SMART Goals for Weight Loss_ New Year's Resolutions

SMART Goals for Weight Loss_ New Year's Resolutions

Have you resolved to lose weight in the New Year, AGAIN!?
Weight loss is one of the most popular resolutions made at the beginning of EVERY NEW YEAR -  But by February, many of us will already have fallen off the wagon of “good Intentions”  So what's the difference between a successful resolution and one that is set up for failure?
The way you define your goal might hold the key to Your weight loss success.

Why Goals Matter

No well-intended weight loss program will work until you set a goal for success. A solid goal serves as a roadmap for the entire weight loss surgery journey.
Without this guide, you're like a driver who hops in the car and starts driving without any idea of where you are heading!  You're not likely to go far until you quit and go home.
So how do you set a goal that keeps your program on track?  It’s proven that using a process called S.M.A.R.T. goal setting works.
It helps to define clear strategies and outcomes for your success. SMART can be useful for accomplishing any goal, including your long term weight loss surgery specific goals.

How to Set a SMART Goal

 As an example, we'll use a common weight loss-related resolution:"I want to lose weight in the new year." Now let's adjust this goal using S.M.A.R.T. guidelines. Each letter stands for a different element.
  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Notice how the starting goal is adjusted for each element until the final goal is a S.M.A.R.T goal.

Specific

Avoid setting goals that are too broad. The first step in your goal-setting process is to refine your goal into a specific accomplishment or milestone that you'd like to reach.
One way to help refine your goal is to speak to your dietitian to support your idea of what is achievable. 
Keep in mind, however, that setting a goal to lose a certain amount of weight is specific, but it may not be realistic..
** Try to think about a better way of measuring other than actual weight on the scales
Maybe a certain piece of clothing you’d like to wear again, or a clothing size that is achievable in a certain time frame. 
. So setting a specific behavioural goal may be a better approach. A weight-loss related behavioural goal might include specific dietary changes or changes to your daily activity.
Adjusted resolution: "I will increase my daily activity by walking for 20–30 minutes every morning."

Measurable

In order to track your progress during the weight loss surgery  journey, the goal you set needs to be measurable. Define how you will measure your success as you move through your journey.
For example, some people who are trying to lose weight may choose to monitor their BMI (body mass index). People who have access to body composition tools may choose to monitor body fat percentage.
Adjusted resolution: "I will increase my daily activity by walking for 20–30 minutes every morning. I will track my progress by using my Fitbit tracker and check my dashboard once each week."

Attainable

To make your weight loss goal attainable, you should evaluate your past history with weight loss or habit changes. For example, if you've never been able to lose more than 5kg, then a weight loss goal of 10kg might not be reasonable.
Or if you've set a goal to exercise every day and you've never hit that goal for more than a few days, then a daily exercise goal is probably not attainable.
Remember that once you reach a goal, you can always set a new one.
All goals should be challenging but they shouldn't be so difficult that they are turning your world to far upside down.
Start specific - but doable or you’ll just get fed up and overwhelmed. 
Adjusted resolution: "I will increase my daily activity by walking for 20–30 minutes at least 4 days each week. I will track my progress by using my Fitbit tracker and check my dashboard once each week."

Relevant

Your goal needs to matter in your life.
Defining why the goal matters may help you stay motivated when complacency sets in.
For example, if you visited your doctor at the beginning of your weight loss process, write down how weight loss will affect your health.
You might want to slim down to fit more comfortably in your clothes. Or you may want to reach a healthy weight in order to stay more active with your children or grandchildren.
Define how your goal is relevant in your life and remind yourself of these reasons when you are tempted to quit.
Adjusted resolution: "I will increase my daily activity by walking for 20–30 minutes at least 4 days each week. I will track my progress by using my Fitbit tracker and check my dashboard once each week. Increasing my activity level may help me to lose weight and reduce my risk of diabetes. It will also help me to move more comfortably when I go hiking with my friends."

Time-Bound

Each resolution should have a time limit. That is, you should decide on a reasonable amount of time that you'll take to reach your goal. If you've set a goal that is weight loss related, keep in mind that a 1-2 kg weight loss per week is generally considered healthy weight loss, although, at the beginning of any change, people tend to lose quicker.
If you've set a behavioural goal, designate an end-date when you will check in with your progress and make adjustments or add challenges as needed.
Adjusted resolution: "I will increase my daily activity by walking for 20–30 minutes at least 4 days each week. I will track my progress by using my Fitbit tracker and check my dashboard once each week. Increasing my activity level may help me to lose weight and reduce my risk of diabetes. It will also help me to move more comfortably when I go hiking with my friends. I will re-evaluate my goal in 8 weeks and increase my walking time or make adjustments so that physical activity on most days of the week gradually becomes a lifestyle habit."

BN Multi is here to support you in reaching your SMART goals with weight loss surgery meal planners, portion control accessories, weight loss surgery supplements, and portion bowls.

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