Big Goals and Little Goals: Losing Weight One Failure or Success at a Time

Most of my friends and family will tell you that I’m a little bit of a nut when it comes to lists. If I can break it down into bullet points, I probably will. Half the reason behind this is that I forget things. Important things. All. The. Freaking. Time. So I eventually learned that if I write down a reminder to myself that I have that appointment with my academic advisor next Wednesday and proceed to copy that reminder down in about six other locations, there’s a pretty decent chance that I might not forget.

Other than as a way to make sure I don’t forget appointments and essay deadlines, I’ve found that making lists regarding my weight loss plan is one of the tricks most helpful for staying motivated. What kind of lists, you ask? I won’t bore you with the inspiration behind each one, but I will break them down into an oh-so-convenient list-about-lists (don’t worry, I do in fact realize how completely crazy and nerdy I sound right now, but I don’t really care).

  • Macro goals
    • Ultimate goal weight (140 lbs)

    • Weight-loss milestones (in increments of 50 pounds)

  • Micro goals (or “micro quotas,” as Gregory Ciotti calls them in this awesome article about the Science of Good Habits)
    • Weight-loss steps or mini milestones (in increments of 10 pounds)
    • Weekly goals (exercise, diet, etc.)
    • Daily goals (water intake, food journaling, etc.)

I realize that not everyone is as obsessed with lists as I am, but there’s something about breaking our bigger goals up into smaller goals that make them seem a little bit more attainable. Setting a goal to lose 100 pounds is wonderful, but it’s also a little bit scary. When I first decided to get serious about losing weight, I was faced with one three-digit number: 227. That was the magic number I needed to lose in order to hit my goal weight. And quite honestly, I almost gave up before I even began. How in the world was I supposed to lose over 200 pounds? Someone once said that “real supermen don’t leap over buildings in a single bound, they take small, determined steps consistently over time.” So that’s what I decided I needed to do. One single determined step after one single determined step.

Question of the Day: What are your goals, and how have you broken them down, if at all?

2 thoughts on “Big Goals and Little Goals: Losing Weight One Failure or Success at a Time

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