How to set realistic goals
As weight loss surgery patients, it is important that we have goals. Goals keep us motivated and on track with our weight loss. However, sometimes it can be easy to set unrealistic goals that are impossible to achieve. It can be extremely discouraging when you are not achieving your goals. It might drain you so bad that you give up, and that is the last thing we want. When on a weight loss surgery journey, you must learn to set SMART goals.
SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. By setting SMART goals, you will be a lot more likely to achieve them. It is important to be specific with your goal. Do not just say “I want to lose weight.” Be specific with your goal. “I want to lose weight to get healthy and come off all weight-related medications” is a more specific goal. Make sure you set a measurement. We have the scale as well as other things to make sure it is measurable. Do not just rely on the scale for your success of a goal though. Utilize your dress size as a tool as well. This will be helpful on the weeks that you are not losing on the scale.
Next, make sure it is achievable. I made the mistake on my journey by saying I wanted to lost 10 pounds every week. That is just not realistic. It set me up for failure and it spiraled out of control. Set a realistic goal such as 2 pounds per week, or 2 inches per month. Make sure your goal is also relevant. If you want to lose weight to get healthy, Taco Bell should not be a part of that goal. Instead, try saying “I want to lose weight to get healthy and come off all weight-related medications by eating 500 calories at each meal and working out 5 days a week.” Finally, make sure your goal is time-bound. “I want to lose weight to get healthy and come off all weight-related medications by eating 500 calories at each meal and working out 5 days a week. I would like to lose 10 pounds by the end of the month.”
It might seem silly to get this specific, but I promise you it will help you when you are setting goals. Do not try to be too broad, because that will not cause you to stay accountable to yourself. At the same time, you also want to make sure you aren’t getting in over your head.
I remember when I first started my journey, I was extremely competitive with myself. I always wanted to lose more each week than I did in the previous week. It was exhausting because I never achieved my goals, which caused depression. Now, I always use SMART goals when I am planning on my weight loss surgery journey. It has helped me stay accountable and I have achieved more by setting smaller, more realistic goals. If you are having trouble sticking to your goals, I highly recommend that you try the SMART way. Remember, goals are extremely beneficial for weight loss surgery patients. You just have to remember to be SMART.
- Kimberly H.