How to go about setting your weight loss goals?
You are probably aware that every year, millions of people around the world are celebrating the coming of a new year. One of the ways that many people do that is by reinventing themselves.
This can typically come in the form of a goal, resolution or some kind of significant change that the individual is actively making to their lives, for the better.
Want to know what the majority of those resolutions are built around? Every year, the majority of people around the globe make some kind of goal to get healthier.
Whether that means that they generally want to get in better shape, lose some weight, lose some body fat, build lean muscle, fit in their old favorite pair of jeans or just be healthier in general, that seems to be a resolution that we all have in common.
Weight Loss Resolutions for the New Year
After packing on some pounds over the holidays, many people set their sites on weight loss as their first goal. Weight loss is one of the most cited goals of individuals in the world, and it is also one of the leading resolutions that is made around the globe, every year.
Statistics on New Year’s resolutions
About 40% of all South Africans participate in setting a New Year’s resolutions, every year. That means that hundreds of millions of people in this country are setting resolutions, and the majority of those people have some kind of resolution that revolves around their health.
The most depressing part of that statistic is that out of the hundreds of millions of people who make resolutions to be healthier and lose weight, only about 8% of them actually succeed at hitting their goal.
The worst news in all of that is the fact that 80% of people give up on their resolutions in the first two weeks of February.
Why Most New Year’s Resolutions Fail
So why do most New Year’s resolutions fail?
Not only that, but why do so many people decide to give up on their goals so soon?
Setting a goal may sound exciting, competitive and enjoyable, but don’t go about creating a goal in a way that makes it conducive to reaching, you are going to be setting yourself up for failure.
Here are some of the most common reasons that most people fail when creating New Year’s resolutions.
1) They Take on Too Much
When you are ending this year and starting the next, excitement fills the air. We all believe that we can take on the world, live a life of adventure and conquer anything that stands in our way.
That is a great attitude to have if you are going for confidence, but too much confidence can lead to biting off much more than you can chew. One of the biggest mistakes that resolutioners make it by taking on too much at one time.
Often times, you will talk to your friends right after the turn of the new year and they are already planning goals for
- Losing weight
- Losing body fat
- Working out seven days a week
- Changing their finances
- Learning a new language
- Being a better parent, spouse, sibling, etc.
What does that sound like to you? Getting stressed out with all of your goals before you even get started with working on your first one. Taking on too many goals at once can easily lead to failure.
2) They Are too Complicated
Another reason that many people can fail when making new resolutions is that they tend to overcomplicate the goal or the process. It isn’t unusual to hear some or all of these behaviors
“I’m trying to lose weight, so I
- Cut out soda
- Cut out juice
- Stopped eating fruit
- Don’t eat any processed sugars
- Don’t eat any processed carbs
- Started a new cleanse
- Got a gym membership
- Bought some home workout equipment
- Hired a personal trainer
- Started doing yoga in the mornings
And the list goes on and on. How sustainable do you think this weight loss plan is going to be when you are trying to adopt a dozen new habits and juggle them around at the same time? At very least it is going to be improbable, and more than likely it is going to be totally impossible to sustain for more than a few weeks.
3) They Are Not Specific Enough
Another reason that a new goal or resolution can fail is that they aren’t specific enough. You will often hear the phrase “I just want to be healthy” or “I want to lose some weight.”
What are the specifics in those goals?
There are no numbers or markers set for any of those goals. It is easy to go nowhere fast if you aren’t using a map or compass to get to your goal. One of the biggest reasons that so many people fail with losing weight in the new year is because they don’t get specific enough.
4) They Don’t have a Goal Date
Not selecting a date to hit your goal by can be detrimental to your success. If you just say “I want to lose 30 pounds” you could technically give yourself the rest of your life to hit that goal. If it is a resolution for the new year though, when do you want to hit that goal and the milestones leading to that goal?
5) People Try to Fly Solo
Another one of the most common reasons that people fail their resolution is because they fly solo. Without a support system, you are exponentially more likely to fail at your weight loss goal.
6) There’s No Contingency Plan When the Goal is Met
When most weight loss goals are met, people tend to slink back into their old habits. They start eating like garbage again, they stop exercising and before you know it they gain back all of their old weight and more.
How to Be Successful with your Weight Loss Goals
Here are some pointers so that you can avoid those pitfalls and hit your goals.
1) Keep it Simple
There is no need to make weight loss complicated. In fact, you should start with adopting just one or two habits at a time. Make sure that any time that you remove something from your life, you need to be adding a healthy substitute so that you don’t feel deprived.
Pick something simple like subbing cream in your coffee to unsweetened almond milk. Take up running, resistance training, cycling or another activity that you enjoy and just try to do at least 10 minutes, every day.
2) Set Specific Goals
Make sure that you have specific goals. When you say something like “I want to lose weight” how much weight do you want to lose? Pick a number, something that is reasonable, and stick to it.
What is the weight that you think that you looked or felt the best at? That is always a good place to start.
3) Set Specific Goal Dates
Having a number for your weight loss goal is great, but a number without a goal date means nothing. That’s like your boss giving you a project at work with no deadline. Are you going to be motivated to get that project done if it is never due?
Probably not, so pick a date to hit your weight loss goal by and mark it on your calendar. Now you have some motivation to complete it. You may even want to set some milestones along the way to track your results.
4) Rally a Support System
Losing weight can be one of the hardest things that you do in your life, so don’t go into it alone. Some of the most successful people in the world in weight loss succeeded because they had a strong team of supportive people around them.
Find some close friends or family members that you can team up with so that you can keep each other accountable toward maintaining your healthy habits and meeting your goal.
5) Give Yourself Room to Make Calculated Mistakes
There are distinct differences in making a mistake and leaving some wiggle room for error. When losing weight, slip-ups can happen.
There are always going to be those times in life that interrupt your dietary plans and your gym schedule, which is why you always want to be as prepared as you possibly can.
Streak together as many days of activity and as many days on your diet as you can. Then plan out the days that you know that you are going to eat badly or are going to be tempted to eat badly or that you may miss your workout.
The more you are able to predict and calculate these off days and cheat days into your calendar, the better you will feel about having them. Even on the road to weight loss, there are times that you can enjoy a treat and a little time off.
6) Start Planning Ahead
What happens after you hit your goal? Where most people backslide and fall back into their old ways, you are going to set new goals to achieve.
Make sure that you have a contingency plan for what to do next after you hit your goals.
Whether you decide to set another weight loss goal, a dietary goal or some kind of performance goal for exercise, make sure that you set the next goal start working towards it.
Are you ready for the new year and are your goals planned?