How to achieve your goals
If want to make a change that lasts, it can be really helpful to set yourself goals as this will keep you focused. Make your goals personal to you and think how realistic they are in terms of your lifestyle. In other words, you need to think S.M.A.R.T. and make your goals:
A good example of a S.M.A.R.T goal would be:
- Specific - Lose 6kg
- Measurable - Lose 1kg each week
- Achievable- Follow food/meal plan
- Realistic - No fizzy drinks, eat four portions of fruit and veg a day and two portions of fish a week
- Time-specific - 30th June
The best place to start is to write down your goals and make yourself accountable for them.
And stay on track
It's a marathon not a sprint
It's important to focus goal setting on small changes which build up over time. After all, you wouldn't run a marathon without training and gradually building up your stamina. The same is true for any changes you make to your eating habits and physical activity.
Try not to achieve too much at once
We are all creatures of habit and sometimes it takes a while to make even small changes to our diet and physical activity. Don't be too hard on yourself. By allowing yourself the breathing space to adapt to a new routine, you'll build strong foundations that will stick and soon become part of your lifestyle.
Be adaptable, not restrictive
If you're looking to change your diet, the best approach is to have a little of what your fancy. You might be able to completely cut things out for a few weeks, but not in the long term. An all or nothing attitude can set you up for failure as you can't live like this forever. As part of your goals, plan to include all types of food, and set times for being active and times for resting.
Choose things you enjoy
There's no point in planning to go to the gym if you don't like the gym, or eating apples if you don't like them. Try out new foods and new ways to move your body like joining a fun fitness or dance class. By focusing your goals on things you enjoy you will be more likely to achieve your goals.
Don't obsess about your weight
For most people, weight goes on gradually over time. And likewise, weight loss will be slow so it's important not to become too frustrated or too obsessed with weight loss. Aim for around 0.5-1kg (1-2lb) a week. Focusing on other health benefits will help. For example, being able to walk up a hill without getting breathless.