“Knowing specifically what you want is much different than knowing what you don’t want.”
“When you only know what you don’t want, your intentions aren’t focused.”
“A set of specific goals is much easier to achieve than a vague end goal.”
These quotes are taken directly from an article I found written by John Wesley titled “You Aren’t Getting Anywhere Because You Don’t Know What You Want“. We can certainly apply the same logic to our goal of weight loss.
I believe that all of us know that we do not want to be overweight, and that we would like to lose weight. Many of us have wanted to achieve our ideal body shape and tone for our entire lives. We either haven’t been able to get started, or perhaps we have started over and over again, only to end up getting sidetracked, as we lacked momentum and focus.
In order to achieve our goal of quality health and fitness, we must lay out a “plan of attack” as we would for any project in life. If we were going to take a road trip from New York to Chicago, or from Brussels to Naples, we would consult a map. We would need to know where we are going, where we will be stopping along the way, and what our final destination is. We would make a list of what we needed to pack, what supplies we wanted to have readily available in the vehicle, and how long it would take us to get there.
Setting weight loss and fitness goals work the same way. We must set a goal weight as well as the specific steps we are going to take to achieve it. I find it is also important to set specific, small goals along the way (I like to use 5 pound increments), instead of focusing only on the end goal. In addition to small, incremental weight loss milestones, it is important to set specific daily goals, such as how much and what type of exercise we will be doing. We must also plan out our food and be prepared to have plenty of healthy choices on hand at all times, whether we are carrying our food to work with us, while running errands, or working in the home.
We need to obtain the specific vehicle that will get us to our destination; i.e.: a good pair of exercise shoes, the proper clothing, the healthy ingredients we will eat to fuel our body, our plan for what time we will exercise, where we will exercise, and most importantly, we need a support system. We need positive, motivated people surrounding us who support us in our goal of achieving better health and increased strength and energy.
I suggest utilizing the power of writing your goals down. I find it is tremendously motivating to write my “reasons that I desire to lose weight and get fit” on a 3×5 card and read it each morning and before bed at night. It also helps to keep a card with me at all times in case I am tempted to eat those foods that won’t serve me in my goal of health and weight loss.
Additionally, a great tool for keeping your motivation is to write out a weekly “plan of attack”, detailing what steps you will take each day to get you closer to your goal. When you can check off your daily accomplishments at the end of each day, it is highly rewarding and can truly keep you motivated to continue (as opposed to looking only at your end goal, especially if you have a large amount of weight to drop from your frame).
When we determine exactly what we want, how we are going to achieve it, when we expect to reach it, then follow up with writing it down and referring to it often, this gives us the focus that we need to keep going. It reminds us of why we are choosing healthy foods to eat, why we are moving our bodies, and why we are changing our habits. It maintains our motivation to achieve the goals that we so dearly wish to achieve.