A Three-Step Process for Setting Goals for the New Year

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Editor's note: Sheila Rousey is just joining the VisionAware peer advisor group and has written the first post out of the box for the new year! Read her take on setting goals, something all of us think about doing when January 1 rolls around.

The Three Step Process

woman seated on floor with arm around dog guide

In the educational setting, instructors are taught that goals must be observable and measureable. A more simplified explanation of setting or reaching goals include: identifying a specific goal to be reached, observing or looking for changes in understanding or behaviors, and lastly measuring the success of the goal. So how does this definition apply to the rest of us? If you think of setting goals as a three step process, the likelihood of reaching your goal may be more easily realized.

Picture of scale with large numbers.

Setting a Goal to Lose Weight

Let’s take one of the very common and often failed goals that most individuals put at the top of their list for the New Year. After a holiday season of indulgences of foods and celebrations centered on the table, weight loss finds an honorary place at the top of most lists. Using the three-step process listed above, let’s work on losing some of those extra pounds.

Step One to Goal Setting

Step 1: Set a realistic goal for how much weight you want to lose. This is going to require some thought about your lifestyle and level of activity. You will want to determine the length of time that it will take in order to reach your goal. If you do not set a length of time for reaching your goal, you will not be able to determine your success. It is suggested that you set the duration for this goal to be no more than three or six months. That is why it is so important to set a realistic goal at the very beginning of the process. The final part of this step is to prepare for success. You will want to research and learn how to eat more healthily. You will want to clean out your pantry and remove tempting unhealthy food products. Go shopping and keep your goal in mind as you select foods that can help you in reaching your goal.

Step Two to Goal Setting

Step 2: Now think about what actions or behaviors that you are going to put into place in order to reach your goals. In the case of weight loss, let’s determine to serve smaller portions as well as use smaller china for our meals. We will not partake of seconds. We will immediately move away from the dinner table upon completing the meal. There will be no snacks between meals. Since exercise is important for healthy weight loss, get into the habit of exercising as part of the process for success. Do not overwhelm yourself with too many behavior changes. Just stick to those that you have determined to change.

Step Three to Goal Setting

Step 3: At the end of the predetermined period for your goal, evaluate the level of weight loss that you have accomplished. If the goal has been met, you now know how to more easily use the strategies and behaviors to manage your weight control. If your goal has not been reached, reevaluate your goal and move through the three-step process once again in order to refine and improve on your strategies or behaviors that can assist you in ultimately reaching your goal.

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