I was wondering if people find it more successful to pick a short term weight goal that they think they can reach easily, or one that they are iffier about. I'm giving myself a goal of 3 to 4 lbs a month, which I think is doable. I guess I wonder if I challenge myself enough. Then, on the other hand, I don't want to feel disappointed all the time that I'm not reaching my goals. Wow, is that confusing enough for you??
Short term goals are very important. How I do it is set a date and a weight I'd like to be by that date. I try to make it a reasonable amount of weight loss. If I don't make that goal, then I adjust it. It helps.
You can't out-exercise poor eating habits.
I also think short-term goals are crucial, especially when you have a lot to lose! It's so important to have things to shoot for that are within sight rather than just having that one honking goal at the end that seems a continent away. However, I don't believe in attaching deadlines to them personally, because so much can happen that affects your rate of loss. The point of short-term goals is to help you feel confident and optimistic, but to be enough of a stretch to give you a little challenge (and thus, give you something real to celebrate when you accomplish it). So, FOR ME, attaching deadlines always led to disappointment sooner or later. Sometimes it was my fault and sometimes it was just my body being stubborn, but I'd rather have a goal that is totally under my control than one that's just partially under my control. And, sometimes people will do wacky things to meet that deadline that can be counter-productive in the long-run.
So, I set milestones that had to do with losing a certain number of pounds or getting down to a certain size, but I didn't care when it happened. I also think it's important to set goals that have nothing to do with the scale -- whether it's a goal to exercise a certain amount that week, or to reduce the amount of salt you use, or use breathing exercises when you feel stress, or whatever. These behavior goals are the real focus of your program, and having them to concentrate on helps relieve some of that pressure to "perform" for the scale.
I guess I waffle with how much to set the goals for. Last year I was doing it without dates, and I just seemed to let every thing slide until the end of the year came and I didn't make the progress I thought I should have -- 13 lbs for the whole year. I'm thrilled to have that weight gone, but I do feel like I let the time go without accomplishing more. That's what spurred me to start kicking it up a notch this year.
I kwym, funniegrrl, about dates though. I can get all worked up if I start to feel I'm not making goals that have to do with the scale. I try to make other goals, we've been making little changes in our diet and I've been working on small exercise increases this month. We bought smaller plates, ha (that actually works). I know it's bad, but it just always feels like the scale number feels like the most important goal to me.
I originally set up goals of 10 % of my total amount to lose. I still go by that but I don't use the time frame anymore. I had started out saying 59 weeks total for my weight loss but that is not going to happen. So now I just go by the precentage and when I make it I make it. As long as I'm going down I know I will get there.
I do still set small goals that are time based but I don't worry about it if I don't make it. I just set a new date. Like right now I would really like to be 317 by Febuary 28th. That is my wedding aniversary and I would like to be down 100 from my new start by then. Plus that puts me at about the weight I got married at a total of 173 from my heaviest.
So do set the goals but maybe set most of your goals without a time. That way you know you will reach them and you don't have to feel down about it by missing a date.
Goal of 245 Made 12/21/05 Half the man.
New Goal to regain the above goal.
Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever
you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
I totally agree that short term goals are the way forward. If I only look at the 'big picture' then I get completely overwhelmed and think 'I can't do this, it's too much' - but I KNOW i can reach my target of 7lb. I don't set absolute deadlines - but I am aiming for 7-8lbs a month. This month I've only lost 5lb - so I'm reviewing my diet and exercise plan and stepping up a gear.
It's really up to you how hard you want to push yourself - I'm going all out because I'm getting married in a year and I tend to respond better to pressure - I didn't have the pressure last year and ended up putting on 7lb!
I think having short term goals is good ~ thinking of the final goal seems too overwhelming. I don't put a date to them though, because I think I would always end up being disappointed.
One day at a time ~ never giving up!!
Nobody can force you to have a certain attitude. But life will go so much better if you will simply choose to be positive. When you wake up, choose to be happy. Choose to be grateful for the day. (Joel Osteen)
Howie, the wedding anniversary is just the type of thing, I think, to spur me. We took a vacation last year that I set a 50 lb goal for, I didn't quite make it, more like 40, but that seemed to focus me. Unfortunately, after the trip I majorly pooped out! luckily I only gained about 4 to 5 lbs back so I didn't do a lot of back tracking. It did take me 1/2 a year to really get back in the game, gulp. I agree, your story inspires me.
(Jiffypop, you're doing pretty well yourself! congrats)
Amanda, congrats! That's a great kind of pressure, a beautiful wedding, which it will be no matter how much you lose Yeah, I guess I just have to decide how much I want to push myself. The funny thing is, I want it like crazy mentally, which doesn't always translate into how hard I work! I've recently been trying writing in my journal specific *action* goals for the week (instead of something vague, like "increase exercise"). I'm hoping that will help. I think I have a fear that if I push myself too hard I'll feel overwhelmed and will chuck enough of the good habits out of the window to stop consistently losing weight. I suppose it's trial and error, a work in progress.
The specific action goals are a great strategy. In any aspect of life, vague goals ("get a better job") never work as well as specific ones ("send out 10 resumes this week"). Good for you! You are right about pushing too hard and getting overwhelmed, and those smaller, doable, achievable goals (both scale and non-scale) are the best way to keep those feelings at bay. The more success you experience with the small goals, the more confident you feel about the next small goal and the big goals as well. And THAT'S the fuel that keeps you going and helps those new habits stick.
I too set smaller goals. I had originally had a nice neat timeline with mine as well. After finding out that my weight would go down one week, up the next, down more, up, and so on. I realized that this time around the weight was coming off a lot more slowly than I could have imagined. So now I still have those goals--right now I just want to get to 250. After that at 225, Jeff is going to teach me how to properly ride a horse. At 200, I'll learn how to team rope. At 175, I would like to get a tattoo and at goal, I'm planning a weekend getaway with me and a couple of close friends to some all inclusive spa somewhere.
My weight does the same, up and down, it's rare that I have more than 3 weeks of losing at a time, and it goes slowly.
I did poop out after May last year, we got back from vacation and, well, the exercise fell off and the goodies increased enough so I stopped losing (but didn't really gain). I'm hoping some sort of time line, with fairly easy goals, will keep a fire under my behind!