Dieting goals – a good idea or not?

2 pounds a week. A stone by Christmas. Exercise 4 times a week. Size 12 by the summer

Goals come in all shapes and sizes. For those of you who have looked at goals in depth you will no doubt be familiar with this  acronym which is widely used when setting a goal:

S – specific

M-measured

A-achievable

R-realistic

T-timed

E-enthusiasm

R – reward

They all speak for themselves except perhaps the last two. The idea with these is that if you are enthusiastic and attach emotion to a goal , you are more likely to achieve it. The reward ( not food) is what the payback will be for you if you achieve this goal. Better health, greater self-esteem, smaller clothes etc…

We all make dieting goals at one time or another but should we?

Goals have their place and for some people they are an absolute must. We’ve all read the articles from successful slimmers saying that the goals they set were what kept them focused but is that true for everybody?

The flip side of this is those people who feel pressured when they have set a goal, especially if the possibility of achieving that goal is a long way away.

So what makes the difference between those who thrive on goal setting and those who shy away from, or feel pressured by goal setting?

Well, it could be a number of things like the type of goal they set, whether it’s a long term or short term goal, how specific they have made it and also and most importantly whether their personality type gravitates towards goals or away from them. 

There are certain personality types who need a goal, their natural character traits lead them towards having a focus. If you are naturally a person who likes detailed, structured pathways then a number of short term goals, all set out from the outset will help you achieve what you want to.

A long term goal with no intermediate steps is unlikely to be achieved as you may well lose your way.

If however you are a more social outgoing personality type it’s essential that you involve others in your goal. After all, you will need to factor in a social life and their support will be invaluable.

For the personality type that knows their own mind, is assertive and goal driven, then the goal is a must but only if the individual is setting their own goal. If it’s a goal that is foisted on them and they are not truly comfortable with it , then they are set up to fail.

As you can see a knowledge of yourself and your innate personality can be the difference between the use of a goal, the type and length of a goal and whether you are successful or not.

Helen Clarke, Co-Founder DietMaps