How to set proper goals for losing weight

In my last post I talked about how our focus plays a huge part in the outcome of our goals. Trying to lose or get rid of fat (or lose weight) is a common goal that has a great chance to fail because the focus is on the very thing you want to get rid of. By focusing on the thing you don’t want you give your subconscious brain a picture to follow but it’s not where you want to end it. It’s where you want to get away from. So to make it a bit easier to move forward one must know where they would be if they were successful at losing weight or getting rid of fat.

The first question you can ask is how much weight you want to lose or how much fat you want to rid yourself of. Let’s say it’s 15 pounds of fat you want to get rid of. Know that this is still negative but it helps to be more specific when we shift to the positive side. Next you would ask where would you be if you lost 15 pounds? You might say something like 15 pounds lighter but try to be more specific. What would you look like? What would you feel like? How would your clothes fit? The goal here is to try and figure out the end result of your goal without including anything about where you are.

Saying something like “I will have less rolls on my hips” or “I won’t be so jiggly” is still problem-focused. Thinking about how you stomach will feel flatter or thinner is a good step in the right direction. However, understand that any time you use an “er” at the end of a word or use “more” in front of a word you are generally still involving the problem. For example, let’s say from losing 15 pounds you come up with being leaner or even 15 pounds leaner. The question is, leaner than what? Unless you consider yourself lean already you want to be leaner because you fatter now? What does leaner look and feel like?

It’s good to go general like this at first but once you get general you can move on to being more specific. Again, how will you know if you were successful? How will you know when you have arrived at your goal? What are you going to feel like and look like at the point you reach this specific goal? To continue using the same example you might say your stomach will be smooth and flat (not smoother and more flat). You might say your jeans will be loose—enough to fit 2 fingers in the waist band. You might say you will move with ease and feel flexible enough to touch your toes. You might say your face will be thin….your arms firm….your thighs defined. You should be getting the idea by now.

Start with what you don’t want, it’s what got you moving. Then figure out exactly what it is you don’t want and then find the opposite of that by going general at first. If don’t want those extra 15 pounds then you want to be 15 pounds leaner. Then figure out more specifics. What does 15 pounds leaner look like and feel like. Know where it is you want to end up. As you figure this out, write it down. You are 10x’s more likely to succeed at your goal by writing it down. This helps to anchor it in your mind and be more committed to it. The more time you spend thinking about the end goal the more powerful it will be in helping to program your subconscious. Adding emotion to this will take this one step further. In my next post I will discuss understanding the emotional payoff behind your desire to change your body and health. Knowing WHY you want something will help go from being just motivated to change to being inspired. And nothing can stop an inspired person who doing something with purpose—especially when it highlights a core value.

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