Changing the way you think about yourself and your body is an essential part of any program dedicated to improving your physical fitness and losing extra weight. Simply put, to be slim, you have to think slim. That means setting realistic, specific and positive goals for yourself.
Create realistic fitness and weight loss goals for yourself. Some of your goals could be long term. For instance, you may aim to lose 40 lbs. in 6 months and keep it off for another 6. Other goals may be short term, such deciding to exercise 30 more minutes per week or 10 additional minutes per day.
Don’t set yourself up for failure by setting ridiculous (and unsafe) goals, such losing 10 lbs. per week or exercising 5 hours per day. Choose safe and attainable aims. Can you lose 1-2 lbs. per week? Probably. Could you exercise at least 20 minutes per day despite your busy schedule? If you wanted to, yes, you no doubt could. Setting achievable goals—and meeting them—is the first step to feeling better physically and emotionally.
Make your goals specific and write them down. Simply wishing to yourself, “If only I could wear a size 10!” as you reach for another donut is not goal setting, nor is the vague desire to lose “some” weight sometime in the future.
With the assistance of your physician, determine the best weight for someone of your height, age and frame as well as the best exercise regimen for your fitness level, lifestyle and personal preferences. Then begin setting specific weight loss, health and fitness goals for specific periods of time. Note how specific the goals below are.
“I’ll take a multivitamin every morning.”
“Every weekday at work for a week, I’ll walk 10 minutes during my lunch break.”
“This month, I’ll switch from white bread to whole-grain.”
Place your goals somewhere visible so that you’ll see them—and remember them—every day. You might, for example, place them on the bathroom mirror, the shower door, the refrigerator or in your day planner. Doing so will not only keep you on track, but it will also help you celebrate your success—and motivate you to continue pursuing healthy habits.
Express your goals positively. Doing so will remind you that your weight loss and fitness program is not a punishment or a deprivation. On the contrary, you’re doing positive things for yourself, making positive choices for your physical and emotional well being, and your goals should reflect this outlook.
Here’s a positive goal: “This week, I’ll eat a piece of fruit every day at lunch.” Doesn’t that sound better than this downer? “This week, I won’t have any cupcakes at lunch.”
Focus on the positive! You’re eating better, becoming more active and feeling better every day. You have every reason to be positive.
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