Sometimes reaching a goal means adding new habits or learning a skill, but other times it simply means getting rid of some bad habits. If you want to identify what’s keeping you from your goal, invert it. Read more
Weight loss is hard. After working so diligently to lose the pounds on a restrictive diet, the majority of people gain them right back and often gain more than they lost. What kind of diet guarantees weight loss for life? Read more
By Nic Ferguson
Being honest, my biggest challenge is self-discipline — or lack of! And it’s an area I grow more aware of and want to challenge daily.
The trouble is, I find it hard to do what I say I want to do! For example, my intention was to write from 5.30am this morning, and guess what, it’s just gone 6am.
This isn’t uncommon for me and it gets on my nerves. Or rather, I should say, I get on my nerves. Self-discipline has been the biggest obstacle in the pursuit of my goals. Read more
By Terry Daley
Unfortunately summer will soon be coming to an end. But the approach of fall is a time to think about what sort of routine you will “fall” back into. Why not take this opportunity to discover a whole new routine?
In order to succeed in sticking to a new routine or lifestyle habit, you should set yourself a goal to which you can be accountable. Make sure your goal is SMART: S-specific, M-measurable, A-action-oriented, R-realistic and T-timely. Read more
It’s a vicious circle. You lack success in some area, and that affects your self-confidence. Your lowered self-confidence means you are less likely to achieve success, and thus it continues.
This can be especially devastating when you are trying to lose weight. First, being overweight makes you more likely to have confidence issues. And chances are you’ve tried to lose weight before, perhaps dozens of times. Since you’re trying again, you may already feel like a failure. Read more
Many people make a common mistake when setting weight loss goals: they set the initial goals and begin moving toward them, but they never pause to evaluate how they are doing along the way. Then a month or two or three passes, and they wonder why they haven’t yet reached their goal.
To prevent this from happening to you, set up a daily evaluation process where you can see clearly whether you are still on track with your goals:
The first step in this process is to get an idea of the actual steps you want to take each day to begin losing weight.
Do you need to reduce your intake of fast food? Cut down on sugar? Drink more water? Eat more fruit and vegetables? Work out each day? These are all common methods that are effective for weight loss, but you may also have your own unique methods that work best for you. Write all of these steps down so you know exactly what you’ll be doing each day to move toward your goal.
The second step is to look over your list at the end of each day, and evaluate whether you stayed on track or not.
Do you see any areas that need improvement? Any areas where you need to strengthen your willpower? Any old habits that are creeping back into your day?
When you notice areas that need to be adjusted to stay on track, take steps to improve them.
For example, if you have a habit of drinking several glasses of soda each day and you’re struggling to eliminate it, compromise by allowing yourself one 8 oz. serving of soda each day. Stick to that for a week or two, and then cut it down to 4 oz. Then eventuallyeliminate it altogether. Or go with the old “substitution” method by drinking diet iced tea or lemon water in place of soda.
The methods you use to change your unhealthy habits don’t really matter, as long as you are continuously working on creating better habits. And more importantly, constantly evaluating your progress so you know where your weaknesses are. This is the surest way to stay on track all the way to the achievement of your weight loss goals.
By John Phillip
Many people embark on a weight loss program without a firm understanding of their realistic goal or the exact plan that will help them cross the finish line to weight loss success. Similar to any journey through uncharted territory you may make, the key to your weight loss success is to establish a realistic goal which you can maintain as part of your new healthy lifestyle. The power of positive thinking combined with the reinforcement you receive from tracking your progress each day provide the fuel you need to accomplish your goal.
Maintain a Positive Attitude
Regardless of the task you wish to accomplish in life a positive attitude is critical to achieve the desired result. You must begin by believing that the weight loss task you are about the begin will have a significant impact on your health and longevity, as research has shown that losing just 5 - 10% of your body weight can significantly lower your risk of disease. You should only begin your journey when you feel fully committed to finish, regardless of the inevitable bumps you’ll encounter along the way.
Defining a Realistic Goal
Once your mind is set you’ll need to put together a realistic plan and goal that will successfully lead you to the finish line and monitor your progress for encouragement along the way. The most important part of goal setting is to make sure that your target weight is attainable. Don’t feel you need to weigh the same as when you were 18. Many things change in your body over the years, and often people find they feel great and experience optimal health at a weight which about 10% higher than the lowest weight from your college years.
Monitoring Your Progress
Of equal importance to setting a realistic goal and positive attitude is tracking your daily progress with nutritional software or a food journal. The positive reinforcement you receive from monitoring your weight, exercise and food will help you to get by an occasional rough day where you stray from your diet or when you hit a weight plateau.
The results of a study published in the eHealth Journal of Medical Internet Research found that participants who recorded and tracked their progress using an online software interface were significantly more likely to stay with a weight loss plan and maintain their weight loss compared to those who didn’t monitor their progress. By nature, we’re goal oriented and a journal helps keep us focused on reaching a pre-established goal.
Write Your Plan on Paper
Before you start on your weight loss journey, write down the steps you’ll need to follow to hit your goal and the benefits to your health from meeting your target weight. Include diet, menus, exercise and how you will fit work, family and friends into your program. Make a list of the numerous health benefits such as improving heart health, improving immunity, increasing brain power, feeling great and the knowledge that you are lowering your risk of an early death.
The only way to successfully lose weight is to properly plan the steps you’ll need to hit your target goal and track your progress. Without these commitments, you’ll quickly veer off course the first time you reach a weight plateau or succumb to a sugary treat. By having your whole plan detailed in writing ahead of time, you can easily continue to reinforce your new lifestyle which will lead to vibrant health and your ideal weight.
To lose weight has been consistently at the top of a lot of people’s new year resolution list for the past decade, or at least so in the western world. However, it can also be the most difficult goal to achieve for many of us, even though we vow to reach it next time, again, and again.
From my own experience, any type of “goal setting” works best if we set it up in a way so that we can work on it every day and see the progress all the time. Here I want to share a simple method to track weight loss goals with GoalsOnTrack.
Suppose your goal is to lose 30 lb.
1. Create a main goal “Lose 30 lbs by July”
2. Create 7 sub goals under this main goal for each month, such as “Lose 4 lbs in Jan”, “Lose 4 lbs in Feb”, etc., and then set its main goal contribution percentage, like 15%. You can start with only Jan, or Feb now and add the rest later. As long as these percentages are in, the progress will be tracked correctly.
3. Under each sub goal, create some recurring tasks that you think you will need to do to reach your monthly goal. For example, work out for 30 minutes, drink 8 cups of water, etc. You may also add those tasks for things that you shouldn’t do, such as “no ice cream after dinner”, or the kinds of food you don’t want to eat.
4. When you set the Progress metric field for the sub goal, don’t use any numbers, such as “4 lbs”, because then it will try to track by the actual lbs completed by each task, which in this method, it’s hard to determine how much difference a single small task really contributes to the weight loss. You can simply enter some textual result, such as “My weight is reduced by 4 lbs or so”. This way, whenever you complete a task, however small, the progress will show on both sub goals and the main goal.
The main point of tracking it this way is to focus more on the things we do and eat, rather than our weight. In actuality, if we truly stick to an exercise program or a certain diet, it’s hard NOT to lose weight.
You may also want to setup a few habits that you think will help you on this goal and track them under the habits tool.
Remember the key point is to make it something you do daily, and see your progress all the time.