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Short term goals: think big or something conservative?

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Old 02-26-2013, 10:02 AM   #16
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I try to make all my goals realistic, but sometimes life and my body don't cooperate.

My first goal that I gave myself in January 2011 was to get to 175 by my birthday, Dec. 10th, 2011. That would be 100 pounds down from my highest, 80 pounds down from my current and my lightest adult weight ever. HOWEVER, that was the ideal goal. I would have been satisfied with 50 pounds and to work on the rest later. It just happened that a week before my birthday I got to 175.

Well, now I sit here at 185 ish. I gave myself ONE YEAR to get from 175 to 155 (my end goal initially). Should be easy, right? Gee whiz! I got down to 165 in April and then up to 170 in May. Then I was 172 ish when we went on vacation, up to 190, down to 170 up to 197. I was all over the place!

So, the beginning of this year, hoping a large part of my recent weight gain was water, I hoped to get to 175 by March 9th. Well, not much was water weight. I now will be happy to get to 180 by March 9th.

It doesn't hurt me mentally as I don't really feel I'm in a race and I'm not in danger of quitting because of not meeting my goals as quickly as I hope, but those goals do help me. When I had something solid to work towards, I moved toward it closer. When the goal was more nebulous, I wasn't as committed to it.

My goal IS to be at 165ish-170ish by June 1st. And then we'll just work on fitness (some more) from there.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:04 AM   #17
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Time goals are unrealistic and often lead us to give up altogether. Better than setting a goal to lose a certain amount by a certain date, is to set a goal to incorporate a lifestyle change that is supportive of your weight loss efforts, ie to eat fruits and/or vegetables with every meal or snack, to always have a healthy snack with you when you go out of the house (this means fruits and vegetables, string cheese, etc.), to exercise a certain amount 6 days a week, to keep a food journal, etc.
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:00 AM   #18
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Goals, types of goals, weight goals, time goals, realistic goals, unrealistic goals. . . it all depends on the person IMO.

Of course HUGE crazy goals can have the potential to discourage a person if they don't reach it. I've gone every route possible in goal setting. Short term, long term, conservative, crazy. I need a focus, sometimes I need several different goals to keep me on track.

Goals are very personal. Some people need a crazy unrealistic goal just to get the fire under them burning. Some people just need to focus on that 1 pound at a time no matter how much time it takes.

If a person wants to give up, they will find any excuse; reaching a goal can derail someone just as fast as not reaching one. I've lived both!
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:07 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LockItUp View Post
Goals, types of goals, weight goals, time goals, realistic goals, unrealistic goals. . . it all depends on the person IMO.

Of course HUGE crazy goals can have the potential to discourage a person if they don't reach it. I've gone every route possible in goal setting. Short term, long term, conservative, crazy. I need a focus, sometimes I need several different goals to keep me on track.

Goals are very personal. Some people need a crazy unrealistic goal just to get the fire under them burning. Some people just need to focus on that 1 pound at a time no matter how much time it takes.

If a person wants to give up, they will find any excuse; reaching a goal can derail someone just as fast as not reaching one. I've lived both!
So true!
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:27 AM   #20
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Goals are mind games I play with myself to keep me going. So, I have my "real" goals and my "secret" goals. The first are usually about 1 to 1.5lbs per week and very attainable and less specific - I'd like to be at goal before my birthday (June and not sure exactly what "goal" is right now - is that a little over 3 months to lose 20lbs or 10? I don't know? Would anytime in June count, sure?) The second are usually more specific, less realistic and more event oriented - I need to lose 10lbs before I go on vacation so I can wear that bathing suit!! or I want to be at goal for a concert in May so I can look smokin' hot in the outfit I have planned. Yeah, the 10lbs didn't happen, but I have lost 5 and will look okay in the alternate bathing suit I have planned.

And then I have my fitness goals which are actually more important to me. I think those are going to be the ones that will keep me on track after maintenance. The race ones are time oriented - I've gotten my eyes too big a couple times and signed up for a race and couldn't go because I wasn't ready. That hurt. I want to build up my general running ability so I'm not trying to get in shape for the race, but just need to expand my distance. Other than that, I just have the goal to constantly improve.
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:49 PM   #21
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It's funny, I keep reading all of these replies and nodding my head and thinking yep, I agree. But I think that about all of them, even though not everyone is posting the same thing! lol! So I guess I really am all over the place with this.

Aim high, it's a good motivator. Aim lower, but get the sense of accomplishment from doing even better. Focus on non-scale things that are in our control. Use the scale as a tool to push just that little bit harder. Aim big but don't get discouraged if you don't quite make it. Don't use meeting a goal as permission to slack off.

A lot that is contradictory, but it's all true!
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Old 02-26-2013, 01:17 PM   #22
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I think it really depends on your personality. For me, i do way better if i aim low. Even when i exercise--even when i KNOW i can run x number of miles--i tell myself "ok i'm just going to go out there--do the best i can--if it's 1 mile it's ok, if it's 8 then even better." I now apply the same approach with food. My daily calorie limit is 1900--much higher than most people here, but it is an easy goal i know i can achieve. I do way better this way than giving myself a very restrictive plan. I may be losing slowly, but i am losing.

and p.s. i don't do weight goals at all. I don't set "goals" for something that is out of my control. I can 100% control what goes in my mouth. The rest is up to the laws of physics.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:00 PM   #23
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I like to set big goals in whatever I do. I hate to see someone not even consider something possible and try because it just seems so out of reach for them.

It took Thomas Edison over 1000 tries before getting the light bulb to work. Each "failure" taught him something he needed to know to reach his end goal.

Like we see here so many times, that it's about "commitment and not motivation" rings true in regards to goals. No matter if your goal is large or small, make a commitment to see it through, regardless of how long it takes.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:29 PM   #24
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I'm trying to focus on behavioral/activity based goals--calorie goals, walking goals, logging goals, planning goals--things that I can do and hold myself accountable for.

I daydream about meeting various weight loss date goals (a big event I have coming up, my nephew's bar mitzvah) but as long as I'm meeting all of my behavior goals, I know I'm doing what I need to do--and I'll get to the weight loss goals when I get to them. (If I tell myself this enough times I might start to believe it.)
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:44 PM   #25
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I agree about behaviour-based goals. Granted, I don't weigh myself but I never made a weight-loss specific goal. I just never saw the point. If you lost 13 pounds in 2 months instead of 15 pounds, did you really fail?

I'm in maintenance. When I look back at the goals I met or the achievements I earned, I don't say to myself, "Wow, I lost this amount of weight this quickly! I'm so proud of myself!" I look at the half marathon I completed. Or not pigging out during one night out with buddies. Or eating that one slice of cake and not more.
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