Setting Realistic & Attainable SMART Nu Goals
People, by nature, are goal setters. They want a better job, more money, and better benefits. Or they save money for a bigger, better house, furniture, or a nicer car. Most successful people set goals to monitor their progress and motivate themselves to accomplish certain tasks. They dream big and plan strategies. You can use this same process for setting lifestyle goals as well.
Setting weight, nutrition, physical activity, and behavior goals are possible too, and just as important. Success in weight loss and weight maintenance depends on setting mini goals along the way.
Goals Provide Purpose
By setting goals, you provide answers to the question “Where am I going? What am I doing? Will I ever reach my healthy weight? Will I be able to maintain this weight loss?” Goals give your efforts purpose and meaning. Goals help you move closer to the things in life, you care about most.
Goals Measure Progress
Goals allow you to step aside and assess how you’re doing. It’s like taking a measurement of progress towards weight management and lifestyle changes in eating and physical activity levels.
Goals are Paced
Changing eating and physical activity behaviors takes time. If you have to work at a particularly stubborn behavior, it may take weeks, even months. Set your goals according to a reasonable pace to achieve them, not by how fast they can be accomplished.
Goals May Change
Your initial goals may appear too specific, too broad, too unrealistic, or unreasonable. You can recognize these “over or under” estimations with your NuYou Wellness Coach. Goals set in stone can cause frustration and/or disappointment, especially if they need to be changed along the way.
Perfectionism vs. Flexibility
Perfect goals will probably be broken, since it’s nearly impossible to live a perfect healthy life. An overweight person who sets unrealistic goals and then fails, set themselves up for disappointment and negativity. Following this let down, is typically a binge, then starvation and once again setting a perfect goal. To stop this vicious cycle, set realistic goals, ones that are attainable and can be rewarded once reached.
An example of a perfectionist goal is “I’ll never touch a chocolate chip cookie again!”
A flexible goal is “I will learn how to eat 1 chocolate chip cookie. Right now, I know I can’t have one because it’s not compliant with my program. However, I will eventually be able to eat just 1 and control myself and my healthy weight.”
Another perfectionist goal is “I am never going to overeat again!”
Notice the word “never”. It’s an absolute. Meaning, it doesn’t allow anything different to be true. A difficult task to adhere to.
A more flexible goal is “Sometimes I overeat, but I will get back on track immediately. I will not walk away from my program and I will not punish myself for making a mistake. I just need to remind myself to minimize the damage if this happens.”
Being too “Out-There”
Another hazard in goal setting is being too abstract about the dimensions of goals. If you find yourself saying “I’m going to lose 50 pounds, in just 1 month!” You haven’t set realistic parameters for losing 50 pounds. Perhaps you don’t have a good understanding of how long it actually takes to lose 50 pounds safely. Your NuYou Coach can help you figure out a realistic goal with realistic parameters. A realistic goal would be “I want to lose 50 pounds. I know I can lose 1 -2 pounds per week. At that rate, I will lose 50 pounds in 25 weeks, or 6 months.”
Unreasonable people may be perfectionist. They see the world with blinders. They expect things to go their way. When things don’t, they get frustrated, angry, or run away from the problem. They might say “I’m going to exercise every single day for 4 hours, even if it kills me.” They may actually follow this routine until it comes close to doing them in, just to show their friends and family that they stand behind their promises. But these people are the ones who usually burn out early, rather than admit defeat. A more reasonable goal would be “I am going to start exercising 20 minutes per day and eventually increase that amount of time.”
Be True to Yourself
Many overweight people fool themselves into goal setting. They think that losing weight will mean a more attractive body/face, a more fulfilling love life, or an improved job situation. But none of this may come true. You will still be the same person, just a smaller size and much healthier. Be sure the goal you are striving for is right for you. Don’t delude yourself into thinking that all aspects of your life will get better when you lose weight. Instead, concentrate on making each day count. You may then be pleasantly surprised by how small daily changes can lead to different, more important objectives.
Who is Setting the Goals?
Maybe your goals are set by someone else’s prompting. Maybe they weren’t your ideas at all. You will only succeed at your goals if you are the one deciding on them for yourself and can identify the reasons for them. Your weight loss goal should be designed for you, alone. Your chances for success will be much greater.
Long Term Goals
If you’re going to get where you want to go, take the time to set long-term goals, as well as monthly and weekly goals. Goals should encompass more than just the number of pounds you want to lose. They should also include goals for modifying your behaviors, increasing exercise, and maintaining a healthy eating lifestyle. One of the first steps of goal setting is to identify what your problem eating/behavior habit is and a new eating/behavior habit that you would like to develop. Next, identify reasonable, achievable steps. Set a number of small steps so you can build on your success from the beginning. Goals should be realistic. If you’re used to eating sweets every day, use substitutions, NuYou treats & snack bars or different sweeter fruits. Set a time frame. Weekly goals will help you stay motivated and on track. Don’t forget to reward yourself, with something other than food, when you achieve them.
Example of Mini Goals
- No alcohol • Reduce caffeine consumption • Drink half as many sodas per week
- Eat 3 balanced meals a day • Adhere to portion sizes • Measure everything you eat • Bring your lunch to word
- 2 – 3x/week Check In’s • Track everything you eat on your tracker or NuYou app • Don’t keep “temptation foods in your home
- Eat slower (20 mins per meal) • Walk 3 or 4 times per week • Don’t eat in front of TV
- Grocery shop with a list • Don’t skip breakfast • Drink 80+ oz. of water per day
Examples of Self Rewards
- Movie with friends • New book • Fresh flowers • Manicure or Pedicure
- New hairstyle • New shoes • New clothing • New purse
- Massage • Enjoy a staycation • Go to a local Comedy Club • Date Night
- NuYou Med Spa treatment • Day trip to a city/town you love • Spa day • Take a class to learn a new skill
- New water bottle • New piece of furniture
Your Nu YOU Mini Goals
Identify realistic mini goals to keep you motivated and give you a sense of accomplishment. Decide on constructive self-rewards that you can have as you attain these goals. Make sure the goals are valuable to you. Write the date that you set the goal, what the goal is, the date that you achieve it, as well as what the reward will be. In the last column, write the amount of pounds you have lost accompanying each mini goal. Share some of these with your weight loss peers and your NuYou Coach.