25 June 2015

Meet Jess from Being Mrs. Beer: SMART Weight Loss Goals

Hey Shiraz readers! I hope you're having a great week and you'll take a moment to hang out with me while Courtney and her family are getting settled into Pittsburgh! I'm super excited for her big move and can't wait to hear all about it... but in the meantime? You get me.

View More: http://mathyshootspeople.pass.us/beerfamily

Anyway, I'm Jess, and I blog over at Being Mrs. Beer. Yep, that's my real last name, but I just married into it, so I can't take credit for the cool factor on that. I live with my husband and 2.5 year old daughter, Abbie, about an hour west of D.C. Courtney and I have always had a lot in common, but one of those things? Working on our weight.

I'm a big Weight Watchers fan, and have been for over 10 years.  Every week there's a specific topic every Weight Watchers meeting touches on. On one of my favorite weeks, we talked about goals and how to have a plan to meet them.

Goals can be really specific or really broad, but in my experience, it’s the small, specific goals that are the best. They're a lot easier to meet, and it creates a snowball effect. At work, they’re often called SMART goals – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. As much as I hate to use business lingo in my personal life (seems so cliché), it’s a metric I’ve found really works.

 SMART Weight Loss Goals

So, let’s pull it apart, shall we? Start with the general goal of “I want to lose weight.” As far as SMART goes, that’s a pretty terrible goal. It doesn’t meet any of the metrics. Let’s make it better.

First, I usually tackle measureable. It’s usually pretty easy to put a number on things like this. Since we’re talking small goals, let’s make it “I want to lose 5 pounds.” See? Already better because you have a way to see your progress.

In this case, timely, achievable, and realistic go together, so I think of them all at once. Average healthy weight loss should be .5-2 pounds a week (Weight Watchers wisdom coming into play here). Since there’s 4-5 weeks in a month, that could be anywhere from 2 to 10 pounds in a month. 5 pounds is in the middle, so it’s completely achievable. Putting that time restraint on the goal gives you a little bit of a push. The goal then becomes “I want to lose 5 pounds in a month.”

That may be specific enough for some people, but often you need a bit more guidance than that. Specific is where you tackle the how. How are you going to achieve that goal? Put it right in there. For me, it’s tracking my food, eating healthier, and moving more. The goal becomes “I want to lose 5 pounds in a month by eating healthier, moving more, and tracking my food and exercise.” You could drill down and get more specific than that – include how long you’re going to work out, what you’re going to eat, etc. Some people need more detail than others.

So what are some other examples of SMART goals?
Say you want to get more steps and you’re currently averaging about 6,000 steps every day. You want to get to 10,000. It’s a pretty big jump there, so a better strategy would be to slowly move it up. Instead of having your goal at 10,000, set it at 7,000. Since it’s pretty close to what you’re already doing, there’s a much higher chance you’ll hit that goal, and once you get used to that, you can set a new, higher goal (this is exactly how I’ve slowly increased my steps to 12,500/day).

You want to get a better picture of what you’re eating through tracking, but right now your tracking is all over the place – sometimes you do a whole day, sometimes just breakfast, sometimes you skip a whole week. Set your goal to log a specific number of days per week, or even a specific day. Maybe Mondays are really hard for you food-wise – set a goal to track that day. You can then bump it up to more days, or every breakfast – whatever slowly gets you there.
You want to get to the gym more, but it’s nearly impossible for you with everything you have to tackle in a day. Again, start small. Take one 10 minute walk every day. Do a yoga DVD every Tuesday. Try that new class at the gym every Thursday. Once you meet those goals, you can bump it up.

Once you start hitting your goals…well, it’s addicting, at least for me. They tend to have a snowball effect and make me just want to get better and better, which is what I want in the long run. One step at a time.

Do you set goals for yourself? Do you agree that small goals are a great way to get started?

Thanks for hanging out with me today! If you're inclined to follow along with me and my family, you can find me below!

Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup

Courtney is a published author, mom, taco enthusiast, and a Star Wars and Tennessee Volunteers fanatic. She's never met a piece of sushi she didn’t like and enjoys an amazing glass of wine and a great cut of meat. You can read more of her wine-induced, sleep-deprived adventures on The Huffington Post and Scary Mommy.

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