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How to Set SMART Goals for Weight Loss

By New Jersey Bariatric Center Staff | December 30, 2020

How many people make goals in the beginning of the year only to lose sight of them after a few months or even a few weeks? Here's how to have more accountability to achieve your goals using the SMART goal technique:

Specific: When you make a goal specific, there is a clear way to tell if you have or have not met your goal. Think about what you want to accomplish, why the goal is important, and how you are going to achieve the goal.

Measurable: You want to be able to track your progress and monitor your goals.  The only way to clearly monitor a goal is by including a measurable unit (i.e. pounds, minutes).

Attainable (or Achievable): If you make a goal that is too challenging, you may easily feel discouraged and defeated.  Make sure to ask yourself how you are going to accomplish the goal before setting it.

Realistic:  Make sure your goal is practical in regards to finances, resources, time.

Timely: Include an end point.  Create a specific time frame to achieve your goal.  When you have an end date, you may experience more urgency to achieve your goal.

Here are some examples of how to take the typical weight loss related goal and turn them into SMART goals:

  • Typical goal: "I am going to exercise more this year."
    • SMART goal: I am going to exercise for 30 minutes, three days a week at the gym for the next month.
  • Typical goal: "I am going to cut back on added sugar."
    • SMART goal: I will cut back on the sugar in my coffee daily from 4 packets to 1 packet for the next 2 weeks.
  • Typical goal: "I am going to eat more protein."
    • SMART goal: For the next week, I am going to include at least 20gm of protein at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
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