Setting realistic goals – including weight, exercise, food and psychological goals – before you begin a weight loss plan is essential to a successful program.
Begin by setting some small daily goals. Your weight goal might be to lose 1 pound per week. If you hardly exercised in the past, you might want to walk around your neighborhood for 20 minutes every day. (If you like, split it into a 10-minute walk in the morning and another in the evening.) Your nutritional goal may be to reduce your fat intake. Your psychological goal may be to write in a journal every day.
Establish intermediate goals that are a little more ambitious than your original goals. For instance, two weeks after you begin to meet your daily 20-minute walk goal, extend your goal to a daily 1-hour walk; start eating smaller portions at every meal; and seek counseling for any self-esteem issues you might have.
Determine big-picture goals; this includes the total amount of weight you’d like to lose by the end of your program. Make a commitment to jog or run every day to maintain your weight and health; learn how you can shop, cook and eat as nutritiously as possible; and take up an activity that you think you have a knack for – this can keep up your self-esteem.
Set time frames for your daily, intermediate and big-picture goals. As you progress from one to the next, reward yourself. Go shopping, get a facial, take a weekend trip. You deserve it!
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