Setting Goals

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Setting Goals
Sun, 01-08-2012 - 7:04pm

With New Year's weight-loss resolutions, many people set a goal of x amount of pounds they want to lose. But I think there's a difference between a "goal weight" and a "goal"...

I think that a mistake we sometimes make (me included) when setting a short-term goal is to set a goal *weight* instead of a goal. The problem is, we can't necessarily control our ability to meet a goal weight, but we CAN control our ability to meet a goal. For example, instead of saying, "I will lose 5lbs in the next three weeks," I think it's better to say, "I will not have more than 20 carbs a day for the next two weeks" or "I will only have three Atkins bars or other potentially stall-inducing items per week" or "I will exercise for 5 extra minutes every day this week." Those are things for which you can take complete responsibility for whether they get accomplished -- what happens with the scale, you can only try to influence but you can't be sure to accomplish.

In training (I work in a corporate training department), we call the end result you're trying to accomplish the "terminal objective" and the things you need to learn to be able to accomplish the "terminal objective" are called the "enabling objectives." Losing x amount of weight is a terminal objective. To get there, we need to stay focused on the enabling objectives that will help us get there (controlling carbs, exercising, etc.). We should all have a terminal objective (in this case, our goal weight) so we know what we're working towards and when we've ultimately "succeeded," but I think it's more important to spend our energy accomplishing our enabling objectives (goals) which should, ideally, lead us to that goal weight. (Of course, I'm also the person who weighs herself every day LOL!)

So, what are your goals this week for meeting your goal weight?