One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident


Elaine’s Corner: What are you Measuring?

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Elaine’s back for week 3 of her series. Check out Week 1 and Week 2 if you’re new! Now I’m gonna shut my big mouth and let her steal the show…

Greetings, fellow goal-setters and achievers! At this point, we have completed a full two weeks of working toward our respective goals. With the creation of SMART (Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time Sensitive) goals, we are all now equipped to track our progress toward our goals. As we approach our third week, it’s important to ask ourselves “WHY?” Only you can answer the “why?” of your specific goal (although I highly suggest looking at Roni’s 3 part series on loving yourself) ….what I want to consider here today is “Why do we need to set goals?” Until now, I’ve only told you that I want you to set a goal….now, let’s figure out why that goal is so important to reaching success.

The most expensive endeavor of my life was graduate school. I paid nearly $50,000 for a beautiful diploma that I then had to pay $160 to frame. For the price tag of $50,160 I learned two major lessons: “What gets measured, gets managed.” The second most important thing I learned was “If you change 100 things 1%, you’ve made 100% difference.” These two lessons are applicable to nearly every aspect of life, including health/wellness/weight loss/exercise goals.

By creating a SMART goal, you were able to attach specific and measurable aspects to your goal. Instead of “lose weight,” it became “Lose 8 lbs over a period of 5 weeks.” Now you have a measurement tool – you can use a program such as a spreadsheet, an app on your cell phone, or just simple pen-and-paper. Weight Watchers got this aspect of goal setting completely right by asking members to weigh-in once weekly and measure their progress toward their goals. The “why” of setting goals is that creating a SMART goal changes a dream into an idea then into action then into reality.

The other part of a SMART goal is that it is Attainable and Realistic. There is no such thing as being on a “diet” forever; no such thing as working out every single night for the next ten years….but, if you can change 100 behaviors 1%, you’ve made 100% of a difference. You CAN choose fruit in frozen yogurt instead of candy-laden ice cream, you CAN choose to walk the dog after work before watching television, you CAN choose to switch from soda to water or tea. The “why” of setting goals is that deciding what behaviors you can slowly change so that you can great impact later. Much like a glacier carving out mountains, goals are best when change is slow but powerful.

Tell me in the comments – what are you measuring? What are some small behaviors you can change today that get you closer to that 100% difference? As we embark on week three of reaching our goals, what will you be focusing on?

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There are 16 comments so far.


    September 21, 2010

    Making a habit of being active on a daily basis. Besides working out i will include my family in daily activity. I will start by turning off the tv (but i can’t live without Biggest Loser) and turn on the music and dance. Baby steps.


    September 21, 2010

    I’m enjoying the foods i eat! Healthy and tasty are a great combination. I’m also trying to exercise on a daily basis.


    September 21, 2010

    I’m having a good attitude. So many times attitude can ruin everything else for the day. Having a good attitude can really help you with other things you want to get done!


    September 21, 2010

    Every day I am finding more confidence in myself and my ability to succeed!


    September 21, 2010

    I’m doing C25K and blogging about it. I’m sticking to my eating plan and writing it all down. No mindless eating. I am focusing on the holidays, being back where I want to be.


    September 22, 2010

    I am planning each day to incorporate exercise, either walking, cardio, etc. I bought a pedometer and am achieving at least 10,000 steps daily. My moto (branded by NIKE) “Just do it!”. No more making excuses, I even schedule my meeting around my workouts. I am no longer letting life get in the way of my health. I just do it and plan everyday to incorporate my exercise plan of action, and guess what? I am enjoying it and feeling fantastic.


    September 22, 2010

    I go for a 3 mile walk every day. I upload an audiobook into my ipod and before I know it my garmin tells me 3 miles have gone by.


    September 22, 2010

    I am writing everything down. whether it is good or bad, I am writing it down. I am also thinking about if I’m really hungry before I am about to eat something. I’m getting back to understanding what “hungry” really feels like and most of the time, I’m not hungry. Interesting. By the way, my experiement of not being enrolled in Weight Watchers but reading the blogs and these types posts have been FANTASTIC. THANK YOU!


    September 22, 2010

    I really liked what you wrote,”goals are best when change is slow but powerful.” I agree. I choose one thing at a time to work on changing otherwise it is overwhelming.

    I am working on spending less time on the computer and more time moving my body!


    September 22, 2010

    after knee surgery in May I finally started walking again. No I could walk but now for excercise. I started small only 5 mins then 10 mins and now 15mins
    well I did say I just started again.


    September 22, 2010

    I have set my goals, I know where I will end up by adhering to my plan…10 lbs. lighter (and still strong). I am going to remind myself of these goals daily, and look at each choice as a stepping stone to where I want to be.
    I have met my exercise requirements so far and am feeling great about that. The eating has been a bit more of a challenge. Today I did cut my portions and pass on birthday cake and ice cream. I am pleased with that. One choice at a time right?


    September 23, 2010

    My goal is to loose 10 pounds. Behaviors I can change are controlling my snacking. I tend to eat from the highchair or snack off my sons leftover dinner (sick I know) and by the time my dinner time comes around I’m not hungry but feel committed to siting with my husband and having a meal. I’m working on eating when I’m hungry and having a glass of water or my low point dessert when my husband gets home.

    I’m also researching cheaper foods. We’re on a very tight budget and healthy foods can add up. I know that I can eat right and feel good about it while staying within the confines of our set monthly budget.


    September 23, 2010

    Working on measuring two things – getting in exercise every day (so far so good this week!) and trying to stay away from sugars and sweets. I am just not in the place where I can have this in moderation. I need to measure this progress one day at a time and build that habit!

    Anne Marie

    September 23, 2010

    I am blogging my food plan daily on BtL and my plate food diary. I stick to my plan better by writing it down. This is my measurement tool. My behavior that I am changing is my outlook on dieting or as I now say making healthier choices. I don’t know why or how I have managed to make this commitment but so far, so good. I want to live a healthier life for many reasons, my family to name the most important one.


    September 23, 2010

    Blogging my calories on Blog To Lose is what I have been measuring. Keeping it under 1700 a day. Also looking to be more positive.

    Osa Morena

    September 26, 2010

    I am tracking (WW) my food even when I exceed my points allotment, and exercising at least 3 times a week. Most days I am also logging my food on FitDay, which helps keep me aware of my protein/fat/carb percentages.