Smart Weight Loss Goals: How To Make A Plan To Lose Weight

Learn how to set goals that are clear and concise, trackable, within reach, aligned with your values, and bound by a specific timeframe in order to achieve your weight loss goals. #habits #SMARTgoals #weightlossplan



Setting realistic and structured goals is key to your success when starting a weight loss journey. An undefined goal like ‘I want to lose weight’ is too vague and needs to be clearer for you to know what to do. This is where SMART weight loss goals come in. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound. I’ll break these down more in the post below, but this means that a goal should be clear and concise, trackable, within reach, aligned with your values, and bound by a specific timeframe.

SMART goals provide clarity, motivation, and a sense of direction that is essential when faced with the complexities of dietary choices, exercise routines, and lifestyle adjustments. It makes a vague desire to lose weight into a concrete action plan.

LEARN MORE ABOUT MY WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY! > How I Lost Over 80lbs: Tips For Starting A Weight Loss Journey

SEE MY COMPLETE GUIDE ON HABIT FORMATION > Mastering Habit Formation and Behaviour Change For Your Health

SMART Weight Loss goals

Table of Contents

Understanding SMART Weight Loss Goals

  • Specific: A specific weight loss goal is clear and concise, leaving no room for interpretation. And is something that you will know you have achieved straight away.
  • Measurable: Measurable goals allow you to think about a realistic timeline for your goals, allow you to track your progress, and celebrate achievements along the way.
  • Achievable: An achievable goal ensures that your goals are within reach, preventing frustration and maintaining motivation.
  • Relevant: Relevance makes sure that your weight loss goals align with your values and bigger aspirations. A relevant goal is not isolated but contributes to your overall well-being.
  • Time-Bound: Time-bound goals ensure that your weight loss journey has a sense of structure. They involve setting specific deadlines and transforming far-away goals into actionable steps within defined timeframes.

Specific: Defining Your Weight Loss Focus

Saying you want to lose weight is a bit like having a GPS say, “Just head in that general direction.” But that doesn’t really help! Where exactly are you going, and how do you get there? That’s where specificity comes in. It’s about setting clear objectives that tell you what to aim for and the steps to get there.

Examples of Specific Goals

  • Casual Goal: “I want to exercise more.”
  • Specific Goal: “I’m going to walk for 30 minutes, five times a week.”
  • Casual Goal: “I want to eat healthier.”
  • Specific Goal: “I’m going to eat at least 3 portions of vegetables a day, and 1 piece of fruit.”
  • Casual Goal: “I want to lose weight.”
  • Specific Goal: “I will aim to lose 10 pounds in the next three months.”

Measurable: Tracking Progress and Success

Now you’ve decided on your specific goal, it’s time to bring some numbers into the mix. Having a measurable goal won’t leave you wondering if you’re making progress, measurable goals give you concrete proof that, yes, you are moving forward. You can track your goals however you prefer, either just writing them down the old fashioned way, using an app/watch, or even a spreadsheet.

Examples of Measurable Goals

  • Casual Goal: “I want to exercise regularly.”
  • Measurable Goal: “I’m aiming for 10,000 steps a day, tracked on my fitness app/watch.”
  • Casual Goal: “I want to eat better.”
  • Measurable Goal: “I’m going to track my fruit and veg intake by keeping a simple food diary to track what I eat.”
  • Casual Goal: “I want to lose weight.”
  • Measurable Goal: “I’ll weight myself weekly, and I’ll track my progress in a journal.”
SMART weight loss goals

Achievable: Setting Realistic and Attainable Goals

To keep motivation high, you need to figure out what’s realistic for you, and find that sweet spot between ambition and achievability. If you set a goal that is too far out of your reach, you might start strong, but burnout is inevitable. That’s where achievability comes in. It’s not about aiming low; it’s about setting yourself up for success. When you hit those smaller milestones on the way to your big goal, it’s like a burst of motivation that keeps you going.

Examples of Achievable Goals

  • Casual Goal: “I want to be more active.”
  • Achievable Goal: “I’ll start with three 20-minute walks a week. As I get used to it, I can add more or try a new activity.”
  • Casual Goal: “I want to eat healthier.”
  • Achievable Goal: “I’ll swap one sugary drink for water each day and add a serving of veggies to one meal.”
  • Casual Goal: “I want to lose weight.”
  • Achievable Goal: “I’m looking at losing 1-2 pounds a week by cutting down on snacks and adding in a couple of home workouts.”

