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How To Set Weight Loss Goals - Planning For Success

Updated on November 7, 2014

How To Set Weight Loss Goals

Are you looking for some great tips on how to set weight loss goals? If you are then this article will help you. Setting your weight loss goals is a major factor and a non negotiable task if you wish to reach your desired weight and stay lean for life.

What they do is provide you with vital necessary feedback on how you are progressing on your journey and keep you constantly motivated, especially during your low points or plateaus. Let’s face it, the numbers don’t tell lies, especially those on the scale and tape measure.

The key is to set 4 individual goals which are:


Short term

Medium term

Long term

By setting goals in these 4 stages you will be able to accurately and objectively measure your progress (good and bad) and adjust it accordingly to your results.

Daily Goals: These are more what you might call task orientated. As an example perform your 30 minutes of high intensity interval training and consume 1,500 calories over 5 individual meals.

By setting your daily goals you will feel could about yourself at the end of each day because of the sense of accomplishment. Planning is a key factor here, you must decide ahead exactly what your daily activities will be.

Short Term Goals: These are the next stage up from daily goals. A realistic STG is a weekly one, aim to lose 1 – 2 pounds of fat every week (after your initial 1st weeks bigger loss on a new plan). Anything more than 2 pounds per week is possibly a loss of muscle mass so be careful here and incorporate some strength training into your workouts to prevent this.

Medium Term Goal: A good MTG is the halfway number you have chosen of your final weight loss amount. (ie; If you are looking to lose 50 pounds a good MTG is 25 pounds fat loss).

This is where your belief level can really start to kick in. You have consistently lost fat and found a routine that works. Great! I recommend at this stage that you reward/treat yourself because you deserve it. Whether that means a new item of clothing, some pampering or a treat restaurant meal on your cheat day.

At the MTG stage you can see the “light at the end of the tunnel” and this will boost your self esteem and confidence to continue on.

Long Term Goal: This will be your ideal weight/dress/clothes size or the way you wish to look naked in the mirror first thing in the morning. Your LTG needs to be one that is achievable, not just in terms of your weight but in how long it takes to get there. Set a date and put it up on your vision board!

Why not celebrate multiple long term goals? You can do this by setting LTGs for your weight, body fat percentage, BMI, waist size, arm, thigh, hips and clothes sizes etc. This way once you cross the finish line and get there you will have lots of joyous successes to celebrate. Yippeeeee!

5 Top Tips On How To Set Weight Loss Goals.

Tip # 1 – Be process focused. By this I mean you have to focus on the “doing” which is the process of daily exercising and eating 5 – 6 regular meals/snacks every day. When you focus on the consistency of “doing” the results will happen automatically.

Tip # 2 – Write everything down. This means using both an exercise and food journal and being honest with yourself with no cheating and leaving things out! These 2 journals will enable you to monitor everything, what is working and what is not working on a weekly basis.

Use these journals effectively for thing such as calories in versus calories burned. Are you exercising enough? Getting enough protein? Getting plenty of sleep? Skipping meals? Drinking enough water?

The more emphasis you put on writing everything down (including your weekly weigh in and measures) the more successful you will be. Do not leave things to chance here, those that use these 2 journals are the ones that lose all their unwanted fat but more importantly are the ones that keep it off long term.

Tip # 3 – Planning for setbacks. Setbacks are at some point on your journey inevitable, so make sure you have a plan to deal with them. Do you have a holiday coming up? Then plan ahead how you can eat accordingly and get in some exercise for that week. A holiday does not mean sabotaging your whole goal setting journey, you just need to make some adjustments along the way and stick to them.

Tip # 4 – Assess and adjust your goals. Well done first of all for setting your 4 goals. Now they are set this does not mean they are set in stone. Constant assessment is vital and goals can be changed as you adjust to your new lifestyle.

Maybe your daily goal is to train with more intensity? You could be losing 2 pounds every single week so your long term goal date can be brought forward. Also it works the other way too. Do not be afraid to scale things down a little if you were a bit over enthusiastic with your original plan. This is not a negative as this is a marathon and not a sprint.

Tip # 5 – Read them 3 times per day. Do not underestimate the power of the subconscious mind. Write down your goals on a small piece of card and keep it on you at all times. Then 3 times every day read it to yourself so you are getting positive thoughts consistently.

Unfortunately we live in a very negative world and you will be surrounded by people who can steal your dream. Your goal card is going to help you stay positive when the “dream stealers” attempt things like offering you junk food treats etc.

How To Set Weight Loss Goals Conclusion

Goal setting works, it’s as simple as that. All successful athletes, business people, students etc set the 4 stages I have outlined above. If you have never done this sort of thing before it will feel a bit strange at first, that’s ok and a natural feeling.

Once you start to see real results and the true power of goal setting (and achieving) then hopefully you will apply it into other areas of your life too.

Start today, be consistent, adjust as you go and let me know in the comments box below of any positive experience you have had with setting a goal and achieving it.

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    • BarryCross profile image

      Barry Cross 6 years ago from York, UK

      Thanks for the positive feedback and voting alocsin! Yes, it is such a great feeling to have reachable goals to look forward to and celebrate.

      Glad you enjoyed my Hub. Cheers Barry :)

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Excellent tips -- I like breaking things down into goals with different time horizons -- that way you have reachable goals to look forward to, and are succeeding at short term efforts. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • BarryCross profile image

      Barry Cross 6 years ago from York, UK

      Thanks very much Debbie, glad you enjoyed! Oh yes the dreamstealers. Unfortunately sometimes they are closer to home than we think as in family/friends. More awareness of this will help people to look more into the subject and learn how to do deal with it.

      In fact you've inspired me to write a Hub on the subject. Thanks for the vote/share, very much appreciated. Cheers, Barry:)

    • debbie roberts profile image

      Debbie Roberts 6 years ago from Greece

      You've included some good tips here for people looking to loose weight. I particularly like the tip about'dream stealers', it will help people trying to loose the weight aware of the importance of focusing on what they really want and not letting negativity get in the way.

      An interesting hub voted up and socially shared.