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How do I set short & longer term goals for weight?

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Old 04-07-2010, 10:12 PM   #1
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Question How do I set short & longer term goals for weight?

I usually go overboard & make my goals too aggressive then, of course, fail and give up. As the 90 degree day today reminds me, summer is creeping up on me and I have HATED summer for so long now because of my weight. It's super hot out and I don't like to wear sleeveless shirts or light colors. Also, I tend to feel too hot all the time from carrying all this extra weight and I'm just uncomfortable and cranky until the autumnal equinox! This year, I would love to have a goal for Memrorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day Weekend and I think I could get to Onederland by Christmas if I keep OP. I would like to have a year that I allow myself to be in summer activity pictures.

I have a picture of myself from last Memorial Day. The outfit I wore made me look like a whale, but it fit. Now the outfit is tight on me. No more dilly-dallying for me.

I'm 266 today which is, according to the little Wii voice, obese. All I know is I would love to be in a size 18 by Memorial Day weekend. Maybe 16 by July Fourth and a size 14 for Labor Day Weekend. I'm wearing a 22 pants/20 top right now. Are my goals realistic do ya think? I haven't worn a 14 for so long that I don't know what my weight would be! I remember one thing - in my senior year of college I weighed 167 pounds and wore a size 8!!! I don't think I will ever see 8 again but that's okay.
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:17 PM   #2
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Instead of setting firm time goals, I just set behavior goals. For example, this month I have committed to not weighing myself at all between April 1st and May 1st, getting up at 6:30 am every day and exercising before my day starts, continuing with my normal healthy eating, and making a deficit of 800 calories per day average. When May 1st rolls around, I'll get to see the results of those commitments in my weight and measurements.

While I do have very vague ideas of "wouldn't it be nice to be size X by date Y," I don't commit myself to those ideas as goals, because I can't directly control my weight or size. All I can control is my daily behavior; and if I stick with the daily behaviors that I know work, then eventually I will make it to the weight and size that I desire.
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:18 PM   #3
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Do SMART goal setting and let the weight deal with itself at its own rate. All you can do is create the conditions for body to be able to get on with the healing and weight loss. Actual speed of healing and weight loss is up to body.

SMART means

• Specific
• Measurable
• Attainable
• Realistic
• Time Bound

It's part of goal setting techniques.

Something like ""I want to lose weight" for my goal is not SMART because it's not specific, etc.

Here's my current SMART:

"I want to lose weight. I'm going to do it by doing 3-4 workouts a week that are 30-45 min long and keeping a food log at my recommended calorie level of 2000 calories (specific) for at least 6 weeks (time), since I see my endoc. then.

Knowing the healthy rate of loss is 0.5 - 2 lbs a week, in 6 weeks, I can reasonably expect a range of -3 lbs to -12 lbs. I would like to fit somewhere in that range. (measurable, realistic, attainable.)

If I am not somewhere in the range at the end of the time, I will reevaluate my workouts, food log with endoc. and expect endoc to help me figure variables in these areas that may have affected results. (realistic).

If I am somewhere in the range, I will call it success and I will make a new plan for the next step."

HTH!

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Old 04-07-2010, 11:35 PM   #4
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Everyone's body shapes are different, so I don't know that size you will be at what weight. I can tell you I am 5'6", 209 pounds, and I where a size 18.

I think astrophe 's advise is spot on. I could not have set it better myself. At work today, I learned for the first time ever about SMART action plans, and I find it funny that tonight I found it in this post!
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Goal #3 –185 Overweight
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:41 PM   #5
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SMART usually appears in work settings for project management stuff.

But it helps break down fitness goals too.

We're all the project managers of our body/fitness projects!

A.
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Old 04-08-2010, 07:10 AM   #6
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I never heard about SMART either.
I like it & will use it.
Thanks!
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:11 AM   #7
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I agree with WarMaiden. Setting goals based on a specific weight or size would set me up for failure as you really can't control how your body will be reacting to your plan. I recommend setting your goals on your behaviours.

Also, I don't know your height or build, but I started at the same weight and it's taken me 11 months to get down to size 16 pants.
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:20 AM   #8
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I agree with other posters. I've tried to set up goals of "x pounds by y date" and I always find myself frustrated because even when I stay on plan, I don't lose at the solid 2-pounds-a-week that all my calorie counting calculations say I "should".

I find it MUCH more encouraging to focus on my actions, not the results. The ONLY thing I can control is what I do, not what happens because of it.

That's why I think the Point Challenges each month here are so useful. You gain points not for losing weight (a result) but rather for your day-to-day actions which should lead to the result of losing weight. Points for sticking to your plan, points for drinking water, points for exercise... Daily accountability to others in the challenge, daily reward (points) for the actions that you do. Daily feedback when you don't succeed (lack of points). It's a great way of helping each other along in the day to day struggle we all face.
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:24 AM   #9
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Love the SMART thing. Thanks for sharing that.

