For any life-changing event to happen, planning and goal-setting are paramount. Planning for a successful outcome is the basic requirement of any endeavour. When Sir Edmund Hillary conquered Mount Everest, he wasn’t out for a stroll and all of a sudden found himself at the summit!
Before you embark on your weight loss regime, you’ll find it valuable to set yourself a series of goals or targets to help you complete the course. Those goals are what will help to keep you focused when the going gets tough. To help you get started, use the acronym Smart to qualify the goals you plan to achieve. Smart stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and targeted.
Five D’s can form the outline of a contract that you should write down – to get a more emotional tie to reaching your goal: Try to define exactly what you expect to get from your efforts, in terms of lifestyle, fitness, weight etc. Make a collage of pictures that reflects these things, and look at them regularly (e.g. before your exercise sessions). The more specifically you define what you want, the better.
Desire – explore your emotions for this one and dig deep to discover why your weight is important. Is it to prove to yourself or others that you can do it, and that you deserve a better life? Perhaps you want to be fitter, or maybe it’s a personal challenge.
Moving on now to Dedication: How much time will you spend exercising each week and when? Put it on a calendar, in a diary, or on the fridge!
When your friends see how committed you are, they won’t expect anything else from you. Establishing your timetable helps you cope better mentally. You’ll exercise all the better for it.
A contract illustrates your Determination to see this thing through. Having a written document about the positive direction of your life makes it harder to bottle out of it. Having a plan and targets to work towards gives you a Discipline that helps you to power through the tough times that will occasionally strike you.
Once you’ve done this, sign your contract and do not put it away in a drawer. Goal planning with realistic targets has proved time and time again to bring more success than any amount of haphazard efforts. Don’t compromise your results by merely paying lip service!