Smart goal setting tips for female fat loss health and fitness success

Every client that I've ever worked with (hundreds of clients in the last 12 years) has a good set of fatloss health and fitness goals. Some goals that clients typically share when they first start training are: 

  • lose 10 pounds and fit into my skinny jeans
  • lose 40-70 pounds so I can be healthy and fit  
  • lose 20-30 pounds so I can get toned and feel better

Most people know how much weight or fat they want to lose and have a vague idea why they want to lose the fat and get fit but here’s the part that most people get wrong, they don't know the REAL underlying motivations for wanting to achieve their health and fitness goals, which is what actually keeps you motivated for life, and worst of all they think the end result is what matters most. 

So the primary focus for those who struggle to get results is that the effort is focused on the outcome instead of the journey; the little things you do each and every minute of every day that need to become habits in order for you to succeed and maintain your body transformation success.  And what happens as a result is that weight loss, fat loss, fitness and living a healthy lifestyle becomes confusing, overwhelming, and frustrating which usually results in disappointing results or total failure.  

So how do you set smart goals for fat loss and fitness success?  Just follow the 5 simple tips below: 

  1. Be more specific about your goal by uncovering your underlying motivation for losing fat and getting fit
  2. Identify major obstacles between you and your weightloss/fatloss goals and find ways to overcome them
  3. Focus on healthy behaviors and actions not just on outcomes
  4. Set smaller short term goals that you can track and measure
  5. Plan to reach your goal, expect to reach your goal and pay the price to reach your goal! 

Below is a more detailed explanation of these five simple steps and additional tips to help you reach your health and fitness goals and most importantly maintain them for life.

1.  Dig deep to uncover your real underlying motives that are about so much more than just looking sexy

Wanting to look attractive and feel good about your body is totally normal.  Everybody wants that but the real reasons you want it are what really matter because those are the reasons that will keep you on track with your fit toned body workout plan for life. 

So how do you uncover these motives?  Do what mind body coaches suggest and peel the onion.  Keep asking why you want to lose weight, why you want fitness level bodyfat, why you want to fit into smaller clothes.  Don't stop asking until you peel away all the shallow reasons and uncover the real reasons that have nothing to do with looks.  In this exceptional video self improvement expert Dax Moy explains how to find your underlying motives.

Trust me they are in there just waiting to be discovered and can be as simple as; wanting to attract a partner that loves and respects you for who you are or wanting to be an inspiration to a child who is struggling with a drug addiction, wanting to avoid getting diabetes like everybody in your family or wanting to stay out of hospitals as you get older (these are all underlying motives my clients have by the way).  

Dig deep until you uncover those motives and you will unleash unstoppable motivation that will help you do whatever it takes to get the lean fit healthy body you want forever!

2.  Identify & find ways to overcome your major obstacles or self sabotaging behaviors

There are dozens of obstacles that can come between you and your body transformation and if your goal is to lose fat get fit and makeover your body quickly and permanently the first step is knowing exactly what your obstacles or sabotaging behaviors are. 

It could be mindless snacking because you get bored or not having a workout back up plan for hectic days or maybe it's allowing other people to regularly influence what you eat or drink or maybe you have negative fitness mentality.  Once you identify the main behavior that is sabotaging your fatloss and fitness it's easy to come up with solutions to help you stay on track.  Below is a list of more obstacles that my clients have to find solutions for so they can get results that last: 

  • wrong diet, overeating or emotional eating
  • harsh self criticism or harsh criticism from others
  • inflexible attitude about health and fitness
  • negative mindset or lack of fitness mindset
  • over planning or obsessive compulsive planning
  • sabotaging friends or family members
  • letting stress and psychodrama rule your life
  • caring too much about what other think about your behavior
  • you care too much about following fitness trends and fitting in

Once you identify your obstacle ( behavior you need to change) it’s important to come up with multiple solutions that will work for you. The more healthy options you have to choose from the more likely you are to make better choices. A site visitor once confessed that she was overeating processed orange cheezits every day at about 3 p.m.

The only solution she had come up with was taking her dog for a walk and this only worked some of the time. After brainstorming more solutions with her she realized that by adding some protein to her snack or turning it into a mini meal that includes cheese and fruit or veggies, she could easily control her portions and not have to give up this food completely and she now has 3 ways to deal with this behavior! More solutions = more weightloss.

3.  Focus more on healthy behaviors & actions vs. outcomes & results

You know those women that constantly complain about their bad eating habits, missed workouts and how the scale won't budge?  I actually worked at a weight loss center part time for a few months when I first started personal training so I got to deal with this first hand as a job.  All those women focused on was bad habits and scale weight when they should have been more focused on daily healthy habits and behaviors so they were missing the whole point of weight loss, fat loss and fitness which is to improve your habits.  

To get results you have to care more about engaging in daily behaviors that are healthy than you do about the outcome.  A healthy weight, bodyfat and fit body is achieved by changing unhealthy habits and that is accomplished by focusing on what you do right every single day.

According to behavior modification experts most of us are already doing many of the right things to burn fat and get fit but we rarely acknowledge any of it because we are too busy focusing on our bad food choices, scale weight drama or missed workouts.  It’s important that you track your positive behaviors and healthy habits often. This promotes a more positive can do attitude when it comes to changing those other unhealthy behaviors.

4.  Set smaller short term goals that matter & that you can track & measure

Want to set even smarter goals that don't stress you out?  Focus on short term goals as well as long term goals.  This way you don't overwhelm yourself with how much work is ahead or how long it's going to take.  Smart goal setting isn't just about the big end goal, it's about setting short term weekly goals such as 80% healthy meals per week, 5-6 challenging workouts per week, or 5-10 servings of veggies and fruits per day. 

This is a much better strategy than just focusing on your end weight loss or fat loss goal because as I mentioned in smart goal setting tip #3: it's the little things you do each day that gets you to your ultimate goal.  The benefit of focusing on smaller goals you can measure daily is that those small victories are what actually fuel your motivation further.

Once you reach your goal you can take your smart goal setting even further by setting a weight range goal for maintenance.   Set a weight range that is flexible and allows you more freedom with your exercise and eating habits.  I teach this method to all my successful losers whether they lose 10 lb. or 70 lb. and they love the flexibility and the feeling of freedom to gain minimal amounts of weight and bodyfat during maintenance.

Two female clients that I train both in their fifties set the same range for themselves from 140 lb. to 147 lb and bodyfat in the fitness range.  When they are at their low range of both weight and bodfat they know they are exercising and eating as healthy as they possibly can. When they are near their high range they know they need to make some adjustments before they spill over into weight gain mode.  This is a great maintenance strategy that keeps you on track for life.

5.  Plan to reach your goals, expect to reach your goals and pay the price to reach your goals!

As my favorite fitness expert Paul Chek loves to say "If you don't know where you're going then any road will get you there"  but if you do know what results you want from your health and fitness efforts then you need a detailed plan to get you there.  Having a plan is the key to achieving anything in life!  

Another important component of reaching your goals is being able to visualize your leanest fittest body and behaving like you already have it as often as possible.  The reason this works is that you stop focusing on what needs to be changed or fixed or transformed and instead you picture yourself already at your healthiest body which gets your brain to start figuring out all the ways to make it happen without you ever needing external "motivation".  This is how you pay the price for your goals without suffering or hating the process.

It's when you can make this mind body soul connection (connection between the body you desire, the body you see having and your daily actions to get that body) that you start to behave like a lean fit healthy individual more often and then get the visible results you want in a healthy enjoyable way that you can maintain for life.