How to set a weight loss goal…
How to feel excited, motivated and confident that you can achieve it…
And how to start taking action to make it happen.
That’s the purpose of this blog post.
You want to be slim, fit, healthy, confident. You want to have a healthy relationship with food.
And you may have struggled with diets and weight for years, even decades. Which has left you doubting that you’ll ever get to that goal.
I promise you, you can do it.
To put you firmly on the road to success, we need to get clear on what you want, and how you’ll get there, in a way that makes it stick.
Chances are, you’ve set a goal many times before to reach X weight. But there’s two crucial extra steps we often miss, that can make a monumental difference.
First, let’s take a quick two types of goals we want to set.
Weight loss goals and dress size
Do you need to have a number goal, like weight or a specific dress size, to aim for?
Many of us do, and of course it’s a measurable marker to aim for. Like setting the destination on Google Maps, so you know you’re heading in the right direction.
But you don’t need that to be exact. And whether you have a number in mind or not, we need to dig a bit deeper to unearth true motivation.
What you really want is something deeper than to be X weight, or fit into Y dress size, right?
You want to FEEL different.
Healthy, fit, confident. Empowered and in control.
Free to indulge the foods you enjoy. So in love with the life you have that you don’t want to eat them that often, because you love how you feel right now.
Getting clear on this goal at the start helps you create a vision.
Your brain loves to imagine and predict the future. And it needs direction from you to help it do this in a constructive and useful way.
Chances are this goal is something you haven’t achieved before. You haven’t yet lost weight in a healthy sustainable way and kept it off, otherwise you wouldn’t be here now (kudos to you for being here and doing something now).
Your brain has only experienced struggling with weight loss and NOT getting to the goal, so it’s completely understandable if you have doubts about being able to do this.
And unfortunately, that worry and doubt is often what holds us back. Causing us to self-sabotage because we think we’ll never get there. Thus creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.
But the brain can also be ‘tricked’ into feeling more confident, fuelling you with the belief and determination to achieve what you want.
This is what we’re going to do next.
How to trick your brain
Many people set goals, but there’s a couple of steps they often miss.
If you create a vision of you achieving your goal, and you make it clear enough to really feel what it will be like, you can begin program your mind to believe it’s true.
I know, it sounds a bit woo woo. But trust me – there is science behind this.
Numerous studies have shown that our brains don’t know the difference between something that’s actually happened, and something we vividly imagine to be true. So if you see the goal clearly enough, you can dramatically enhance your confidence that you can reach it.
The key to this is visualising the goal clearly enough to create a feeling – a real desire and excitement to reach it.
We want to create a video in your mind of you when you’ve achieved your goal.
Make that video full colour, big and bright. It often helps to picture yourself at an event – like a wedding, party or holiday – but go with what feels right for you. Imagine what sounds there will be (people telling you how fabulous you look could be one of those sounds). See yourself wearing clothes you love, noticing how well everything fits and how confident and damn proud of yourself you are.
Very often we are in the habit of thinking about what we don’t want to do – we picture past failures, and worry it will happen again.
It’s vital to be directing your brain to what you want. Create this video, and keep steering your brain back to it whenever you lose motivation or feel doubt.
Keep taking action, and it’s something you are going to create.
Visualising the ACTIONS to get to your weight loss goal
This is the part we either miss out, or get a bit wrong.
How do we get it wrong?
We imagine it being miserable! Feeling hungry, restricted, missing out on favourite foods, watching everyone else enjoy drinking as we sit bored and sober, slogging it out in the gym feeling like we’re about to die at any moment.
If you’re used to doing diets, you may be used to cutting foods out, feeling guilty for eating ‘bad foods’, drastically cutting your calories, and ultimately, not succeeding.
This time is different. If you want to lose weight and keep it off for life, it has to be a lifestyle change. And that means, you need to enjoy it enough to keep doing it. So, questions to think about…
How can you imagine your weight loss journey in the best possible way?
What does the healthy, slim, active, winning version of you do?
What actions do you need to take to get from where you are now, to being who you want to be?
Have a ponder, write some notes down, and check out the habit suggestions below.
Ideas for healthy habits
- Making a food plan for the week– and sticking to it because it’s foods you enjoy
- Using a daily journal for planning and habit tracking – I love this oneon amazon (but plenty of good cheaper options available too)
- Tuning in to your body’s signals– only eating when hungry, and having strategies in place to help deal with cravings
- Eating slowly and stopping when you feel satisfied– never needing to binge on foods because no food will never be off limits – you know you can eat them again any time
- Walking more as a daily habit– enjoying how it makes you feel
- Exercising in ways that enhance your life– building friendships, having fun, feeling proud of yourself, enjoying being an active person
- Being more aware of your food choices– checking packets, looking at calories and protein, having knowledge without getting obsessive. Feeling empowered to make choices that serve you
Setting you on the path for weight loss success
So lets pull this together.
What’s your goal?
Your big, ultimate goal. State it as if you have achieved it (remember your brain doesn’t know the difference between what’s real and what you vividly imagine – imagining you’ve achieved it helps you FEEL how great it will be, and that strengthens the motivation to make it happen).
You don’t need a specific number target, but if you’ve got one in mind, write it down.
Example # 1
It is our family summer holiday and I am feeling SO proud of how far I’ve come. I am confident and happy on the beach, and in my size X clothes. I love walking into any shop and knowing this size fits and makes me look fabulous.
If you don’t know, that’s totally fine to leave out references to weight and size. Write down what feels best for you.
Example # 2
It is a beautiful day in summer 2020 and I am feeling SO proud of how far I’ve come. I am confident and proud of my body and I feel healthy, fit and strong. I love my relationship with food – freedom, no guilt, just choosing what makes me feel best and enjoying life.
So you’ve got the goal, and you know how amazing it will feel to achieve it. That’s the outcome.
Now, what are the habits that get you there?
This is what we want to focus on, because this is what you can control on a daily basis. Write down the habits you want to adopt. Then pick one.
Don’t try to change everything all at once!
I know how tempting it is. But trust me, it very quickly gets overwhelming. The aim is to collect lots of little wins along the way to achieving your goal. Proving to yourself over and over again that you do what you say you will do.
That means setting small manageable goals that feel easy.
Building one habit, then adding in another one.
Small steps add up to massive progress in time. And when done in a sustainable, enjoyable way, you’re able to make it stick.
Do you need any help or advice?
Here for you anytime – drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me HERE