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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Getting Fit: Goal Setting


“Enhance your commitment by developing a health plan that is focused on an ultimate goal. What is the number of pounds or inches you want to lose? What size clothing do you want to wear? What percentage of body fat do you want to have? Do you want to get rid of any aches and pains? These are the types of goals that you should aim for.” - C25

Now that we've gotten a bit of momentum going on, let's set a goal, shall we?
In my opinion, goal setting for weight loss is crucial to keep you focused. I've tried many times to just "go with the flow" and make some adjustments to my lifestyle in hope to hit my desired weight. It didn't really happen. I was nowhere near my ideal weight.

Read on to learn how you can set SMARTER goals for your weight loss.


Specific

Most people, time after time, will say that their goal is “to lose weight” and chances are it doesn’t happen. Be specific when you set your goal to lose weight. Things you ought to lay out: Why do you want to lose weight? How many kilograms do you want to lose? When do you want to lose that weight? What do you have to do to achieve that?

Measurable

To measure your progress, keep a record of a measurement be it your weight, fat percentage, inches of areas you’re trying to trim, etc. Figures may drive you a little nuts at times so don’t be too hard on yourself if the numbers don’t quite satisfy. Take into account the more subjective progress such as fitting into a pair of tight jeans, losing the double chin, increased stamina or even positive remarks from your peers (they’ll notice eventually). Nonetheless, having some sort of figure to monitor will help you know if you’re on track so that you can make adjustments if you’re not.

Attainable and Realistic

A goal should neither be overambitious nor too modest. I’ve known people who have either given up on trying to change their body weight or underestimate what they could achieve and simply set very low goals for themselves. At the same time, there are people who set goals that are too far-fetched in proportion to the effort that they are willing to put in. For instance, if you don’t intend on exercising and watching your diet, is it realistic to lose 10kg in 2 months? Even with average effort, that would be unlikely to achieve healthily.

An attainable and realistic goal should push you enough that you feel stretched yet practical for you to manage and accomplish. The timeframe that you allocate for your goal to be achieved should also be attainable and realistic.

Timely

Procrastination is a talent that many of us are born with where we put off what needs to be done and rush when the due date approaches. Unfortunately, you can’t “cram” weight loss. Yeah, you can push yourself a bit harder towards the due date but you can’t condense burning 10,000 calories in 10 weeks to 1 week or eating 1000 calories less a day to starving for 40 days.

“To help keep track of your progress, make mini goals that can be measured in a week or a month. Creating these smaller, short-term goals help you stay focused and driven to achieve your long-term goal.” - C25

Set a timeframe and spread out your main goal into weekly goals. Taking many small steps will seem far more achievable than taking a giant leap to reach that finish line. The goal that you set today may not be the ultimate. As you progress, you may make amendments to your goal to make it more SMART or discover your potential and set a more challenging goal.

Here’s My Current Goal:

On top of my overall goal, I have more short term planning on what kind of workout I do and what I eat. I also throw myself mini challenges to give my progress a boost such as “No cookies” or “Run 5 km every week”.

Evaluate

To monitor my progress, I weigh myself every 10 days to 14 weeks and compare my current result with my previous ones. It's advisable to use the same weighing scale, wear similar clothing and weigh at a similar time of the day to get more consistent results. For me, I'd use the weighing scale at the gym, always in my workout attire (sans socks and shoes) and weigh myself in the morning before working out and having a meal or much water. As you monitor your progress, evaluate if you're happy with the results and if not, think about what you can do differently.

“Keep track of these achievements and be proud. Have weekly or monthly exercise plans, and keep in mind that like anything else in life, you should be prepared for unexpected and unavoidable roadblocks. Don’t be discouraged, just push on!” - C25

Reward

"Remember to celebrate your progress, and reward yourself with something other than food, like new shoes, a haircut or a night out with friends." - C25

When I achieve my goal, I'm going on a little shopping spree for new clothes! My old ones are gonna be too loose by then ;)

Your task for this week is to set a SMARTER goal for yourself! 
Feel free to share them with us to get you motivated or if you would like Jeremy's input on your goal.


If you have any questions for Jeremy regarding fitness or diet, please don't hesitate to ask them in the comment section below.

4 comments:

xin said...

i can't help but to think of celebrating the 'progress' with some yummy food /smacks self

connie go go go!

Connie De Alwis said...

Xin: Haha, thanks :) I enjoy special occasions with food but celebrate my progress with non-food!

Siewlingchaw said...

Hi there may I know is it ok to consume a bowl of brown rice without loading up on calories :/

Connie De Alwis said...

Siewlingchaw:
Here's Jeremy's reply:

"A bowl of brown rice (195g) is 218 calories. It's a good source of energy and higher in fibre than white rice. If you want to cut back on calories, make sure you cut back on the obvious bad foods first. You could also reduce your portion of brown rice to cut back on calories."

In my case, I try my best to limit my white carb intake to once a day or avoid it completely if I can. If it's important for you to have a full bowl of rice, I'd suggest cutting back on the calories of the dishes that accompany your rice. Eg. Steamed chicken vs fried chicken, leafy vegetables vs fried eggplant, assam gravy vs curry.

Hope that helps!

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Your comments will help encourage me so please don't hesitate to leave one.

However, I only ask that you'd take a look at the FAQ page before asking a question.

Thanks a bunch!

<3 Connie

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