Weight Loss Tips - How to Set Effective Weight Loss Goals

A word of caution: your weight loss plan is probably doomed.

As you probably remember, you just got over the holiday season. You spent a week stuffing your face with everything, from chocolates to cookies, like there's no tomorrow. And the result? You're afraid to step on the scale or look at yourself in the mirror because your weight has soared.

It's probably about then that you decided that you need to start losing weight. But even if you were to put yourself on a starvation diet and spent 6 hours a day on the treadmill, you would probably still not lose weight as effectively as you could with this simple mental exercise - goal-setting!

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How do you set goals? Before we go any further, I want to set something straight - goals that you set should be SMART! SMART is a business acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Bound. In essence, when you set a weight loss goal, it should be:

Specific - for example, "I will lose weight by exercising 5 times a week and eating no more than 2,000 calories a day" Measurable - for example, "I will lose 20 pounds" Attainable - your goal needs to push you slightly beyond the limit of your capabilities, but not so far as to make it impossible to achieve. For example, losing 20 pounds when you weight 300 is achievable; losing 200 pounds is not (or not yet, at least) Realistic - in this case, it means that you have the resources and the knowledge to accomplish the goal. For example, exercising 3 times a day if you will be travelling every day for the next two weeks is not realistic Time-Bound - for example, "I will meet my weight loss goal by the end of March 2008"

Here's what this is all about - effective, SMART goals will keep you motivated and stop you from giving up on your weight loss process. You will be able to keep track of your progress and stop yourself from deviating from your plan of action. But here's the real kicker - SMART goal setting takes very little time but increases your likelihood of meeting your diet objectives by a whooping 84%.

As you can see, goal-setting is an extremely powerful - and often overlooked - component of any weight loss effort. But here's something else to keep in mind - goal-setting will also allow you to improve your weight loss effort by being able to tell exactly what works and what doesn't. For example, if you set a goal and it is clear that you are not meeting it in time, you will notice it much earlier and hopefully identify a way to improve the weight loss process.

For more weight loss tips, please check the site in my signature. You'll be amazed how easy it is to take control of your weight in record time.

To YOUR Weight Loss Success,

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