As much as the new year can be an arbitrary date based on social convention, it can also be a huge motivator for many to start pursuing goals they've pushed off for a while.
It can feel like a clean slate for some.
Now the question is -
Did you set any new year goals around health and weight loss?
Or is the new year pretty much just another random date to you?
And perhaps a more important question -
How do we set weight loss goals that we will actually stick to?
Let’s dive in.
So whether you set goals to lose weight on December 20th, or January 1st
It doesn’t really matter.
The new year just gives some people a mental boost of motivation.
As long as you do have goals around weight loss and do work towards them, that’s what matters at the end of the day.
The key, however, is to make sure you:
Have weight loss goals in the first place (so you actually work towards it)
Have a plan in place to track and measure your progress
Develop a practical and realistic action plan to reach your goals
Have internal and external accountability measures in place
Let’s dive into each one of them in more detail!
1. Have weight loss goals in the first place.
So you actually work towards it.
Write it down.
Create a vision board around it.
Create a daily affirmation around it.
Be as crystal clear as possible.
For example -
My goal is to lose weight (vague)
My goal is to lose 20 lbs by June 1, 2024 (specific)
This helps to increase your self awareness and intentions around it so that it’s top of mind, rather than letting life get in the way.
2. Have a plan in place to track and measure your weight loss progress.
This often means quantifying your progress.
This can look like:
Weighing yourself 3x per week
Taking a monthly waist measurement
Taking monthly progress photos
To make sure you're on the right track towards your goals.
And if not, then what needs to be changed?
Not to mention that once you start seeing progress, that can be incredibly motivating and what fuels you to continue forward.
3. Develop a practical and realistic action plan to reach your weight loss goals.
After all, a goal without a plan of action is just a dream.
This one has the most variability amongst people.
Everyone is different.
With different preferences, different lifestyles, and different situations.
For example, to reach the goal of weight loss:
One person may prefer to follow a structured meal plan, while another may prefer a more flexible approach with more variety.
One person may prefer to track their calories, while another may prefer to simply make healthy changes to their food intake.
One person may prefer meal prep once a week, while another may prefer to cook every day.
The possibilities can be endless in terms of how to lose weight, depending on your preference, lifestyle and situation.
(Of course, as long as you create a consistent calorie deficit following a nutrition plan that you can sustain in the long term)
What might a weight loss “plan” look like?
Here’s an example:
Track your food intake using a food scale
Aim for 1700 calories per day
Aim for 100g of protein per day
Walk for 30 minutes per day
Go to the gym 3 times per week
Limit eating out to once a week
This is just an example, and it may seem like a lot, so it’s important to make sure it’s realistic for you.
Otherwise, it’s a planning to fail.
One thing you can do is to transition to this plan in a gradual, step-wise approach.
So you can start with the first step (track my food intake using a food scale) for week 1.
Then add on the second step for week 2.
And so on and so forth.
Often, making gradual changes is more manageable and sustainable for the long term than making a bunch of changes all in one go.
4. Have internal and external accountability measures in place.
Without some sort of accountability, it's easy for you weight loss goals to fall to the wayside when life gets busy.
Set yourself up for success by having ways to hold yourself accountable.
Here are some examples:
Meet with an accountability buddy once a week for 15 minutes to go over your weight loss progress for the week. Share your goals, wins, and areas for improvement. This can be a friend or partner.
Hire a coach to check in with you weekly and review your food diary so you have some skin in the game.
Join a community of members who are also looking to lose weight. Share your journey and see what others are working on as well.
Reflect on your weight loss goals and journey on a regular basis (e.g. biweekly). What are some areas you're doing well in? What are some areas you would like to improve on?
As you can see, it's a mixture of self accountability and social accountability.
This is exactly what I provide clients with in my 1:1 coaching program
By setting weekly goals together, having access to their food diary, tracking their progress, having weekly accountability check ins, having 1:1 calls, and having group calls, along with access to a community of members who are also looking to lose weight.
And that’s pretty much it!
👇 Let me know in the comments below - what are your goals for this year?
Until next time,