Long term goal planning is part of this process. As you make improvements, your plans will need to change. For instance, you will need to find new challenges in your exercise program that will help you make improvements and keep you interested. Continuing to set new goals, challenging yourself and monitoring your progress will help you stay on track.
Keep asking yourself these questions:
- Where do I want to go? What are my long-term, one month to three month, goals?
- How am I going to get there? What are my short-term, one week to one month, goals? And what are some action strategies?
- How will I know when I have reached my goal and what do I do next?
Remember that if you don't track your progress you won't be able to know whether or not you've met your goals.
Healthy Habits for Success
The National Weight Control Registry has tracked over 5,000 people who have lost weight and kept it off for a long period of time. Here are some patterns that have contributed to their success.¹
- 98% of participants report that they changed the food they ate in some way
- 94% increased their physical activity, with the most common form of activity being walking
- 78% eat breakfast every day
- 75% weigh themselves at least once a week
- 62% watch less than 10 hours of TV per week
- 90% exercise, on average, about 1 hour per day
You're more likely to achieve a goal if it is rewarding and meaningful to you. Rewards can be a natural result of the changes you're making, such as feeling better about yourself because you're eating better or exercising regularly.
Find ways to reward yourself for achieving your goals. Examples include getting a massage, buying a new outfit, taking a special trip or reading a new book. Don't make your rewards things you should already be doing to take care of yourself, such as taking a nap or getting a nice haircut.
Make sure you praise yourself often for achieving your goals. Tell others about your successes. If you don't quite reach your goal, it's still important that you congratulate yourself for small accomplishments and the progress you are making.
¹National Weight Control Registry, National Weight Control Registry Facts