I also think it's the action that you take that's more important than a size or what the scale says. Take the right actions and the weight will eventually come off.
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Old 04-08-2010, 02:24 PM   #10
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I've never read the points challenge thread - sounds like a cool idea. I'm really struggling with the idea that I really need to have goals or I tend to ***float*** through the day getting not much done! I had exercise/gym goals but my back injury prevents me from really pushing myself. If I exercise just a bit too hard BOOM I'm in bed (where I am right now, sadly).

So, I'll be over in the "points" thread. Thanks to all who posted!
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Old 04-08-2010, 02:59 PM   #11
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My org also uses SMART for its wellness initiative,and it can be helpful.

I have to admit that while I have larger goals, I tend on the whole to focus on the small ones that I set to be 5-10 lbs apart, and on healthy living behaviors. My current mini-goal is at 219 (I can hardly weight, it's a major one). I have 2 or 3 more and then Onederland. Doing this, I am always striving and frequently achieving. It works for me.
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Old 04-08-2010, 04:43 PM   #12
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I love mini goals, but none of mine have timelines attached to them. I just reach them when I reach them. Check out my signature to see what I do.

The most important goal I gave myself is to give this one solid year without giving up no matter what the scale does. I'm one of those lucky people who see scale stalls despite all my best efforts. In order to combat that, I am staying on playing every, every, every day for one year. I really want to see just how much weight I can move in that time frame. This way too, I can not give up, because it really doesn't matter what the scale says. I'm in a for a year, period. I'll re-evaluate at that time.
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Long term goal: To still be calorie counting 11/9/2010
mini goals: ~211-10% lost;12/24/09 ~203 class I obesity 1/28/10; ~199 Onederland/15% 2/19/10; ~188-20%; ~185 half way 5/14/10; 179-bye 180's 6/12/10; ~174 overweight 7/3/2010;169-bye 170's 8/13/10;~164-30% 10/23/2010159-bye 160's~11/1/10; 153-35%~12/23/10; 149-bye 150's~2/11/11; 145 normal~2/14/2011; ~141-40%; 139-bye 140's ~135 GOAL! (129-45%; 117.5-50%)






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Old 04-08-2010, 08:24 PM   #13
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I have a timed goal in my signature, but I am here to tell you not to! At least not until you have a better idea of what you can achieve.

Set yourself both long term (e.g. to live an active life at a healthy weight) and short term (e.g. 10%) weight goals, but don't put dates on them. Then plan tomorrow, (or if you're feeling enthusiastic, the week). Not just in a "I will be good" vague way, but down to the details. What will I eat, when will I eat it, what exercise will I do, how will I fit it in my day, what will I wear, where are my shoes, what emergency snacks will I have with me, what time will I go to bed, what treat or reward will I have (non-food!) so that I don't feel deprived, who will I call if I need a pep-talk, how will I drink more water, what is "bare minimum", how will I mitigate the effect of unexpected changes. And then reflect on what worked, what didn't, and pat yourself on the back for any successes.

I also did something similar to Elaina. I set 2009 aside as "focus on losing weight" year. I didn't travel (because it always trips me up), and I made exercise and eating well one of my top priorities.

Good luck. You can totally do this
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Old 04-09-2010, 11:33 AM   #14
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for me, the thing with timed goals is that they give me something to work for, but I have to know that even if I don't lose X weight in Y time, I'm going to still be happy with the progress I've made and not get discouraged if I don't see a specific number on the scale.

Right now, I'm doing the Summer Onederland challenge and I'm trying to see if I can break below 200 by June 21. Honestly, I'm not sure that I will - my losses haven't been super speedy. So if it doesn't happen, I'm not going to be too bummed out, I know that at the very least, I'll be well on my way. I will say that it has been a good tool for me, because sometimes I do make better choices because I think about that goal and I try to maximize my chances of actually achieving it. However, I think it's really important to be honest with yourself on whether something like this is going to be motivating for you, even if you don't quite get there, or discouraging and cause a set back if you work hard but still don't make it.

Related but not time-based - I have really been liking the decade threads we've got going here. There isn't a specific time frame involved, it's just a question of breaking into the next decade and supporting people who are at a similar weight. I think a lot of people are finding that really helpful and by definition, it's breaking up a larger journey into these smaller 10-lb increments, which is always a good way to handle a large weight loss. A lot of people use this kind of thinking - "I can't lose 100 lbs but I can lose 10 pounds 10 times (or 5 lbs 20 times)"
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