Setting Goals To Lose Weight

Setting goals to lose weight is something you should do - that is, if you are serious!  Tons of books have been written on setting goals.  I am going to condense it for you, right here, right now in 6 steps. 

Are sick and tired of being tired and fat?  Well maybe it is time to Remake Yourself by Rethinking how you think!

I am going to tell you things you have probably never heard before. 

Having specific goals will give you something to aim for.  A goal is more than a dream or a wish.


First and foremost, a goal needs to be something you WANT to do, not something you feel like you HAVE to do.


It must be positive – not negative.  A goal should motivate you to take actions to make it happen!

Does the statement, “I need to lose some weight” sound motivating?  Not to me.

 It makes it sound like something your doctor told you that you HAD to do.

It sounds painful.

It makes me picture starving yourself and doing boring exercises like lying on the floor doing crunches, or hour long sessions of walking on a treadmill like a hamster on a wheel. 

I don’t know about you, but I am feeling negative just writing that last paragraph!

Less than 35% of Americans exercise on a regular basis, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2006...

Why do you think that? Most people do not enjoy working out.  And since they do not have a positive reason (a “why”) to do it, they do not do it! 

Most of these same non-exercisers have negative reasons why they should get their butt off the couch, but a negative “why” is not motivating enough to take action.

Setting goals to lose weight requires you to rethink how you think.  In your own mind, you have to dangle a carrot in front of yourself that you WANT to reach towards.

The best kind of motivation comes from something you want to do, not something you feel like you have to do because someone else is telling you.

Outside motivation, like a pep talk from a friend or a CD of a motivational speaker, may get you going for a little while.  But if it is something you really, really want in your own mind, you will take action to make it happen!

3. Write it down! Get a notebook or maybe you can find an app for your smartphone.  Whatever you do, write down so you can see it every day.

After you develop your why, you need to figure out how.  The SMART formula is a popular method for giving you guidelines to do this:

S: Specific. They must be clear and define exactly what you want.  Example: “I want to fit into size ___ in 6 months.”  Or, “I want to lose 10 inches off my waist.”

M: Measurable.   If you cannot measure it, you will not be able to tell when you reach it, or if you are moving in the right direction.  Of course, the scales are a way to measure if you are losing weight, but it might not be the best. 

When setting goals to lose weight…what you are probably really trying to do is lose FAT and become smaller. 

Things that can be measured when you begin to Remake Yourself include:
Better sleep;  energy levels; less stress; resting heart rate;  flexibility; balance; skills (in sports and activities like rock climbing); health indicators like blood pressure, blood lipid and blood sugar levels; body weight; body size; body composition, etc.

I have seen many people lose fat and become smaller in size.  But because they also gained muscle, there was little – if any – change in weight on the scales!

Why? Because a pound of fat takes up more space than a pound of muscle. 

A: Attainable.  They have to be realistic and possible for you. 
Setting smaller goals that can be reached on the way to the bigger goal will keep you motivated because you can have little victories along the way!

R: Relevant.  They have to mean something to you.  If the doctor tells you that you need to exercise and eat right to help lower your cholesterol, that probably will not mean much. 

But if you set a goal to lose weight before a high school reunion, or so you can enjoy quality time with your kids…now those sound like reasons to take action!

T: Time. When setting goals to lose weight, you should put a realistic date and time on your goals.  It can always be adjusted, but it should be soon enough to give it some urgency.

Climbing Mount Everest is a perfect analogy.  (I love analogies).  If that was your goal, you would probably have to train for a year or more…

...climbing smaller mountains, spending hours – days – away from your family, costing thousands of dollars in travel and equipment…risking your life!

A goal like this would be something you REALLY WANTED to accomplish.  But the idea of reaching that summit keeps you going.

That’s the major goal.  But along the way, you have smaller goals – smaller mountains to conquer.

You have to approach setting goals to lose weight with a plan – one that you come up with on your own, or even better, follow a plan of someone WHO HAS ALREADY DONE WHAT YOU ARE TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH!


Have a plan.  Be smart about it – find someone who has already done what you want to do, then learn from them.  This can save you years of frustration!

Before you climb Everest, you will need to break it down into smaller goals first.   

Same applies to setting goals to lose weight…if you want to lose 10 pounds or 100 pounds, you need to picture the excitement of what that will FEEL like, but first you need to aim for the first 2 pounds!

Break down bigger goals into smaller goals.  Have these written out so they can be checked off when accomplished.


Define the actions you will need to take to make these things happen!

Make those tasks some of your daily, weekly and monthly goals. Examples: Eat breakfast every day; work out 2-3 times a week; plan what I will eat ahead of time on a daily basis, etc.

You can control your actions!

Notice how you “feel” when you check off a daily task or a small goal…

it is empowering and rewarding!

Keeping this positive feeling in mind will make it easier to take the actions to compete the next task on the list.

Making lists of tasks and checking them off is an exercise for your goal setting muscles!  The more you do it, the easier it will get!

From now on, replace “I have to…” with “I choose to…”

Break down the tasks into simple, doable tasks.  Keep telling yourself: “All I have to do is A, B, and C and I will achieve my goal!”


Reevaluate and adjust along the way.  You may need to change a date, or tweak your plan. 

Setting goals to lose weight starts with strong, personal reasons. 

Then develop a plan,
write it down,
and take action on a daily basis!

This approach will work with any goal whether you just want to lose a few pounds or run a marathon. 

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