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Ask Pam: Reaching Your Goals

Posted Nov 20 2009 10:01pm
Members: Join our team of experts as we talk about how to "Gobble, Gobble the Healthy Way this Thanksgiving." It's our next online meeting on Nov. 23, 2009 at 12 p.m. EST with Nicole (RD, LDN) and 9 p.m. with Steven (DTR, CPT, NSCA)!

I am having a hard time reaching my goal of losing 30 pounds by the end of the year. What if I don’t? - - Brooke

Brooke writes in asking about what if she doesn’t reach her goal by the end of the year. Ironically, goal setting was the subject of a recent conversation I was having with a few of my colleagues. I was trying to convey that goal setting is important to establish, but sometimes we tend to get caught up with the end result and not the steps or achievements that we have accomplished getting there.

Many times we set goals (for instance in this case, losing ‘X’ amount of pounds by a certain date) that seem achievable at the time, but as we move forward, we realize it just may not happen. It shouldn’t necessarily be construed as a bad thing if you don't reach your original goal.

This is where we need to think about what we have done and accomplished within that goal. Maybe you didn’t hit the 30-pound marker but you lost 5 pounds? Or lost 10 pounds? Or you can now fit in that dress for the holidays? Those are tremendous steps you have made and that you should feel proud of.

I recommend having a measurable long-term goal and having measurable small goals. What I mean by this is (using Brooke’s example) having the measurable big goal of losing 30 pounds by the established time (remember to make that reasonable) but also to have measurable small goals (e.g. losing 5 pounds in three weeks or fitting into that shirt that is one size smaller).

This way by having small goals set along the way, you can continue to feel motivated and have that sense of accomplishment as you work toward that long-term goal you set.

Here are a couple of things to remember:

- Don’t get caught up with the time frame. Things happen and schedules aren’t always on track.
- Set small, achievable goals along the way to keep motivated and on track.
- Set a long-term goal, focusing on the overall picture but not losing sight of the things you have accomplished along the way.
- Be realistic. I like to think I am Superwoman, but there are some limitations!
- Reward yourself (my favorite). You deserve it and have worked hard!

Don’t worry if you didn’t hit the target. Focus on today and what you have achieved.

Have a diet question for Pam? Emailaskpam@ediets.comand check back to see if your question is picked! And if you missed a previous column, click here to see the archive.

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