Dr. John Norcross answered:When you're setting goals, you should dream big and bold. As president Harry Truman put it, “You can always amend a big plan, but you can never expand a little one.”
But it's important to distinguish subgoals from long-term goals. This is a vital distinction to make, because it’s easy to be too ambitious and destroy your chances of success in the long run.
Let’s say your 90-day goal is to lose 15 pounds. Your subgoals could be to exercise regularly, skip most desserts, keep to a 1,200-calories diet, and so forth.
Small steps together equal a giant leap. Start small and then incrementally increase your subgoal activity. If you’re trying to lose weight, increase your exercise or activity level by a maximum of 10 percent per week, particularly for Baby Boomers. Even if you increase it by 2 minutes each week, that translates into 24 extra minutes of exercise several times a week.
Helpful? 1 person found this helpfulWhen you're setting goals, you should dream big and bold. As president Harry Truman put it, “You can always amend a big plan, but you can never expand a little one.” But it's important to distinguish subgoals from long-term goals.... More
Dr. Andrea Pennington answered:
It's not enough to say that you want to just lose weight; you need to have a specific goal in mind. Whether it's a dress size or an ideal number on a scale, you need to write down specifically what you want to accomplish. I find that my clients are better able to stay on the path toward their goal when they have clearly defined and described it in detail. It makes the goal more real and more attainable. I'm sure that your goal is more than a magical number. You likely want to feel better in addition to looking better.
As you describe what your goal is, begin to think about how your body will feel and look. Then describe, in as much detail as possible, your new picture of life in that body. What sensations will you experience in your new body? Will you be more energetic? More outgoing? How will you carry yourself? Will you be more confident? How will you treat others? How will others respond to you? What will you do differently? What will your mood be? Will you be nicer to people? How will your response to stress be? Will you be in control, or will you give in to food or alcohol binges? How will you move physically? It's time to describe what will be and what will not be a part of your future as you achieve weight success.It's not enough to say that you want to just lose weight; you need to have a specific goal in mind. Whether it's a dress size or an ideal number on a scale, you need to write down specifically what you want to accomplish. I find that my... More
The first thing to know about goal setting is that you should never set weight-loss goals on a week-to-week basis (for example, saying, "By next week, I will have lost three pounds"). Over the years I've had many clients who tried to set goals like three pounds a week. Then, if they lost only a pound, they would become depressed and it would derail their progress. Instead, do not ever set weight-loss goals for daily or weekly loss. If you give yourself these kinds of goals, you are setting yourself up for failure and self-sabotage. You can have an end goal you'd like to work toward, but not something so specific to a day or week. Then, in order to get there, put all the best practices into play: shop for smart food, keep records, and integrate fruits and veggies -- these are the regular actions you need to take to keep moving forward.
One not-so-good example of a measurable goal is, "I'm going to eat more fruit." This doesn't work, because you need to recognize that saying it is simply not enough. If you walk past the same fast-food joints every day and only have a vending machine at work, how likely are you to venture out and make a special trip to go hunt down some fruit in the middle of the day? You need to build your goals into your routine with proper preparation. That means you need to add fruit to your shopping list, buy it, cut it up, and have it ready to take with you to work or you'll never succeed. A better goal would be, "This week, I will eat two fruits at least four days of the week during breakfast and my evening snack."
So there are a number of steps that go into setting a simple goal. Saying that you are going to drink less or exercise more doesn't mean anything. Alternatively, being specific about committing to drink only four ounces of wine on Friday or exercising three days this week helps you set benchmarks you can follow. (It sets you up for success instead of failure.) If you do this with a measurable goal, you'll find it attainable because it's specific. Remember, always start low and resist the temptation to set overly high, unrealistic goals.Find out more about this book: Eating Free: The Carb-Friendly Way to Lose Inches, Embrace Your Hunger, and...The first thing to know about goal setting is that you should never set weight-loss goals on a week-to-week basis (for example, saying, "By next week, I will have lost three pounds"). Over the years I've had many clients who tried to set goals like... More