Small Efforts - Setting Goals

- POSTED ON: May 14, 2011

Here are 4 Core Elements to consider when Setting Goals:

Make sure your goals stand up to the following tests:

Are they realistic, specific and measurable,
and do you have a back-up plan
for when things don't go as expected?

Realistic

The goals you set have to be real in the context of your life.
They cannot be based on some ideal version of your real situation
and more importantly don't base them on some change you are ‘going' to make
that will give you more time. Set your first goals according to what your life looks like right now!
Look for changes that you can insert into your current schedule.
If you are too busy to cook--then don't plan to cook at home every day.
Start by finding healthy calorie controlled prepared foods that don't take a lot of time to prepare.

Specific

Make each goal very specific.
Make sure that both the steps to achieving it and that the results are readily observable
so there is no guesswork or grey in your ability to know what to do.

As an exanple: “Today I will weigh and measure the kind and amounts of food I eat
and immediately enter every bit of it into my computer food journal.”

Measurable

In the example I just gave.
it is easy to measure the extent to which you completed the goal. 

Back-Up Plan

Once you have set out some realistic, specific and measurable goals
you need to set up a second set that mirror these goals but are a little more forgiving.
These are useful when the unexpected happens.

So for example, sometimes the unexpected occurs.
For these occasions, instead of doing nothing
(which feels like failure and can trigger a bigger slide)
simply carefully note the kind and amounts of food eaten,
jot that estimated information down and then enter it in your computer food journal later.

While this is less than ideal it IS still part of "the plan" and thus will have you feeling
psychologically that you succeeded whereas skipping altogether would feel like failure.


Comments:
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Existing Comments:

On May 14, 2011 Karen925 wrote:
Backup plan***** True. True. Yesterday while young married kids and ourselves were talking, I mentioned the need to look at those (rare) times when eating pop is not possible. Use those indidvual events to observe other results which are in and of themselves valuable for motivating on to get back on plan immediately. SIL, who had the the typical birthday meal for DH, felt poorly after eating so many carbs. I too had a similar reaction when visiting friends last year and ate the meal the hostess had lovingly prepared. We both could have made a point of not eating the meal but we chose not to. We both were reminded of our own boundaries and that is definitely a success. Staying on plan for me requires more than just a scale number. It is really about being as healthy as I can be.


On May 14, 2011 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Hi Karen. You made an excellent point when you said that eating off our normal food plan can remind us of our boundaries.

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