Setting Realistic Goals

It’s important to set up realistic goals that don’t set you up for failure. In other words if you hate fish, don’t go on the “All fish, All The Time Diet” even if it promises you that you’ll lose 10 pounds the first week! (Been there, done that!  Those type quick loss 10 lbs ended up adding 15 pounds to the scale and my waistline)

We’ve had enough failures in our lives – this is the time to PLAN SUCCESS.  Vague goals like “I’ll be thin by summer” or unrealistic goals such as, “I’ll never eat <insert favorite food here>” might be successful for a while but let’s face it they can’t be sustained.  This may even be why you’ve failed in the past.  I know some of you aren’t starting the diet until the first of the year so maybe until then you can start by:

  • Basing your goals on where you are now, not on some unrealistic standard.  For instance, if you’ve been eating sweets three times a day, maybe it’s more realistic to cut back to once a day or three times a week than to assume you’ll never have another crème brulee.  Similarly if you never eat breakfast maybe you could start by eating something healthy in the morning just to get in the habit.


  • Don’t set “never” or “always” goals.  These types of goals can’t be maintained for the long haul.  Instead of swearing off ice cream forever, make your goal to eat it only in controlled situations, like in a restaurant where the portions are pre-determined (In other words you don’t have an entire gallon of Rocky Road in the freezer!) and you can share with a friend.


  • Instead of saying “I am going to eat healthier” or “I’m going to get in shape,” try to be specific.  “I’m going to eat fruit once a day”or“I’m going to walk on my lunch break.” 


  • Be willing to change your goals.  If it’s not working for you – change it!  If having dessert three times a week isn’t working decide to have something every night but watch the portions. When possible only buy enough for that evening.  If it’s not there you can’t eat it.


  • Give yourself praise even for the small accomplishments.  Whether it’s physical or food related any change in the right direction counts!

Sometimes, especially when you have 30 or more pounds to lose you might think, “What the heck, two cookies isn’t going to make a difference,” but if you set goals just for the day or even just for a particular meal you’re less likely to get caught in that trap.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kathi
    Dec 23, 2010 @ 08:03:03

    Hope this does not discourage anyone else with better willpower…I think my “realistic goal” at this point is to do my best the next few days, rather than stick to the diet 100%. I made sugar cookies with my kids yesterday, and they wanted me to eat a few with them as our afternoon snack…I know this time with them is fleeting, so I did. On the flip side, unfortunately, I also overindulged in goodies that DH brought home from work (during late-night “Santa present” wrapping–I was up til almost 2 a.m.!). *That’s* the sort of behavior I want to avoid–I didn’t even enjoy the treats after awhile.

    Anyway, our holiday celebrations are finished on Sunday, and I intend to go back to the diet between then and New Year’s Eve…take one more day off, and then I’ll be set. The kids will be back in school and life will be normal again. I really do have tremendous desire this time, and I will say, I felt GREAT on the first phase of the diet. Sugar really messes with my moods, much as I love it.

    I’d like to hear anyone else’s coping strategies this season. I know some of you are sticking to the plan, which is very admirable!


  2. Sally
    Dec 23, 2010 @ 08:11:02

    I, too, am sticking to the plan as much as is reasonable during the next few days. We were out most of the day yesterday and I got so hungry that I ate a tamale, but even by the end of the day I had had only about 1000 calories and still lost 0.4 lb. What I don’t want to do is eat just for the sake of eating–eating something just because it’s there. If there is a logical/sensible reason for doing so, I will deviate, but I won’t let it cause a downward spiral. Eating cookies with your kids is a time to treasure, not to be worrying about calories. I ate a sea salt dark chocolate caramel yesterday just because my DD had bought them and wanted me to try them. Rather than hear, “Your dieting is getting old” again, I ate one. I didn’t really enjoy it, but I felt perfectly fine for making the choice to eat it. I also had a glass of wine at the dinner table with her last night. Moments like that are special, and I feel that if I have been otherwise “good,” then I can enjoy those things more for the sake of fellowship than for the sake of eating/drinking. What is it about this diet, as opposed to others, that has caused me to completely lose interest in sweets and snacky foods? Is it the nutrient density of the plan? I like it, whatever it is. I haven’t even thought about Cheez-Its in 8 days, and even when I do, it doesn’t cause a hankering for them. 🙂 Down 3.4 pounds as of Day 8, which is good for me since I only wanted to lose 8-10 in the first place!


  3. Debbie Ponz
    Dec 24, 2010 @ 20:23:40

    7 days into the diet I am down 3.3 lbs which I think is wonderful considering this it the week before Christmas. We had our family party tonight at my home and i was in charge of the meal so I just asked everyone to cut back on the sweets and we had more salads and veggies. I decided to eat only what I couldn’t get any other time of the year. For example I have a niece who makes me a special tidbit of rolled meat with cream cheese inside. I only eat this on Christmas eve so I ate what I wanted of it. I left alone the cookies and chips because I can have that anytime. But I have parties Christmas day and also Sunday I just hope I can take a small bite of what I want and not just eat to be eating.


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