The first step to a journey is to set a goal. The acronym SMART is commonly used. S is for specific. How about we use weight loss is the goal. Specific goal can look like this, losing weight to fit in a special dress. Make the goal for you and you only. Don't look at magazines, they are not real. The goal needs to be specific, if not, it's not personal to your needs. Never compare yourself to others. Never set yourself up for failure, especially before you get started.
Second, M stands for measurable. Ask yourself, how much weight loss is needed for the dress to fit. This is never a guess. Be very real about it. Make sure not to underestimate your needs. "I will lose 15 pounds to make the dress fit me." Proper goal setting is detailed oriented. The more details, the better odds for success.
The next step, A, for achievable. How will the weight loss happen? You can't wish weight off. Really think about day to day events. Make a plan A, as well as a plan B. Maybe a C if you need to. Life will take priority some time or another. What can you do if the gym visit is just not happening today. Plan A, go to the gym. Plan B, go running with a friend or dog. Plan C, develop an at home workout that you can do when time is an issue. The more back up plans that you have, the increased chance you will stick with your goal.
Looking at the goal even farther, R, stands for relevant. Is this the right time to make this goal? The plans that are made up have to stay in line with the overall "specific goal". Be sure that the main goal will be positively affected with every decision made. A good recommendation is to evaluate resources that you can tap into. Maybe be a support system or a friend that has chosen the same goal as you. Like I said earlier, the more detailed that you can get the better.
Finally, the T. T stands for time. How much time does it take to lose the weight? Do you have a day, week, or year? Obviously the more time you have, the increased probability of meeting your goal. Time plays a big role. If 20 pounds needs to be lossed, you better have more than a week to do it! Since 2 pounds of weight loss weekly is considered safe, you will need a minimum of 10 weeks to lose 20 pounds. Sounds simple, not realy. Add time for the "mishaps". Everyone wants a linear progression, but life is not predictable. There is no cure for life. Stuff happens, no matter how hard you try. Allow as much time as possible to make for a successful outcome.
These recommendations for goal setting can be used for any situation. This model will help you to be prepared, as well as successful in any situation that arrives. Being prepared not only helps eliminate stress in life, but will make you perform better after your goal is met. As always, seek a professional if any questions arrive.