How to set mini-goals on your weight loss journey (and why you should celebrate your success)

By author photo Kate Merryweather

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When you are starting your weight loss journey, your mind easily focuses on the finish line. You’re imagining how great you’ll feel when you’ve lost the weight, buying new clothes and enjoying newfound confidence.

And sure, daydreaming about the END of your journey is fun, and can motivate you to keep on track as you are losing weight.

But what about the time in between? How are you going to plan for those milestones? Is it worth celebrating along the way?


Planning for achieving mini-goals along the way

It’s well worth taking a moment to think about moments of achievement along the way. Especially if you have a lot of weight to lose. Your long term goal might take many months to achieve (particularly when you are doing it in a healthy, sensible way).

So it’s important to prepare for smaller successes on the way. How will you celebrate losing your first five kilos? How about when you drop your first dress or pants size? Those goals are likely to happen much sooner than reaching your goal weight.

Step by step, slowly and surely, success will be yours

Each day you stay on the plan might not seem like much, but it’s a small step towards your goal.

There is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time 〜 Desmond Tutu

It’s the same with your weight loss. We don’t suggest eating an elephant, but the mindset of taking each step at a time is important.
So, by focussing on the short term goals you find yourself more motivated and enjoying the journey. As such, you are more likely to stick with the program – because you’re having so much fun achieving your goals.


Losing patience because your goal seems far away?

What happens if you obsess about reaching your goal weight without celebrating the goals you achieve on the way? You may become frustrated and bored. If progress is slower than you wish, you might consider giving up. Changing food and fitness habits takes time and you are building lifelong healthy habits – not a crash diet!


So how do you celebrate those weight loss milestones?

Short term goals are your best friend. Hitting an initial milestone, such as 5% or your first five kilos is a great way to start. But the number on the scales is only one element of the journey to better health. So how about some goals that aren’t dependent on a number on the scale? These could be:

• walking 10,000 steps per day

• filling half your plate with veggies at dinner time

• eating a meat-free meal once a week (meat-free Mondays)

• bringing your own healthy snacks to picnics, movies or parties

• eating meals slowly and savouring every bite

• meditate regularly to be more mindful of your hunger and fullness cues

After all, you will never change your life until you change something you do daily. So what can you do daily? And how do you celebrate at the end of each week?


The power of starting small

Have you ever gotten carried away with goal setting and listed out ten or so goals you’re going to work on all at once? You’re enthusiastic and motivated for a day or so. But then life gets in the way and before you know it, you missed a day. Now you’re kicking yourself because you didn’t stick with the program you set for yourself. Before you know it, you’ve given up completely – on all the goals. You’re back at square one but you’re feeling like a failure. This vicious cycle can continue for years if you let it.

The problem was not you. It was setting too many goals and making them impossible to stick to! If you are busy working parenting and/or studying, it may not be realistic to expect yourself to make several massive changes in your life all at once.


Set a goal smaller than you think it should be

Make your goals achievable so you have a chance of reaching them. Start with a small goal – you can always extend it later when you’re ready to challenge yourself further.
Goals can be:

• Walking every day for 20 minutes – not an hour

• Meditating three times a week for ten minutes – not every day

• Trying a new exercise once a week


Make your weekly Consultant meeting one of your goals

Of course, as part of the Jenny Craig weight loss program, your Consultant is your cheerleader and coach. The people who have lost weight with Jenny Craig often say they were dedicated to attending meetings with their Consultant. So if you’d like to be joining them one day, then making the commitment to always attending your meetings will help you get there!

If you have a tough week and you don’t want to confess that you’ve struggled, it can be tempting to blow off your meeting because you are busy with work, study or family. But this is the time you need your Consultant most! So make it a goal to NEVER skip a meeting with your Jenny Craig Consultant. And give yourself a high five every time you show up!


Celebrating when you achieve weight loss goals

In the past you may have turned to ice cream, champagne cocktails or chocolate to celebrate achieving a goal. But the new healthy you has found different (better) ways to celebrate reaching goals, right?

This could be:

• putting $10 or $20 away to a savings account for a new wardrobe when you drop a shirt or dress size

• having a pamper session at home each Sunday night: bath, manicure, face mask, body scrub

• buying yourself flowers, a new book or download a film and while you are enjoying a touch of luxury…

      • pay someone to do one of your weekly chores, like car detailing, cleaning, or laundry (you’ll feel like a millionaire)

• new workout clothes, sneakers, fitness apps or subscriptions to improve your fitness

• a fancy new journal to track your progress


Celebrating your weight loss goals can cost very little

If you are on a tight budget, try some of these low-cost ways to celebrate your progress during your weight loss journey.

• Putting a gold star on your calendar when you’ve achieved your daily goal

• Add a post it note to your mirror to remind you of working on your goals daily

• Using a bullet journal to list your goals and track your progress each day

• Keeping a spreadsheet of your measurements and updating it with kilos and centimetres dropped

• Picking a flower on your daily walk


What about when you do achieve your total weight loss goal?

Well, that’s the time you should really celebrate. After all, you’ve worked hard to lose weight and you should take a moment to clap yourself on the back.

Here’s some fun ways to celebrate a job well done:

• indulge in luxury pillow, sheets or sleepwear for a great night’s sleep

• get a new hair cut and colour to give yourself a whole new look

• splurge on a new wardrobe in a lower size (do we even need to tell you this one?)

• book a trip hiking, skiing or kayaking (something you wouldn’t have the confidence to do at a bigger size)

• shout out on social media the friends and family who have supported you along the way (watch the positive comments rolling in)

No matter what kind of weight loss goal you’ve achieved: big or small, spend time preparing so when you hit it you know EXACTLY how to celebrate!

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