Today I want to talk about something that is very important when it comes to weight loss, but often overlooked. It’s something people talk about doing, yet very seldom take the time to do properly. This is quite possibly the most important step to successful weight loss. Without doing this, you will be spinning in circles with no clear direction of where to go and what to do.
Instead of thinking about where you are today, you need to think about the future you and what steps you need to take to move towards your goals. Today’s focus is goal setting. Before you close this page, let me warn you now…
If you skip this step, I can almost guarantee that your weight loss goals will not become a reality.
For a moment, I want you to think about your ideal physical body . How do you envision yourself as the “perfect you”? Close your eyes and picture yourself. Seriously. Stop reading this and do it.
Have you got a picture in your mind? Take a good hard look at the future you. How do you look? How do you feel about yourself? How do you live your life in your ideal body? What do you eat on a regular basis? How often do you exercise? Ask yourself this:
What did you do to have the body of your dreams?
Grab a pen or open up a blank document of your computer. If you are serious about this, you can’t skip this step. Writing this down is what will take you from today to the future. Trust me.
I want you to write some quick notes about the future you, just like I have done below for myself…
When I see the future me, I am…
- Dedicated to my exercise routine, even when I don’t feel like exercising.
- I have self-control with food (I stop eating when I am full. I don’t indulge in late-night snacks…etc)
- I walk around confidently in my body. I even wear shorts to the gym (which I don’t do now)
- I enjoy eating healthy and do so everyday, not just some of the time.
Once you have a few general ideas jotted down, you need to get specific. Don’t be unrealistic.
Be realistically specific.
If you see yourself 30 lbs lighter in your ideal body, do not give yourself a measly 4 weeks to get there. Give yourself some room for “balance” in your lifestyle. Losing 1-2 lbs a week is healthy. Losing 5 lbs is not practical and definitely not healthy. You want to pick a goal that you can happily maintain. You may not need to exercise at the same intensity as you do now, or eat a perfect diet, but you will need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Who wants to go back to square one once you reach your goal? Not me! I want to keep my goal body for the long haul. So let’s be realistic.
Your specific goals are what you are going to use to create your goal card. You may be tempted to turn off your computer now, or just “read” instead of “do” this part. But I can’t say this enough – do this, no matter how silly this seems to you now. One day you will look at your goal card and realize “Hey! I am living this NOW. I reached my goal!!”
The purpose of your goal card is simple: remind yourself of what you really want each day. This is something you will read once or twice a day, not only once in a while. I keep mine on my night table so I can read it first thing in the morning and before I go to sleep at night. On days when you don’t feel like working out or eating healthy, you will read your card and go, “AHA! I needed that extra push.” Every single day makes a difference, so start doing this today. Here’s how…
Goal Card Writing 101
Three simple-specific steps to help you move from today to your future body…
Begin with the date. When exactly do you see yourself with your ideal body? Write it at the top of your page.
Specific Step #2:
What is your measurable goal? This could be your future weight, pant size, or measurements…etc.) Write down something specific you can track and see.
*Do NOT put what weight you are today on your goal card. Today does not matter. The future you is what we are focusing on. Write down your current weight or other tracking measurements somewhere else other than your goal card.
Specific Step #3:
Looking backwards from your goal date, what did you have to do to get there? Break this down into 3 sections: monthly, weekly and daily. How did you honestly, realistically and specifically get there?
Check a sample goal card I wrote below for myself. I like to “super-charge” my goal card by including my faith in my goals. I would highly recommend doing this too if you want to use “super” gas instead of “regular” to fill up your motivation gas tank. I don’t believe my goals are achievable without the strength, focus and peace I receive from God. With Him by my side, I know I can do ALL things. So here is what I read everyday to myself:
Goal Date: July 1st, 2014
Weight: 120 lbs
8-10 pounds total weight loss in one month. In order to lose this weight, I have focus and dedication daily to my health and fitness. I will successfully lose 1-2 lbs each week in 4 weeks time. Today I have the strength to say no to the things that tempt me. Today I will push myself even when I don’t feel like it. Today is a day that matters to my future. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). For it is God who works in me to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. (Philippians 2:13)
See?! Not so hard at all! Now simply read and repeat your own personalized goal card daily, and as often as possible! Watch how powerful it is to remind yourself of what you truly want on a regular basis.
I will be posting my own personal transformation pictures in July for you all to see. Stay tuned for more steps to a balanced approach to weight loss and to follow me on this journey.
If you want to catch up on my previous weight loss tips, check them out below: