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Posted on 25 Feb 2015 Views 4136 Comments 14

How to set and achieve your goals

Henry Ford (one of the most successful businessmen in the world) once said “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal." Let’s face it Henry; life presents obstacles to most people on most days.

When you decide to achieve something you usually set a goal. Achieving your goal means that you have to overcome the obstacles that life throws at you, whilst staying focused on your goal AND remaining motivated.

In terms of weight-loss we’ll bet you recognise some of these obstacles:

  • Not having enough time to devote to exercise
  • Being too busy to calorie count
  • Conventional diets taking too long to see results
  • Having low self-esteem
  • Lacking willpower

At Slim & Save we are weight-loss experts. We have helped thousands of people just like you overcome obstacles and lose weight by setting realistic and achievable weight-loss goals.

Knowing how to work towards your goal is really important but so is keeping your eyes on the goal (yes, Henry Ford). In this feature we look at ways to set and achieve your goals whilst remaining focused AND motivated.

Firstly, lets think about what it is that motivates you to get up in the morning? Is it having a goal that makes you want to get out of bed? Do you have to set goals to go out to work, to visit the shops, wash the car or organise the kids for school? Err, no. Probably not. You do it without having to think too much even though you probably have to contend with a few obstacles. So what makes weight-loss goal setting different from doing what you do every day of the week?

It’s all down to mind-set. Things you do every day like go to work don’t require a goal because they are familiar to you and you don’t even have to think about the “can do”. On the other hand, people consider having a weight-loss goal as something that they want to do rather than something they can do. A “want to” is not as strong a mind-set as a “can do” – i.e. I WANT TO lose weight or I CAN lose weight! So here lies the challenge. How can you set goals that you know you “can” achieve as opposed to “want to” achieve?

At Slim & Save, we have come up with five simple steps to set and achieve goals.

Step One

Get support. Inviting your family and friends on your side is a huge advantage. They can provide encouragement and support that will help you through the most difficult periods of your weight-loss journey. Consider informing your friends and family of your desire to lose weight and your reason for doing so.

Slim & Save offers support to everyone on their weight-loss journey. We’ve got Telephone, Live Chat, Email/Ticket Support as well as Forums and Facebook. So if you don’t feel ready to share your feelings with your friends and family then talk to us.

Step Two

Write down your goals. Think about how much you really want to lose weight? Make a list of all the reasons for wanting to lose weight e.g. for more energy, for health reasons, to look younger, for a special occasion, to run around with your kids - whatever you feel is relevant. Keep your list with you wherever you can and try to read it first thing every morning and last thing at night. Edit the list if your circumstances change. Positive reinforcement of your goals will compound the desire to achieve them.

Step Three

Picture what success looks like. At spare moments during your day, take the time to visualise yourself at your target weight and size. Time spent queuing at a supermarket till or waiting for a train can provide you with an ideal opportunity to imagine what you will look like once you have achieved the goals that you have set. Visualise what you will look like in the clothing size you desire to be, how it will feel to be able to pull on the clothes you want to wear and how those clothes will fit you. Imagine the conversations you will have, what you will be saying and how other people will respond to you. Visualisation of you at your best can act as great motivation for achieving your goals.

Step Four

Consider how others achieve their goals. The success stories of others can be really motivational to you. Reading how other people from all walks of life lost weight with Slim & Save can be truly inspirational. You can read our customer success stories of ordinary people who were determined to make something happen in their lives, set goals and achieved them. If you are feeling low, if you have a set-back on your weight-loss journey or need some inspiration, you can read these stories in order to help you focus on the way ahead. If they can do it, there’s nothing to stop you doing it too.

Step Five

Record your success. As you begin achieving goals, it is important to keep a record of how you are doing. (Check out the weight tracker on this website). Record your weight and measurements and also include photos where possible. As you progress you will see that change is possible and you will develop a “can do” mindset. You could also put goal reminders on the fridge or the outside (or inside) of one of your food cupboards in the kitchen.

Remember, we are here to help you not only set your weight-loss goals but to achieve them – quickly and safely.

Comments on How to set and achieve your goals
Katy Thompson 09/05/2015 19:23
On day 2 having done Lighterlife losing 49 pounds and putting it all back on, Cambridge stop start, WW, Slimming world. At my heaviest weight ever, self medicating with wine and food to mask stress at work, a demanding family life and blah blah blah. But on the journey doing the 5 pack plan - loving the packs and feeling happy to be taking control and giving my liver a rest!
Sarah Deakin 29/03/2015 07:47
I love the quote from Henry Ford. It's true that goal setting and obstacle-blindness is very important for any kind of achievement. The dramatic weight losses on sns are a useful tool to mark progress, as I seem to be achieving my mini goals weekly!
Carrie Davies 04/03/2015 14:27
When I first started my journey on S&S I had the mind set of 5 stone ( this was kinda overwhelming, having in my opinion a large target, which made the diet feel hard, not because it was hard but because my mind was set on 5).

What really became the turning point was getting a calendar and ticking of each day as it came and breaking my ultimate goal in small sections 7lbs at at time making it feel more achievable and rewarding myself with pamper sessions everytime I hit one of mini goals of 7lbs. ( who doesn't like pampering/or going cinema etc ).
I also have that dream item of clothing that I want to fit into as a visual to not stop and get to goal.

One other big factor is friends and family being supportive, and in time of weakness reminding me that I have come so far and not to self sabotage, ( also the kick up the butt that's needed sometimes
Alex Davis 04/03/2015 13:16
I am only 23 and I have already been on and off VLCD diets for a few years now, until I always give up.
I started Slim & Save at the beginning of January 2015, with the outlook of not giving up this year as it is an important year for me - I have my sister's wedding in July and my Graduation in November.
Being at University has made it really difficult to battle my weight, but I refuse to be overweight for my graduation photos, because it will be the only one I ever have taken.
Now I am Maid of Honour for my sister as well, it is not just me that I need to do this for - I have to do it for her, so that she can choose the bridesmaid dresses that she wants, without having a fat bridesmaid!!
So I think the most important way to set goals is with yourself and your family in mind :)
Kate Passant 04/03/2015 12:53
I have tried every possible diet I could think of and have never seen as much success as I do here. My overall goal is to get to a healthy weight in order to have another child and also be able to run around with my son I already have without being worn out so quickly. I also want to look fab when I get married and most of all have my health. I had pre cancerous cells on my cervix last year and was told that by being overweight my risk of cervical cancer was dramatically increased. the thought of not being there for my son broke my heart. I have made long term goals but always found I put myself under too much pressure and ended up failing so now my goal is to live for today, take each day as it comes and think positive every morning of how great I will feel every day knowing I have stuck to plan, I no longer think of how far I have to go but how far I have come. I have had many lows in my life and always turned to food for comfort, with a more positive attitude I realise I don't need food for comfort, I have my friends and family around me that will support me through the hard times more than food ever could. so the key to success for me and to be able to achieve this my targets are a) notify all those around me of what im doing in order for them to support me and explain how much this journey means to me, b)think positive every day and think not how far I have to go but how far iv come, c) picture myself in the wedding dress and with a complete family, d)keep track of my weighloss, I use a weight chart and bead jar to see how far iv come and finally e)look in the mirror every night and praise myself for what iv achieved. positivity will get you where you want to be. :-)
gail morris 04/03/2015 12:40
Being in the right mind set is the way forward. Only I can do it no one else so I now have my worst photo as my screensaver on everything I look at.
And hubby has booked a fantastic holiday in October for me to work towards . I will do this
Sns. Works and the support helps too
LB harper 04/03/2015 12:40
So my weight-loss journey started last May when a couple of girls from work and I booked a trip to Disneyland Paris. We had previously been to Alton towers the year before and I was borderline fitting into the rides- I didn't want that for Disneyland- I wanted to be able to go on all the rides and not have to suffer the embarrassment of fitting into the rides- I wanted to do them all- twice!
I had figured out that I wanted to lose at least 3 stone before I went away, so I signed up for the gym and googled what diets were best to follow, I also started looking for motivational quotes to inspire me- one I found was “A goal without a plan is just a wish” this really hit home, I had always wanted/wished/dreamed to be smaller, I just never did anything about it. I worked out that it wasn't just my eating habits I had to change it was my mental habits as well.
So I formulated a plan, gym and calorie counting healthy eating, which worked for a while, until I became unmotivated as the weight wasn't shifting quickly enough for my liking. So I changed the plan to reach my goal, I had read about VLCD on the internet so I went in search on Ebay for meal packs to try. I came across a meal plan similar to SNS. I started my VCLD a month before I went to Disneyland. I managed to loose a stone and half before I went. I came across SNS a week before I went to Disneyland. I ordered a pack for my return as I aware that my weight-loss journey was far from over.
I'm now on week 14 with SNS and celebrated lots of mini goal, many people have that quote “its not about the destination but the journey along the way” I have very much enjoyed the mini goals that I achieved so far, I think its what keeps me motivated. I set mini goals, of course I have that final goal but that's in the distance and the mini goals keep me on the straight and narrow.
I truly agree with the steps of SNS
Step 1- I started on the journey alone but now most of my close family are now on the diet. I also have daily encouragement from my work colleagues and my gym buddy.
Step 2- I have a board with what I want my final stats to be, I also have holidays and events that I want to look slim at for. I also want to be healthy- I now attend the gym on a regular basis and go swimming. I can also run up stairs without getting breathless. All the little goals add up.
Step 3- I'm sure we all have that inspiration outfit, mine is my bridesmaid dress. Every time I drop a dress size I buy one nice outfit that I can feel especially good in.
Step 4- I love being part of the Facebook groups- seeing peoples before and afters and offering advice if I can. It was nice to post my before and current pictures and offer inspiration to others when they are having a down moment.
Step 5- I love to update my weight tracker- I actually have 2 one with SNS and another app on my phone from before I started with SNS. I love that every week I see the numbers go down.

So what I have learnt on my journey so far, its about the little goals and the motivation, I recently had a week were I lost 0.2 lbs, rather than loose track I looked back my past achievements and realised that I was 4 dress sizes smaller and almost 50% of my way towards my end goal.

So I finish off with this quote “Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out”. Each day at a time and each mini goal at a time :)
Neha Kaur 04/03/2015 12:24
I've just received a new batch of products today.
I love my spreadsheets and charts so I use them to to set goals and achieve them. I tend to break my goal down into smaller achievable targets.
I love my little Colouring in sheet where I colour a section in for every day I accomplish. I tend not to look at the scales numbers as targets from a day to day perspective as I know sometimes disappointment sets in if I don't see what I want. So I count my 'days' on plan instead. I stick to being 100% each day as I have faith in the plan.
I have little mind tricks to stick to my water targets. I visualise my water intake as magical weight loss juice!!! The more I drink the more ill lose! The endless trips to the loo help with the old exercise too. I've never moved so much before!
I think it's so important to have targets that are doable. I'm a visual person and love seeing the days added up on my chart. It's not long before everyday actions become habits and it's not hard work anymore. Especially when you're rewarded with weight loss. Each time I reach a mini goal I give myself a little non food treat. It's always something just for me like a new bit of make up or new book etc. I leave the food treats for the puppy lol. I prepack my food packs into weekly sections day by day. My mini targets are 7 days at a time. That's doable right?!
There's so many ways to reach your targets. You just need to be make them smaller achievable ones and I do this by pre planning and giving myself incentives.
Cheryl Rail 04/03/2015 11:56
My goals are slight different from others'. In 1998 - just 18 months after getting married and after losing a considerable amount of weight using another VLCD I was diagnosed with cancer. It was a total shock as you can imagine and all kinds of thoughts went through my head at the time. I was 42 years old, and was happy in my skin and my life for the first time in many years and I had just been thrown a curve ball. I was told I had 5 years to live if I was lucky and I started radiotherapy treatment immediately. Every day for 4 weeks I would do a 52 mile round trip to the hospital for the treatment. It was successful and I really thought that was the end of it. Unfortunately not, it came back again 3 years later, and has re-visited me 5 times since then. If it wasn't for the weight loss, then I would never have found the lump that lead to my diagnosis. My 'goal' is therefore (a) to keep my weight as low as possible in order to find any lumps (b) picture myself as a very old lady with all of my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren around me. What I look like is not as important to me as how I feel and how long I can prolong my life. I want to stay as healthy and happy for as long as I can. Very sombre I know, but this is my personal journey and I thank S&S for enabling me to continue it x
Sarah Couchman 04/03/2015 11:53
I think having a very clear goal in mind is the most important thing to be successful, and the goal doesn't need to be a dress size or a number on the scales- it can be a feeling. I have had a couple of false starts on this diet and I am determined that this time I will go the distance. I have already got further than I ever managed previously and I think the thing that has made the difference this time around is that I took time to think about the bigger picture of my weight gain and how it has affected me.

I have spent most of my late teens and early twenties being so afraid of being seen as the fat girl that I have made myself the invisible girl instead. I don't really go out or socialise much. In university accommodation I would hide in my room and order in take out because I was too anxious about having to talk to people in the kitchen to cook, which has obviously made the problem a lot worse.

I refuse to live like that anymore, and I have realised that it is entirely within my power to change it. I agree with every step within this article, but definitely for me the most important one is visualisation. I am not too concerned about the weight or size I end up as so long as it is a healthy one, instead the image I hold onto during weak moments is one of myself feeling happy and confident with a group of people and not wanting to hide or run away anymore.

I can absolutely understand why people care so much about the numbers on this diet, it is a thrill to see that you weigh less on the scales each week, but a focus on how the weight loss will make you feel is also really motivating.

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