and intention are added together for weight loss, the sum is “change.”
Have you ever wondered why you can’t make headway with the changes you desire? Do you keep sabotaging yourself or falling off the diet wagon? If you haven’t been able to make headway with your desires, then it’s time to back them with some intentions. Below are 11 steps and weight loss goal planner templates to help you start.
11 Steps to Help You Plan Your Weight Loss Goals
Step 1: Evaluate Your Behaviors
Think about your current behaviors that have been holding you back from transforming your body. Try to list three to five of them. Next to each current behavior, write down your intention that will allow you to accomplish your goals. See the self-evaluation example below.
Step 2: Plan Your Weight Loss Goals
What are your top three to five goals for weight loss, fitness, and health? Write them down, and list two behaviors that you intend to move towards. An example is provided for you below.
Step 3: Set Deadlines for Your Goals
On your goal planning sheet, write down realistic deadlines for your goals planned in Step 2. See example below.
Step 4: Evaluate Your Goals
Placing a value on your weight loss goals will help you see what you will gain or lose by achieving or not achieving them. This gives you real perspective to what you really want. Evaluate your goals by answering the following questions in the example below.
Step 5: Plan Your Meals
Whether you are counting calories or not, you can still lose weight. Just stick to a whole foods diet, and rid all refined and junky foods. Below is a healthier version of My Plate for weight loss. It will help you as you build your plate with foods.
Step 6: Schedule Exercise
If you haven’t ever exercised, you can start by walking as it is the easiest to incorporate when starting a weight loss plan. It will also help you get strong quickly. You can incorporate other exercise after you feel comfortable with your new schedule.
Below is a convenient walking schedule for beginners. Your goal is to reach the upper time limit for each week. However, you don’t have to if you can’t or are limited on time. Just be sure to walk within that timeframe.
As you start a new week, start with the time limit you ended the previous week. For example: If you ended the week walking 10 minutes, then start the next week walking 10 minutes and gradually build to the higher time limit throughout the week.
Step 7: Read and Study Reputable Health Literature
Reading enriches the mind, and what better way to learn and motivate yourself so that you do reach your weight loss goals. You can read motivational material on goals and success, as well as reputable books, magazines, and articles on living a healthy lifestyle. Let your mind be inspired. Below is my recommended reading list.
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business (2012) by Charles Duhigg
Overcoming Overeating: It's Not What You Eat, It's What's Eating You! (2007) by Lisa Morrone, PT
Body for Life: 12 Weeks to Mental and Physical Strength (1999) by Bill Phillips an Michael D'Orso
Your Body, Your Life: The 12-Week Program to Optimum Physical, Mental, and Emotional Fitness (2008) by Kim Lyons & Lara McGlashan
Step 8: Be Positive
Get rid of all stinkin’ thinking, and be positive. Sometimes, that’s difficult to do – especially when you have setbacks. Always tell yourself that you will achieve your goals, and never stray from that.
When you feed yourself positive thoughts, a chemical reaction occurs in your brain that actually makes you see things a bit differently. You won’t be stressed as much, and you’ll have more energy to do the things you love. You will even start appreciating the little achievements you make more.
If it motivates you, place positive quotes in areas that you will see every day. Following are a few popular quotes that may help you as you begin working on your new goals.
Step 9: Work Your Goals
Your plan is in place, and your goals are set. Now it’s time to just do it! You are ready to execute your goals. Spend a few minutes early in the morning reviewing your goals and reading your motivational quotes. You’ll also want to check your meal plan and exercise schedules. Organize your mind so that you don’t deter from your goals. Gear up for the day!
Step 10: Track Your Weight Loss Progress
You’ve been working on your weight loss goals. Your pants may feel a bit looser, and you may be feeling more energetic. You’ll want to track your progress as it will show you exactly what changes you’ve made and how much closer you are to your goals. Below are some of the ways you may want to track your progress:
Weekly weight check (with a reliable weight scale)
Monthly girth measurements (with a reliable cloth measuring tape)
Body fat measurements (only if you can with a personal trainer and calipers)
Monthly or quarterly pictures (full front, side, and back views)
If you’re progressing towards your goals, you don’t need to change anything. Just keep doing what you’re doing!
However, tweak your plan if you’re not advancing towards your goals. Be honest with yourself as you assess. Do you need to make changes to your meals? Do you need to exercise more? Review your goals and tighten up.
Step 11: Reward Yourself
You’ve worked hard towards your goals, and you deserve to reward yourself. Do so whenever you reach one of your goals. Have a treat meal, a professional massage, or whatever makes you happy as long as it’s within boundaries. You may even want to set a bigger reward for your overall goal such as a new wardrobe.