Why Your Goal to “Lose Weight & Be Healthy” Sucks

The desire to be healthy is one of the greatest aspirations we can have.

Think back to the beginning of the year.

That’s usually when we have the most clarity about our health.

For many of us that means weight loss. So we set out on our journey to “Lose Weight & Be Healthy”.

The desire to be healthy is a great desire but the problem with this is it’s vague.

For years this eluded me.

I’d set out to lose weight. I’d use every tip I knew of and then check the scale weight every moment I could – sort of like a bad drug habit I couldn’t kick.

Technically all I’d have to do to lose weight was skip a meal or two and “BAM”, I had achieved weight loss. I never had any long term goals to motivate me, so this was the “success” I’d experience time and again.

It turns out that having a sense of progress is one of the greatest keys to happiness. But by having an unknown goal we’re setting ourselves up for failure, like an unfulfilling game with no point system or no way of winning.

THE ANSWER?

vanishing

Clear & compelling goals can mean the real difference between success & failure.

Trying to make a significant lifestyle change without a clear goal or outcome is like setting out for a trip without a destination.

What I’ve discovered is every one of us is only a few thoughtful moments away from setting a clear and compelling goal.

Try working through these few strategic questions that can help you actually achieve them:

1. Why are you doing this?

When many people set out to make a significant change in their lives you’d be surprised how few actually articulate the “Why” behind the “What”.

You want to lose weight? Great. But why?

Is it because your pants are feeling a little tight or is it because you want to feel great, have more energy and be in the best shape of your life?

Greater reasons tend to get greater results.

Start with why: make it clear and make it motivational.

2. Make It Measurable

What is the goal? Since we now know that wanting to “Lose weight & be healthy” is a sloppy aspiration, what is the specific target you’re aiming for?

I want to lose 25 pounds. I want to lose 5% body fat.

Whatever it is, make it measurable.

3. Time bound

We’ve all been guilty of the someday syndrome.

For many of us it’s the only mindset we have. Change this. Set a date and work towards it.

I will lose 25 pounds by the 12th December 2013

4. Have a game plan attached

chess

You’ve figured out your what and your why but now it’s time for how.

There are countless strategies out there: just do some research and pick one you think will work for you.

Those that have the most success are those with a clear goal and vision of what they are moving towards.

They didn’t simply want to “lose weight” they wanted to “Lose 10 pounds in 2 months by doing A, B & C“.

Whatever you set out to achieve make sure you set yourself up to win.

What has your experience been with goals? How has having clear goals helped you?

Images: 2  1 3 / strawberry

Comments

  • danboltonnz

    Woah, Great work! Very inspiring transformation.
    That’s also an awesome way to cut back on soda – Will have to keep that tip in mind 🙂

  • Dan

    I have lost about 100 pounds that I have kept off for three years without any regain whatsoever. Just like Spectra, I have been recently cutting back on my diet soda consumption. Often I will drink them when I am stressed out. I have broken the connection between stress and overeating, mainly by being very mindful of everything I put in my mouth- often by writing it down. I let myself feel stress, but I don’t let myself overeat because of it. What I do with diet soda is to wait out the craving for it and often it will go away. Also, when I was unsuccessful at weight loss, I would often skip meals as you said you do, but this is not effective, because it slowed down my metabolism. My main motivation for losing weight in the first place was to get off the cholesterol medicine. I was able to get off of this. I didn’t have unrealistic expectations for what weight loss would bring me, such as more money or more success, I only wanted health. I exercise everyday by bicycling to work as well as other places on my off days. Being very mindful of what I eat, as well as eating the right amount of food each day has been very helpful.

    • danboltonnz

      Another incredible story! Thanks for sharing. What’re one or two of the most helpful things you’d tell someone who is where you started?

      • Dan

        Bob Harper of the “Biggest Loser” stated that weight loss is “all” about diet. I disagree. I think it is all about “calorie deficits.” Dieting alone is not the only way to get a calorie deficit. I got my calorie deficits by exercising, but being very careful about increasing my caloric intake. Increasing exercise (caloric expenditure) without increasing caloric intake results in a calorie deficit and thus weight loss. Of course, intake of low calorie foods, such as green vegetables can be increased. I would suggest counting every calorie by writing these down and then figuring out what calorie level maintains one’s present weight at the same level of exercise. This can be figured out by weighing oneself everyday. Staying at that calorie intake level, gradually increase exercise everyday until the scale moves down. Also, writing down what one eats should make them mindful of the quality of calories. Cutting down on processed food should cut down on needless hunger. Some people claim that exercise causes needless hunger, but I think their problem is that they eat too much processed food. In my heavy days, I didn’t find that not exercising reduced needless hunger at all, but eating less processed food did. I would say, however, that *just* eating healthy, but not having a calorie deficit will not result in weight loss. Eating healthy facilitates weight loss by promoting satiety. To this day, I continue to exercise everyday, count calories and am very mindful of the quality of calories I consume.

  • LuckyK7777 .

    I think all of what you said is true whether it’s weight loss or some other goal.

    • http://www.healthyeater.com/ Dan Bolton

      Thanks!