Last week was tough for me. I felt like I was working so hard and I just needed a break. Since I was out most evenings, I grabbed fast food for dinner. Somehow, I managed to squeeze in midweek run. But, by Sunday I looked and felt like I ate burgers, pizza and nachos all week. I even went as far as picking up a bottle of diet pills. I picked them up, but I put them back down, when I remembered how I tried fat burner pills in college and my eye became swollen shut as an allergic reaction and I had to call off work. I also know I’m not really going to swallow 8 giant pills a day. “What am I going to do?” I asked my sister. She said track Points and go to WW meetings. I was glad she was there to help snap me out of my madness. Sometimes I just get so tired of being fat. It’s mentally and physically draining. But, at the end of the day, the secret to weight loss is no secret at all. It’s Eat Less and Move More. I decided to look at the Biggest Loser website for motivation. They had a section about making SMART Goals.
S = Specific goals
M = Measurable goals
A = Attainable goals
R = Realistic and Relevant goals
T = Timely goals
Specific and measurable means that you can evaluate whether or not you have reached the goal by answering yes or no. Action based means that you can see yourself doing it. Realistic means you have the skills, knowledge, and tools to make it happen. Rewarding means you find it exciting and valuable. And time based makes it closed-ended, so you can’t continually delay the start or move the finish line. All aspects of SMART goals are important to achieving positive expectations. But the most influential is the “R.” Setting realistic and yet rewarding goals is a balancing act. If you make them achievable, but they fail to create a fire inside you, they fall flat. For instance, a goal of walking 20 minutes three times per week may be achievable, but may leave you feeling like it’s just not enough.
Finding the balance requires self-acceptance. Acceptance allows you to move forward from a place of caring and self-worth. And contrary to what most people believe, wanting to change or improve does not reflect a lack of acceptance. In fact, the exact opposite is true. No lasting change can take place without it.
Acceptance is an understanding of your strengths and your limitations, and when you have it, you don’t underestimate your power or the task at hand. And you will be able to set your goals just outside of your comfort zone, so they can be reached.
Of course I’ve seen and heard about SMART Goals a hundred times during my weight loss journey. But there was something that stood out to me. They mentioned that having goals like losing 10 pounds before your reunion can be a GOOD thing. I was always taught that those types of goals were “bad” because they were temporary and don’t focus on long-term behavior changes. But, on the contrary, this article said if you give yourself enough time like one month instead of the week before the reunion, that’s actually a great motivator. Once you reach that goal, you can set a new one. I got all excited and said I’m going to lose 40 pounds before I go to Mexico in July! And then I remember the “R”, that’s not realistic. However, training for my 5K in June is a great example of setting a good SMART goal. There is a predetermined distance set out on a specific date that you have to train for in a specific period of time, and your successes is measured by your finish time, and in my eyes simply crossing the finish line. I’ll continue to focus on that goal. So, before you set a goal to lose 50 pounds, try to come up with SMART goals that are realistic and achievable.
About the Author: Carli Fierce is a Fitness and Weight Loss Blogger promoting a healthy lifestyle through her book “The Official 5K Training Guide”, hundreds of blog posts and FREE 5K Training podcasts that have helped people around the world get up and run. Follow her on Facebook.com/CarliFierce, on Twitter @CarliFierce, Instagram @CarliFierce.