Weight Loss New Year's Resolutions: 12 Don'ts

Updated: Jan 20, 2020

Are you like me looking forward to making the most this year of your New Year weight loss goals?

It always takes a bit of planning to put those goals in place, but the effort you put into this now can really benefit your efforts long into the year ahead.

What is the purpose of writing goals down you may ask?

It is simple.

If you do, the chances of you actually sticking to them are greatly increased.

If you don’t, you have drastically lowered your likelihood of them actually coming to fruition.

Studies about goal setting actually back this up. According to a study reported in Inc. magazine, “You are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down.”

Why go against what has been evidenced to be so to actually make it harder on yourself?

Get out your favorite writing tools and dig in.

In the transformed program, we have many journalling tools we love to work with - it is no secret that I love a great journal.

The purpose of this pre-new year blog is to provide you all with some awesome thinking points and strategies to consider before we launch full steam into 2019.

After all, the last thing you’d want to do is find that your newly minted goals need a significant re-write.

Or indeed that they’re not as effective as they could have been.

Please take advantage of each these goal setting tweaks to make the most of each of your incredible future potential. The key here is to work with your brain’s natural tendencies rather than against it.

Here are my Dozen Don’ts for setting weight loss (or any other) goals.

1. Don’t Focus on the Don’ts

Do you know what you truly want?

When it comes to sketching out your goals, do you have a clear idea of what to write? Most people don’t.

When I work with clients, I have them begin by outlining their goals.

the first question I ask is,

“When it comes to your health, what do you want the most?"

Their replies almost always sound like this, “Well, I don’t want to be in pain, I don’t want to be tired all the time, and I want to stop going from doctor to doctor."

Most people have a very clear idea of what they don’t want. But figuring out what they do? That’s another matter.

One way to overcome this problem, is to concentrate on what you find essential.

What do you value in life and what’s truly important to you?

Once you’ve determined the key elements in life that are important to you, you can structure your goals to align with these.

2. Don’t be Wishy Washy

Your brain loves things to be clear and specific.

The more detailed and specific your goal is, the better.

For example, your mind can easily grasp the concept of “It’s February 10th and I can feel how loose and comfortable my favorite pair of blue jeans are to wear. I slip into them easily and effortlessly over my slim and toned body.”

Don’t make your mind work harder than it has to.

Don’t be vague.

Specific ideas are easier to grasp than fuzzy ones such as,

“I want to feel healthier” (than what?),

or “I exercise regularly” (what does regularly mean to you?).

Vague goals are a common success crusher.

Write from the viewpoint of creating a word picture.

Make sure that everything you write creates a clear mental image.

That’s why words such as want and wish are ineffective.

They have little to no meaning when it comes to setting a visual picture of your goal.

Again, this is all about being clear and specific!

What – exactly – do you want?

When you think of it, what picture do you see in your mind?

After this is set, go ahead and write it out.

Specify every detail of what you see, hear, and feel.

It also may be beneficial to include what you may likely smell or taste.

The more vivid the mental picture (and the feeling it brings), the better.

“People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.”

– Earl Nightingale

3. Don’t Forget Your Grammar

You don’t need to dust off your high school English text book for this one.

Just a basic refresher of the difference between past and present and passive and active voice will suffice.

Past tense and passive language looks like this:

  • He arrived at the conclusion,

  • He would have been better off without her.

Present tense and active language looks like this:

  • He concludes that he’s better off without her.

Do you see the direct language and simplicity of the second example?

You honestly don’t need to know the grammar specifics. A general understanding of structure will do.

Here are the two key takeaways.

Write your goals in the present tense (as if now) and keep them simple.

Also, keep in mind the point about specificity mentioned in strategy #2.

4. Don’t Dance the Low Bar Limbo

When it comes to goals, don’t fall into the trap of setting the bar too low.

Goals need to be realistic and attainable, for sure. But they should also encourage you to stretch and reach for something better.

They should bring on a feeling of anticipation and excitement.

They should challenge you and make you feel at least a little bit uncomfortable.

That uncomfortable place is where change happens.

Keep your pessimism in check.

Don’t push yourself to the point of feeling that your goal is impossible, but consider this:

What if you’re just a few steps away from achieving something you formerly thought was out of reach?

I’ve been doing this with my own health goals recently.

I caught myself thinking in the same familiar pattern about my ability to shift my body shape.

To stretch my thinking, I wondered,

“What if this long-held belief isn’t true? What if I can change?”