Freedom Friday- Reaching Goals In 2022

While I have been on my weight loss journey for six months now, many people are just starting out on theirs and aren’t quite sure where to start.  I have been sharing my healthy lifestyle adventure very openly in the hopes that my experiences might be able to help others achieve their goals.  Losing weight and developing a healthier lifestyle is an arduous task—as is any other goal.  If you are starting out on a path of reaching a certain goal, it is my hope that you will find this article helpful.

Where Do I Start?

The beginning stages of setting and reaching goals can be daunting.  Many people don’t even know where to begin.  It used to be that people went to the library to check out a book or picked up a book or magazine at the store.  Some people still do—but more often, a web search is done to determine the starting point.  The internet has made finding information so much easier—even very specific information.

The best way to start is to type in a question that you may have.  Can’t think of a question?  Type in a word.  If you are wanting to lose weight, type in “lose weight.”  It seems pretty simple, but the point is you don’t want to make it any more complicated than necessary.  The fact of the matter is, if you type a word or two into a Google search, suggestions will be made for you.  An important first step is to set a goal or two.

How Do I Figure Out A Reasonable Goal?

Chances are, the ultimate goal is already formed in your mind.  You want to lose some weight.  You want to quit smoking.  You want to save some money.  You want to get a degree in a specific field.  You could set a goal to do just about anything.  It all just depends on your personality and circumstances.  The important thing to keep in mind here is not to set too many goals. 

How Many Goals Should I Make?

Think of one or two goals that you would like to reach and keep it at that.  Once you reach one goal you can make another.  Setting too many goals is setting yourself up for failure, especially if they are significant goals—like losing 100 pounds or getting a four-year degree.  Life can get chaotic and if you are trying to accomplish too much at once then all areas are going to suffer—or not work out at all.

If you are having trouble figuring out what goals you want to set or how to achieve them, it might be a good idea to talk to a counselor or life coach.  Even a parent, other respected relative, or mature friend could provide some valuable insight and guidance.  The people who are closest to you are the ones who know you well, and they may be able to help you determine the route you want to take.

How Do I Manage My Goals?

Goals need to be appropriate and realistic.  If you are trying to figure out an educational goal and you have no interest in math, you might not want to become an accountant.  A goal needs to be in line with something that you feel will enrich your life.  If you feel that losing a specific amount of weigh will help you to look and feel better, then you will be motivated to do it—and you will get satisfaction out of pursuing that goal. 

Goals need to be measurable and realistic.  Losing 100 pounds in three months is measurable but it is not realistic or healthy.  Losing 100 pounds over a year is measurable and appropriate.  Experts specify one to two pounds per week as a healthy amount of weight loss, so it would be reasonable to set a goal to lose 100 pounds in a year.  When losing weight is your goal, it is crucial that the goal weight you choose is appropriate for your age and height.

A goal does not have to include a number to be measurable.  For instance, I have a goal to improve my ability to breathe.  This relates to my weight loss goals because weight is eliminated from my chest and back as I lose weight.  This allows my lungs to expand more effectively and makes it easier for me to breathe.  There is no number related to this, but the results are measurable in that my breathing becomes less labored.

How Can I Improve My Chances at Success?

It is important to set smaller goals that relate to the ultimate goal.  Setting a goal to lose 100 pounds over a year is great, but a year is a long time when it comes to weight loss efforts, and it is easy to get sidetracked or discouraged.  Setting a goal to lose eight or ten pounds a month will help to keep you on track.  Setting a goal to eat a certain number or fruits or drink a certain amount of water each day are other excellent goals that will bolster your efforts. 

Another important aspect that will improve chances of reaching a goal is to reward yourself for your accomplishments.  If weight loss is your goal, it is better to avoid food rewards.  This can quickly derail a goal path.  Instead, reward yourself with an object or activity that you will get enjoyment out of.  If one of your small goals is to lose 20 pounds, splurge on a movie or a piece of clothing that you have had your eye on.  I just recently bought myself a pair of shoes as a reward.

What Can I Do to Ensure I Reach My Goals?

It can be very frustrating if you feel as if you are working really hard at something and not progressing toward your goals.  One thing that will help you to figure out what is hindering progress is to keep a log.  Write down everything that you are eating—including the amount of specific foods and how they were prepared.  For instance, baked chicken affects weight loss efforts much more differently than fried chicken does.

It can be just as important to keep a diary or journal recording your mental and emotional status.  Hormonal and chemical changes are involved in the various moods we experience and can have an effect on how the body processes food.  Keeping track of these types of things can provide great insight into the progress that is being made—or lack thereof.  Even just writing whether you feel happy or sad on the calendar each morning and evening may help you determine why you are or aren’t having success.

Working with a professional can also help to ensure success.  Whether it’s a Dietician, Smoking Cessation Counselor, or some other sort of life or wellness coach—getting the appropriate assistance can make the difference between success or failure.  It can be as simple as attending structured weight-loss meetings or working with a personal trainer at the gym.  Each person’s circumstances are different.  Only you know what is right for you.  Make 2022 your year!


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