Recently, I took a trip to my hometown. Because I had been there many times before, I knew exactly how to get there and didn’t need a map. It’s easy to navigate in familiar places. However, when we are in unfamiliar places, we often need some help. When I don’t know exactly where I am going or how to get there, I use a map or ask for directions. If I don’t do this, I may not get where I want to go. The same approach applies to weight loss (or frankly any major life change). To succeed, you must know where you are going and what you want. You must get focus. This is the first of a couple of posts about what I mean by focus and how it helped me.
What do I mean by focus? I mean getting crystal clear in what you want AND why you want it. After I looked at the picture, I knew what I needed. I needed to change. Rather than saying I needed to lose weight, I got picked a specific number by a specific date. My what was to weigh 200 pounds by the time my youngest son graduated from high school. This gave me roughly six months to lose the weight. It meant I needed to lose about 8 pounds a month. Every morning, I reminded myself of the specific goal. I still do this, EVERY DAY. It helps get me in the right state to face the day.
It is my opinion that this specific goal, revisited every morning was key to getting the focus I needed to lose weight. This was the first time I had set a specific goal. My previous weight loss attempts were nonspecific. I was hoping to lose a few pounds. I would lose weight until it felt right, or life got in the way. I’ll be honest, in November 2020, I thought I was crazy for picking a goal to lose nearly 50 pounds. I started the process alone and didn’t tell anybody, not even my wife.
Looking back, I know that I set a SMART goal. SMART is a common acronym which stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. There is a lot of information on the internet about SMART Goals. My goal was SMART because it was specific. I wanted to weight 200 pounds. It was measurable because I had a scale and could check my progress (I’ll write more about weighing in on another post). It was achievable because people can lose 50 pounds. It was realistic. It was time related because I wanted to achieve the goal before my son’s high school graduation in May.
A SMART goal alone isn’t enough. You need to have your why. In my next post, I talk about my why. Have a great day!