Want to Lose Weight? Forget Willpower…Be SMART Instead!

Succeeding at weight loss does not require a cutting-edge plan or the willpower of a saint. Rather it’s about being smart what you choose to focus on. Being smart means that you’re:

  1. Starting with a goal that matters to you, and not one that you pick because it sounds good or because your doctor says it’s the right thing to do.
  2. Focusing on metrics that matter as you take action so you can find ways to win even before the number of on the scale becomes what you want it to be.

The tool that I use with my clients is one called SMART goals. It’s a popular tool in business and corporate life and it can help you infuse your weight loss goal with all the motivation you need to keep taking action till you reach it.

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Let’s take a deep dive into each of the components of your new SMARTer Goal after the graphic…

Forget Willpower...Be SMART Instead - Team by EJ

Specific: Be clear about what you want to achieve

Your goal should be specific enough for you to know exactly what it is you’re trying to achieve. You want to know without a doubt that you’ve reached your destination when you get there and specificity is the only way to do this.  For example, saying “I want to lose weight” is fine, but this doesn’t tell you how much weight you want to lose. A more specific goal would be “I want to lose 10 kilograms or 5 pounds.”

Measurable: Know your metrics for success

Your goal should make it easy for you to identify simple tools that you can use to determine whether or not you’re making progress towards the specific goal. It should be easy to measure.

The easy thing to do here would be to focus exclusively on the scale or the measuring tape to determine your metrics, but I suggest you go deeper. The scale and tape are fine, but if you’ve done this weight loss dance before, you know that the dreaded plateau is real and can be very discouraging. So you want to give yourself ways to win beyond the scale.

Example of metrics beyond the scale include how:

  • you feel after your workouts during the week.
  • your clothes fit.
  • you feel about your consistency with taking action regardless of the outcome.

Achievable: Make sure it makes sense

Your next step is to make sure the time you’re giving yourself (more on that when we get to T) makes sense for your lifestyle. You also want to make sure what you’re doing to reach your specific goal makes sense as well. Making your goal achievable doesn’t mean that you make it easy…it’s just being practical.

For example, if you’re a breastfeeding mom, setting a goal to lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks using a super low-calorie diet doesn’t make sense if you want to successfully breastfeed your child. That’s because your body’s energy demands and your ability to meet them are out of sync and you’ll be intensely hungry during your diet, which will make it hard for you to make it stick.

Relevant: How does losing the weight get you closer to your bigger life vision?

Making your goal relevant means connecting to why this goal important to the bigger vision you have for your life. I focus on this in the first section of Chapter 1 of Weight Loss for High Achievers because being clear on how the actions you’re taking to lose weight is a powerful way to motivate yourself to keep showing up and taking action.

Being clear on how your goal is relevant to your bigger life vision will keep you showing up to act when your life gets busy enough that you’re tempted to put weight loss and healthy living on the backburner.

Time-bound: How long are you giving yourself to reach it?

You can’t do anything forever. Picking a specific time frame to reach your goal gives you a target date to look forward to even as you go through the day-to-day of executing consistently.

The timeframe you pick will also help you decide if your goal is achievable so you don’t end up with a goal that leaves you feeling overwhelmed or that harms your health and your well-being in the long-run.

Now it’s time to set your own SMART Goal

Here’s a summary of what to do next:

  1. Make your goal specific enough so you know…without a doubt…when you get there.
  2. Give yourself multiple ways to win, so you can be excited about your progress even when the scale doesn’t budge.
  3. Make sure the path you choose to lose weight makes sense for your busy lifestyle.
  4. Write in specific reasons why your goal matters enough to take action even when your life gets busy—be clear on why it matters to your bigger life vision.
  5. Pick a target date and make sure it makes sense.

Want to take your SMART Goal to the next level? Then get the full first chapter of Weight Loss for High Achievers

Get the first chapter of Weight Loss for High Achievers for FREE to help you create the goal-crushing motivation you need to get consistent & lose weight!

The first chapter includes:

  • An entire section that helps you dig deep to figure out why it matters for you to lose weight now.
  • A section guides you through the process of making your goal SMART using an example that goes from meh to SMARTer with a few tweaks.
  • And a walkthrough on how to handle any hurdles that can keep you from crushing your weight loss goal in the timeframe you’ve set.

Click the button below to get Chapter 1 of Weight Loss for High Achievers so you can get consistent & lose the weight!


Originally Published: August 2014; Updated: May 2018

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