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Published: 9th September 2020
Weight loss isn’t always easy, and it can be demoralising stepping on the scales to see that your journey has slowed or worse, come to a halt. Setting yourself SMART goals is a great way of staying motivated and staying on track.
But what is a SMART goal?
Saying to yourself that you just want to “lose weight this year” is a goal that cannot be measured or technically achieved but setting yourself some guidelines that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time sensitive (SMART) makes it much more satisfying and motivating.
Try to not be broad with your desired outcome and make each goal as specific as you can. Narrow down a specific milestone that you would like to reach and how you want to get there so that you have something to work towards. With weight loss, think of an exact amount of weight that you want to lose and be specific in terms of calorie counting each day, along with your diet plan and exercise regime.
This is similar to the above but means being very specific with numbers. Make sure that you know the exact amount of weight you want to lose and how soon, whether it’s the amount of weight that you gained on holiday, or you want to lose a stone in a month – make sure that you’ll be able to track when you’ve reached that goal.
Evaluate your weight loss history and figure out what will be achievable for you specifically. If you struggle to get past the first stone, setting yourself a goal of three stone will not be doable and will most likely result in disappointment on your weight loss journey. If you do hit your target earlier than expected, you can always set a new one and some people prefer this little but often approach.
Goals that you set need to be relevant to you. Think about why you want to lose weight for example. Do you have a particular dress that you want to be able to fit in, or a holiday or big event coming up? Making it personal means it’s relevant to you and nobody else, it becomes a more worthwhile cause.
It’s important to have a time limit on your goals so that you have a realistic idea of when you should get it done. Remember that one or two pound weight loss each week is quite realistic and can be achieved from keeping to a calorie–controlled diet and good exercise regime. You can use that to try and work out how many weeks it will take you to lose a certain amount of weight.
An example of a SMART goal could be:
“I want to lose one stone in three months so that I can fit into my wedding dress. I am going to do this by continuing to follow a calorie–controlled diet and exercising for one hour three times every week.”