Good Goals are ones that take a little time and effort, sometimes a lot, to do. If our Goals are too easy, why bother, right? You can just put them on your to-do list and not go through all the fuss of the Goal-Setting process. Big Goals, or at least Goals that take time, effort and planning, are how we grow and stretch our selves and our abilities. There’s a potential drawback to that though. Let’s look at weight loss Goals. Seems like most everyone can stand to use a few pounds. Some of us are working toward it and others aren’t.
When we’re working on our weight loss Goals, we tend to measure everything. Can’t track and manage something if you don’t measure it after all. We get excited when the scale shows a loss. It makes us want to weigh ourselves every day to see how far we’ve gotten. That can be dangerous for someone working on their weight. Our scales aren’t going to show a loss every single day, and when they do, the loss might be very small that day. Weight fluctuates as part of our normal weekly routine. It depends a lot on what we’ve done to burn calories, what we eat, when we eat and how much we eat. Plus there are other factors such as our natural metabolism, the nutrients in our food, the amount of water we drink and so on.
It’s not uncommon to do a lot of work on our Goals and then not see any, or little, progress immediately. Some Goals take a massive sustained effort to get things in motion. Weight loss can be the same way. We can also hit plateaus where the same effort isn’t producing the same results anymore. That might be a natural result of the plan you’re following for a particular Goal. In weight loss, it can be baffling as out bodies adjust to new levels of activity and food. There are plenty of resources to combat that and keep you from stalling out, so I won’t dwell on those.
Our problem when this happens is that we get focused on incremental results that we think we should see daily. That’s just not always possible. When we don’t see them, we can start to fixate on that one thing. We start trying to force things so we can get that little win and the adrenaline rush that goes with it. When this happens, we get off our plan. We try shortcuts and tricks. For a weight loss Goal, this can be disastrous. It can derail all your efforts by doing harm to your body through crash dieting, super fasting, starvation dieting and so on. It can also derail you emotionally. It’s depressing to see progress stop suddenly or even go backwards when you’re still doing the same things as before.
Don’t let that get you down. It’s natural, and it will pass. We can’t measure Success on a Goal by small, incremental steps. They measure progress on a small scale. The larger scale is more important at these times. A better question at these times is what’s the trend for the weight loss? Are we trending down overall, starting to go back up or just in neutral? Anything that starts to stick for the long term like a rise in weight or a leveling only then becomes an issue to resolve. That’s true for all Goals, not just weight loss. Daily measuring is good, as long as it doesn’t make you lose sight of the long-term progress towards your Goal.