As with all things in life, setting goals is highly important when dieting. When you are looking at things and being honest and objective you will notice that many of the things you’ve accomplished in life have been accomplished because you had a goal and also had a clearly detailed plan and well thought out process for achieving your goal. That being said, why is goal setting very important when it comes to a great diet plan?

First of all, it is very difficult to achieve a goal if you don’t have one or if you do not have a clearly spelled out defined goal. There are many times in life when it is nearly impossible to see whether you are succeeding or failing if your not certain with exactly what the desired outcome must be. Identifying your dieting goals before you start eliminates this possibility.

Second, having dieting goals gives you a measuring stick by which you can judge your process. This is important so that you know when your efforts are failing behind and when you’re moving along schedule or ahead of schedule. In other words, you will know when to celebrate and when to give yourself a swift kick to the rear.

Now that we know why we must set specific weight loss goals, let’s discuss how we will go about setting and keeping those goals that are so important to us and our dieting success. You want to set goals that are aggressive without being impossible to achieve. If you set goals that are far beyond your mental reach you will find that frustration will be your big dieting partner until you reach the point of no return where you give up completly. In order to avoid this kind of mind game you must take good care to insure that your heart felt goals are achievable for you to obtain.

When we speak of weight loss we are speaking of how to be specific when setting your goals. Rather than setting a total goal of something crazy like 40 or 60 pounds start with a specific goal such as 15 pounds in one month or 45 days. Then you can extend the goal to the next month until you’ve reached the overall goal of 40 or 60 pounds. It is much easier to lose 10 pounds over four different times than it is to lose 40 pounds all at once. It’s a trick of the mind doing this but it works well. Ten pounds sounds simple and more achievable. Forty pounds sounds like an insurmountable unrealistic obstacle.

One more thing about goals is that you need to hold yourself accountable but you should not call the whole thing off if you only lose 4 pounds instead of 11. Instead, find out where you dropped the ball for the final pound and set your 10-pound goal for the next month.

You should also take good care that you are working hard with your personal goals and not the goals that someone else is insisting on or pushing you to do. The fact is that if it’s personal to you, it will be much more rewarding than if you are doing this for someone else. If your heart isn’t in it, there are very few goals that are going to motivate you properly.

Finally, you should begin to establish a very small (non-food) rewards for accomplishing your dieting goals. Perhaps your reward will be a new accessory for your new (or new old) wardrobe or a pedicure for your new look. Make your reward something fun activities or frivolous and teach yourself for a minute that accomplishing your goals will be accomplished by something other than eating food. This is a key stone to dieting successfully and keeping the pounds off.

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