How to do Goal Setting for Sustainable Weight Loss!
Medically reviewed by Shanmukha Priya, M.Phil and Ph.D. in Food Science and Nutrition
Alice (in Wonderland) was told that if she doesn’t know where she is going, any road will take her there.
Such a meaningful insight from a seemingly childish story. It basically means, if you don’t know your destination, you’ll never reach there!
I can’t stress enough on how important it is to first set a goal in any sphere of life.
It’s also not enough just to set a goal initially. It has to be written down and, if possible, shared with someone to ensure serious commitment.
There’s a famous saying, “A goal which is not written down, is only a dream!”
There has been tonnes of research that prove that goal setting increases motivation and also improves achievement.
For that to happen, the goal should be S.M.A.R.T.: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound
Specific: A general goal would be “Get in shape”. Specific goal would be “Workout for 3 days in a week”.
Measurable: It is better to say, “I will lose 5 kgs in 2 months” than to say, “I want to lose weight”.
Attainable: You might want to exercise for an hour every day, but your schedule probably only permits you one hour for 3 days a week.
It’s better to set a goal of one hour for 3 days and meet it, rather than aiming at 7 days and missing it every week.
Realistic: You didn’t gain weight in one month, you can’t realistically lose it in a month.
Time-Bound: Set a deadline for everything, there should be a time-bound review of results.
Another important thing is to be constantly mindful of your goal and being kept reminded of it.
A research was done on academically struggling students, half of them were taken through a series of specific goal setting activities along with detailed strategies on achieving those goals.
After a 4-month period, students who successfully completed the goal setting activities achieved 30% improvement in academic scores compared to the control group.
So a simple exercise in fixing a goal and target for yourself can help you increase the possibility of success by 30%. There is no reason why you shouldn’t be doing this right away!
Write down your weight loss goal. Is it SMART?