If one of your resolutions for 2015 is to lose weight, you aren’t alone. The number one New Year’s resolution is weight loss. Sadly, according to a study done by University of Scranton, only 8% of people achieve their goals. If you are someone that does create New Year’s resolutions every year it’s safe to assume there have been goals you haven’t achieved. There is hope! You can make 2015 a true success by keeping the following tips in mind when you create your weight loss goals.
- Stop the Self Hate. Change out of Love for your Body/Self.
It is absolutely no surprise that when it comes to body image women are quite often more affected by it than men. In an article by Glamour magazine it was revealed that a shocking 97% of women express some act of cruelty to their own bodies every day. It is sadly very common for women to hate their bodies. This is terrible in many aspects but when it comes to goal-setting it can severely set you back.
Think about it this way. When you hate something, how do you treat it? Do you have passion towards the subject? Do you feel excited about it? Of course not. When you hate something you generally will eventually give up all together. When you hate your body the motivation is negative and often completely based on physical appearance. Instead, if you accept your body and wish to lose weight for health reasons you will maintain your motivation and drastically increase your success.
- Break Down Goals So They Are Small and Specific
This second tip is one of the most important when it comes to goal-setting for success. One major error people make with weight loss resolutions is they choose one very large goal and leave it at that. For example, they wish to lose 20lbs but don’t break down that main goal into smaller goals. Instead of striving to lose 20lbs, create small goals to lose 1-2 pounds a week. Instead of going cold turkey with processed foods you could eliminate one type of food you know you need to avoid each week until you reach your ultimate goal.
There are a few reasons why breaking down goals into small ones increases your chances of completing them. One simply has to do with human nature. Generally people are more likely to achieve a goal when it is small and easy to reach. Secondly, after achieving this small goal in a relatively short time, the person feels motivated to move up to the next goal. This process creates a pattern of success that pushes the person to finally achieve all of their small goals in order to fulfill their original large goal.
- Set Up a System of Accountability
It is no surprise that when we are held accountable for something we are more likely to follow through. Setting up a system of accountability when it comes to goals is very powerful and vastly increases your chance of success. There are a few different ways you can create an accountability system. DietBet and My Fitness Pal are just 2 examples of online tools that can help you with this.
One of the easiest ways is to make your weight loss goal well known amongst friends and family. Ask them to inquire about your progress regularly and remind you to keep up the good work if you slip up a bit. Another great way to create accountability has to do with social media. Once you have figured out your goal, post is up on Facebook, Twitter or whatever platform you use. Take a step further and post up a “before” picture. (Don’t forget to include our hashtag #bwlw)
- Make a Realistic Timeline for Each Goal
Have you noticed how many people set a New Year’s resolution but don’t have a scheduled end date for it? Not having some sort of deadline for your weight loss will leave you knowingly frustrated and more apt to give up. Without a deadline how will you know if you are progressing as you should?
Each goal you create needs to have a timeline that is realistic and attainable. It should push you to work but not be so difficult you have to struggle. When it comes to weight loss a timeline can be a little tricky. You might plan to lose a pound a week but find you can’t or you’re losing fat but gaining muscle so the scale isn’t dropping. Don’t be afraid to tweak your timeline a bit to fit your body. You will learn what is reasonable for you. Also, don’t go by someone else’s timeline, because we all lose weight differently. Figure out what works for you with trial and error.
- Use Tools to Track Specific Details of Your Weight Loss
With how many tools and apps are available online and on our phones, there is no excuse to not have some way of tracking your progress towards your resolution. Tracking progress goes hand-in-hand with the last tip of creating a realistic timeline. You can’t very well stick to a timeline if you have no idea how you are doing.
Tracking weight loss should go further than a scale. If your goal is to lose weight you should track the loss of weight but also the drop in your body fat percentage. Another option that is strongly recommended is to use a cloth tape measure and keep track of inches lost on your body. You can take your weight loss tracking a step further by also keeping a log of exercise and diet. You may also want to track how you feel health wise (any improvement in illnesses or chronic issues) and how eating right may have impacted your emotions.
- Have a Physically Tangible Way of Knowing When Your Goals Have Been Reached
This final tip will vary based on what type of weight loss you are striving for. However, even if you are just trying to drop a certain amount of weight it is strongly recommended that instead of relying on a scale, focus on something else. Scales and just going by number of pounds lost can be deceptive and disheartening. Just as an example, if you adopt a strict workout with strength training and are trying to lose 10lbs, you may feel like you aren’t dropping weight when in reality you are just putting on muscle while dropping fat.
Rather than focusing on just a number on your scale, figure out a different method. Take a photo every 2 weeks to track changes and have a record later that you can celebrate and share with others. One great way to see progress is to purchase calipers to track body fat percentage. Another option that is incredibly powerful is to purchase an outfit in your goal dress size before you begin working on your resolution. As you work towards your goal you can try on the outfit and really see how your body is changing.
If you’ve been wanting to lose those extra pounds, 2015 is the time to finally do it. Remember that the only thing holding you back from achieving your goals is yourself. With dedication and a smart goal-setting technique you can truly beat the obstacles in your path and get the body you want.