Good goals are those that require a little, sometimes a lot, time and effort to achieve. 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 require time, effort, and planning, are how we grow and expand ourselves and our abilities. However, there is a potential downside to that. Let’s look at weight loss goals. It seems that most people can bear to wear a few pounds. Some of us are working towards it and some of us are not.
When we are working on our Weight Loss Goals, we tend to measure everything. You 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 come. That can be dangerous for someone working on their weight. Our scales are not going to show a loss every day, and when they do, the loss may be very small that day. Weight fluctuates as part of our normal weekly routine. It depends a lot on what we have done to burn calories, what we eat, when we eat and how much we eat. In addition, there are other factors such as our natural metabolism, the nutrients in our food, the amount of water we drink, etc.
It’s not unusual to work hard on our Goals and then see little or no progress right away. Some Goals require a massive sustained effort to get things going. Weight loss can be the same way. We can also reach stagnations in which the same effort no longer produces the same results. That could be a natural result of the plan you are following for a particular goal. In weight loss, it can be disconcerting as our bodies adjust to new levels of activity and eating. There are plenty of resources to combat that and keep you from getting stuck, so I won’t dwell on that.
Our problem when this happens is that we focus on incremental results that we think we should see on a daily basis. That is not always possible. When we don’t see them, we can start to notice that one thing. We start trying to push things so we can get that little win and the adrenaline rush that comes with it. When this happens, we leave our plan. We tried shortcuts and tricks. For a weight loss goal, this can be disastrous. You can derail all your efforts by damaging your body through crash diets, super fasting, starvation diets, etc. It can also derail you emotionally. It’s depressing to see progress suddenly stop 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 cannot measure the success of a goal in small, incremental steps. They measure progress on a small scale. The larger scale is more important right now. A better question right now is what is the trend for weight loss? Are we trending down overall, starting to move back up, or just neutral? Anything that starts to stick long-term, like weight gain or leveling off, only then becomes a problem to be solved. That’s true for all Goals, not just weight loss. Daily measurement is good, as long as it doesn’t cause you to lose sight of long-term progress toward your Goal.