Do you have a hard time reaching *goals* you've set for yourself? First, it may not be you, but the way you set your goals. Second, its coming up with the steps to actually achieve that goal that determines whether we make it... or not. People set themselves up for failure from the start, without knowing they never really had a chance. Think about your life as it is now and what you need to change, what you'd like to change.
A goal without a plan is just a wish!
In BariatricEating Support Group on Facebook, multiple times a day we read wonderfully grandiose goals for weight loss - I want to lose 100 pounds by Summer! I want to lose 40 pounds by my sons wedding. I want to exercise every day. Then their next post is a picture of their supper - a thick sliced bacon stuffed, cheese crammed, low carb wrap. Either they've already FORGOTTEN their goal or they never really thought about how they were going to get to it in the first place. Obviously the road paved with bacon and cheese isn't going to take anyone towards weight loss goals.
What's wrong with my goal???
Simply saying you want to lose 100 pounds by Summer is not a goal, IT IS A WISH. I wish I were married to Brad Pitt. I wish I had a dark blue Maserati convertible. I wish I were 34 again. I wish I had a Louis Vuitton Neverful bag. I wish I were 5' 10". These are random ideas without a means to attain them. Just like wanting to lose 100 pounds by Summer, unless you detail a path for getting there. In reality, marrying Brad Pitt is a bad goal. HOW would I even go about marrying Brad Pitt? A better goal might be first MEETING Brad Pitt, but I would still need a plan to do so or it would still be too random. Get the point?
Sometimes improvement is better than a goal
For some personalities or situations, a small change in your lifestyle may be better than a Big Ole Difficult Goal. If you have a nighttime eating issue, a goal to lose 40 pounds of regain might not be something that you are able to reach without taking care of the cough cough... 'issue'. A better idea might be to make a deal with yourself that when you find your self staring into the fridge at midnight, you drink an Inspire Peanut Butter Cup protein drink. Follow me here... making a shake when you are SNACKY at midnight is a small self limiting change of habit instead of a goal. The reward would be the yummy peanut butter cup taste and being too full to eat anything that would hurt you, but ultimately the result would be weight loss or more control. Rather than defining your own limitations through long-term goals, perhaps just make a commitment to small continual improvements.
Stop and smell the roses along the way
Donít set it up for the end to be proud of yourself. Be proud of each step you take towards reaching that goal. Small bites got us to the door of the operating room and small bites will get us to our ultimate goal of good health and longterm weight management. These ambitious goals of 100 or 200 pounds are nice neat numbers but they are often random. In fact goal weight is random! We have group members who are obsessed with their surgeons random goal weight assigned from a chart. They truly feel as if they have failed because they are NOT 135 pounds. HEY, YOU MAY NEVER BE 135 POUNDS but that does not mean anything and is not relative to your world and happiness. This is why many surgeons do not assign a goal weight at all. They feel it is healthier for their patients to celebrate each pound lost and each positive movement along the journey. They want you to embrace CHANGE and not a number.
Some of you are crafty!
We love photos posted by folks who add a Pandora charm to a bracelet for every ten pounds gone or put a number of dollars equal to pounds lost every month into a jar, or those who transfer colored glass beads from one crystal goblet to another to remind themselves of how far they have come rather than how far they have to go. You can really get creative with this one - earrings, a new belt, workout clothes, a facial, buying a new pair of jeans that actually fit, a Friday night stay over at local hotel to 'wrassle' around with someone you love. The whole point of rewarding yourself for your small goals is that you actually make it and get the reward. That's what makes us work harder! Making the goal too big where you don't get there is punishing yourself. So. Not. Inspiring.
Once again it boils down to math
For a weight loss goal, you must consume 500 fewer calories than you need every day and you'll lose one pound per week. Weight loss starts with a simple plan and achieving that goal is easy. This isn't rocket science, it's just math. You have had bariatric surgery and unless you work against it, saving 500 calories a day isn't that hard. Choose places along the way to celebrate and you don't need to pay attention to the end. Remember that weight loss is not a race to the finish with a beginning and end. It's not like we eat special food until we get to goal and then we can have pizza. Bariatric surgery dictates the way we need to live forever - CHANGE is the core of the goal.
Does anybody really know what time it is?
Please stop putting time frames on your weight loss goals. Making your goal losing 100 pounds without a plan for how to do it is bad enough, but then many of you slap a random time frame on it. My goal is to lose 100 pounds... BY APRIL! Then when April 1 rolls on by and they are no where near the 100 pound loss, they are MISERABLE and many quite right there. IF they end up hitting the mark in July - but are unhappy while doing it - how was that motivational? Flip it around and simply make the goal losing 100 pounds WITHOUT the time frame so no matter when it happens, it's a GREAT MOMENT.
What is my goal?
My goal is to lose 25 pounds and this is how I am going to do it. 1. get rid of or segregate the 'bad choice' foods in the kitchen, including any soda I bought for guests, English muffins, chocolate and even sugar free cookies and the box of Cheez Its in the back of the pantry. 2. I will follow The Inspire Diet with my four Inspire shakes bars or foods a day at designated times and my one healthy meal each evening - keeping the 5th shake as an option if I am in the kitchen at midnight 3. I will wash and fold my workout outfits and put them in the drawer so they are available. 4. I will work out on either the elliptical or do the BJ Gaddour 10 minute torchers video in the house 4 days a week. 5. For each 5 pounds I lose I will reward myself with a charm for my bracelet. 7. When I hit my 25 pound goal, I'm going to have a spa day facial and body scrub.
Now that's Goal Setting! Come up with a realistic goal, THINK about how to get to that goal, and set forth a plan for getting there.