If one of your New Year’s resolutions involves following a weight loss plan, you’re probably in the process of putting together a strategy. You might receive a variety of advice from well-meaning friends, or perhaps you’re working with us to pursue this goal in a medically sound manner (we sure hope so). But whatever weight loss strategy you choose, we definitely advise you to do one very important thing: Define your goals.
Research on human behavior has repeatedly demonstrated that we find it much more difficult to reach vague goals. Our minds simply don’t respond to a plan of action that isn’t, well, a plan! Rather, something about our psychology helps us to latch onto very specific and well-defined goals. Vague goals just don’t translate into decisive actions, and it becomes easier to procrastinate when we set vague goals.
Another thing to remember is that most people function better when focusing on goals that seem attainable. When the finish line is too far away and we don’t feel that it’s within reach, we become tempted to give up altogether.
So, considering those two concepts together, we recommend this strategy when setting your weight loss plan intentions: Set clearly defined goals, and create a reasonable series of them.
For example, “I want to lose weight” is a vague goal. Most people will work toward that for a few weeks and then abandon their efforts, because they don’t have a clear idea of exactly what they’re doing. Also, there is no payoff when the goal is so far away, so it becomes difficult to stay motivated.
Instead, set a goal of losing one or two pounds per week. You could even set other goals, such as adding time or distance to your daily workouts, so that you don’t focus too much on the numbers on a scale (which can sometimes be discouraging).
Now, you’ve set a schedule of goals that are specific and attainable. Your subconscious mind accepts these much more readily, and you feel motivated by weekly or bi-weekly successes.
If you need more motivation and support, give us a call. We can help you put together a weight loss plan that is both attainable and motivating.