What drives you to succeed during your medical weight loss program? Is it the challenge? Determination? Desire? Each of these things has one thing in common—they are all driven by one ultimate goal. A well-crafted goal can spawn desire and determination and push you to challenge yourself day after day. Reaching the goal is the reward for the work you’ve put in. When you reach your goal you can look back and say that you’ve been hungry, you’ve been tired and yet you’ve persevered.
Reaching your goal is a huge accomplishment, and it is something that you should be very proud of. But how do you know when you’ve reached it? When your goal is something vague like “lose weight” or “feel better” it is hard to determine when you’ve actually accomplished what you’ve set out to do. To really benefit from a strong goal you’ll need to build onto these larger themes and create an objective threshold by which you can measure your own success.
When creating goals, think SMART:
- Specific: Don’t be vague. Think of exactly what you want and write it down. This might be a number on the scale, a pant size or another measure of health, like a lowered cholesterol or blood sugar level.
- Measurable: Numbers are great goals because they are easily measurable. Something like “feel better” is hard to measure. If your goal is to have more natural energy, then figure out a way to track that and make it measurable, like by cutting out caffeine and focusing on sleeping habits.
- Attainable: Reach for the stars. This is always great advice, but don’t take it too literally. If your goal is too lofty you won’t be able to reach it, and by setting yourself up for failure you are only asking for discouragement.
- Result-focused: Your goal is what you are working towards. The activities you take to get there are great, but they aren’t the goal. For example, your goal may be to run a mile. The activity of running 10 minutes every night as you build endurance is a step to reach that goal, not a goal on its own.
- Timely: Every good goal has a deadline. Thoughts like “I plan to lose weight eventually” aren’t going to do you any good. Think in terms of now: I am going to lose so many pounds in this number of weeks.
Creating a good weight loss goal takes time and thought. Talk to your weight loss doctor, Dr. Liu, to determine what a healthy rate of weight loss may be for you, and then craft your goals around that.
A weight loss goal is something that you can work towards, but it isn’t a finish line. Even after reaching your weight loss goal you’ll have to keep up with your healthy diet and exercise habits to maintain that weight loss long-term.