in the fitness industry we create goals using the acronym SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, reasonable, and time specific).
These are great guidelines but can be too inhibiting for the general masses who may not know how to place goals that can meet all criteria. Furthermore, it can be deemed as too hands on and quickly abandoned; such as calorie logging (have you ever tried to get all the calorie counts of the food you eat; it's a pretty frustrating task).
Most of the population is looking for failure and helplessness when they have visions of grandeur in their head by setting unobtainable goals such as 30lbs in two months, the average is 1-2 pounds per week, but that can be skewed as the first week you can lose water weight and possibly muscle depending on exercise mode and diet you choose. Following that the scale can stick, from muscles storing more glycogen an adaption from the new resistances you are putting your body through, this is pre-hypertrophy.
Instead of putting hard numbers and times, simply stating I want to become healthier, or look better, is all that may be necessary for success.
Awhile back, I wrote an article for a news paper based on goal setting and it basically goes like this:
Simplicity of easy but having multiple goals, I have found works best with my clients. This way they have many healthy actions that are simple to follow, and if they lapse in one area, it will not lead to a total relapse in all areas, which can be seen with goals that are unobtainable, yet these small goals are small steps and a means to an end.
What I am trying to say if you mess up on one goal others are in place to help keep you in line!
Lets look at a good New Years Resolution goal outline (in the case of this article since it's the end of January, your replacement resolution).
1- Eat smaller Meals (ordering smaller portions, setting up your plate with food and storing the rest to prevent second helpings).
2- Workout 4 days a week.
3- Improve my mile run/walk time.
4- Improve squats performed in a minute.
5-Eat 5 healthy meals per week.
These are all very easy goals, and if you miss one or two of them in a week, it's no sweat, because the others will keep you on pace with reaching your overall goal such as becoming healthier and this inadvertently or advertently losing 30 lbs. As I stated before these small easy goals are simply just means to an end of getting you healthier!
Thanks, and look for a future article "Failure of our Goals, is more Catastrophic to our health than Perceived."