Have you ever set a goal that you didn’t reach? I have. I’ve done it more times than I can count.
Do you know why not reaching goals is as common as it is? Because we’re not setting specific goals. I’m not going to write another long post about setting SMART goals, even though using the SMART method for goal setting is (in my opinion) the best way to set goals. Quick little explanation: SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-oriented. So, when most of us are setting a goal at the beginning of the new year to “lose weight” or “be healthy” or “get organized”, we’re setting ourselves up to fail by not being more specific and giving ourselves a deadline.
I was having a conversation with a co-worker the other night, he’s a younger guy looking to take better care of his health and lose some weight. He started going to the gym recently and trying to make better food choices, but he feels really overwhelmed by the amount of information out there about everything from the best time of day to exercise to whether or not you should eat before you exercise and if eating after a certain time will prevent you from losing weight. There’s SO MUCH information about there that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
Here’s how I tried to make it simpler for him:
Pick one thing to change at a time instead of a complete life overhaul. Those super dramatic overhauls are great on TV shows when the person is going through an 8-week transformation with some super involved trainer/coach and people from the show monitoring their every move. Those shows can be inspirational (I love watching Revenge Body on E!), but in real life dramatic overhauls all at once usually fail. Make small changes over time. For example, if you’re trying to eat healthier, start by swapping out 1 snack per day for a fruit or vegetable. So instead of the typical chips or pretzels as a snack between lunch and dinner, try apple slices with a little peanut butter or carrot sticks with hummus. Once that becomes habit after a week or so, make sure to include a vegetable with dinner every night. And little by little, you make changes and over time you see results.
The biggest issue with weight loss in our society is that we’re always looking for instant results, everyone wants to lose weight right now. It’s not realistic to lose a lot of weight quickly, it’s also not healthy. Healthy weight loss that’s sustainable is about 1-2 lbs per week. So, that means that to lose 20 lbs, it should take 10-20 weeks, not 10-20 days. Because of our desire to “get skinny quick”, we often fall for the idea that we have to change our entire lifestyle overnight in order to get the body we want.
It feels good to be back to blogging, watch for more posts soon!