Relevant: Aligning Goals with Personal Objectives

When your goals resonate with your life, they become more than just tasks; they become a part of your journey towards overall well-being. When you see the connection between losing weight and feeling more energized, improving your health, or boosting your confidence, suddenly your goals become more than just numbers on a scale.

Examples of Relevant Weight Loss Goals

  • Casual Goal: “I want to be more active.”
  • Relevant Goal: “I’ll aim to be active for at least 30 minutes a day because it boosts my energy levels, and makes me feel good.”
  • Casual Goal: “I want to eat better.”
  • Relevant Goal: “I’m focusing on better nutrition because it not only supports my weight loss but also aligns with my goal of feeling more confident and healthier.”
  • Casual Goal: “I want to lose weight.”
  • Relevant Goal: “I’m looking at losing weight to improve my overall health. It’s about a long, healthy life for me.”

Time-Bound: Establishing a Timeline for Success

Setting a deadline doesn’t mean rushing or taking shortcuts. It’s about being realistic. Setting realistic deadlines ensures you have enough time to make sustainable changes, celebrate small wins along the way, and stay sane. Having a timeframe creates a sense of accountability and it breaks your big goal into smaller, manageable steps. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of your goal, you’re tackling it one deadline at a time.

Examples of Time-Bound Weight Loss Goals

  • Casual Goal: “I want to be more active.”
  • Time-Bound Goal: “I’m committing to 30 minutes of exercise five times a week for the next two months.”
  • Casual Goal: “I want to eat better.”
  • Time-Bound Goal: “For the next six weeks, I’m cutting back on high sugar foods and focusing on a balanced diet.”
  • Casual Goal: “I want to lose weight.”
  • Time-Bound Goal: “I’m aiming to lose 10 pounds in the next eight weeks.”
SMART weight loss goals

Creating Your SMART Weight Loss Plan

When thinking about a SMART goal you want to set yourself, make sure it’s something that can fit into your life. If counting calories isn’t your thing, base your goal on mindful eating instead. The key is to make your goals fit your preferences and lifestyle. It’s not about what works for others; it’s about what works for you.

Example Of A Fully Fleshed Out SMART Weight Loss Goal

  1. Specific: “I want to lose 8 pounds in the next three months by jogging three times a week.”
  2. Measurable: “I’ll track my progress by weighing myself weekly and tracking my jogs.”
  3. Achievable: “I’ll start with a 5k training plan and gradually build up my endurance.”
  4. Relevant: “I’ll make it a family affair by inviting my partner and kids to join me on weekend jogs, or I’ll take my dog on a jog instead of our usual walk.”
  5. Time-Bound: “I’ll be able to jog 5k in three months.”

Overcoming Challenges and Adjusting Goals

First things first, let’s acknowledge that challenges happen. Maybe a busy week derails your exercise routine, or a stressful day tempts you to reach for comfort food. It’s normal. The key is not to see these moments as failures but as opportunities to learn. Life is full of surprises, and your weight loss journey is no exception.

So, you hit a roadblock. Now what? Time to adapt. Look at your goals and see if they still align with where you are. If life gets hectic, maybe adjust your workout duration or frequency. Goals are not set in stone; they’re guidelines meant to keep you on track. Progress is not always linear, and setbacks are not the end of the road; they’re detours. The more flexible you are, the better equipped you’ll be to weather the storms.

Goal setting should only benefit your life, I found this post from Positive Psychology really helpful!


Celebrating Success: Milestones and Rewards

Breaking your larger goal into smaller, achievable milestones not only makes your progress more manageable but also turns your journey into a series of victories. Celebrate each milestone as a stepping stone to your bigger goal. When you achieve a milestone, treat yourself to something special, rewards create a positive association with your achievements. This is due in part to your brain releasing dopamine, the “reward” hormone. This hormone not only makes you feel good but also reinforces the behaviour that led to the success.

Keep track of your goals with a fun planner like this one.

weight loss wins non scale victories


Hopefully now you have learned to be clear about what you want (specific), keep track of your progress (measurable), set goals that are both challenging and doable (achievable), make your goals meaningful to your life (relevant), and put a timeline on your aspirations (time-bound). These SMART weight loss goals are your personalized roadmap to success.

Challenges may pop up, and that’s okay. Just remember to be flexible and celebrate every win along the way. It’s not just about reaching a destination; it’s about enjoying the journey, learning from challenges, and celebrating your growth.

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