<< Back to the Index
OP Contact Card Symbol

Think Thin, Be Thin-1/21 Lesson 5 Transform Wishes into Goals


If we could wish away weight, none of us would be heavy. Unfortunately, lots of overweight people live in wish mode. You may wish that you didn't have such a big appetite, that you didn't enjoy food so much, or that you had more time to exercise. But you're more likely to slim down if you stop wishing and take concrete steps toward what you want.

In research on performance in students, athletes, and employees, the one characteristic that separates high and low achievers is having clear, specific goals. As you launch your weight-loss program, set goals that are both a reach and reachable. As you progress, add or modify your goals so they continue to inspire rather than overwhelm you.

Here are our suggestions for creating goals worth going for:

SEE IT, SAY, AND WRITE IT. Create an image of your goal. Maybe you see yourself dazzling old friends at a reunion or buttoning the pants that fit just last year. Maybe you visualize yourself smiling as you step on a scale or see your lithe body in a bikini. Describe and define your goal in your mind. Then put it in words, and commit it to paper. Until you write down what you want, it's only a wish. Set aside a page or section of your notebook to record, amend, modify, refine, expand, and extend your goals--and to check off each one as you reach it.

THINK IN TERMS OF EVOLUTION, NOT REVOLUTION. Revolutionary changes trigger counterrevolutionary rebellion. Although you may want to drop 15, 25, 50 lbs or more, aim for losing 5. Anticipate the sense of accomplishment you'll feel as you hit each 5 lb marker. Each small win can add up to a big boost in motivation. Even if you want to shed more lbs, this difference alone will lower your health risks and boost your self-confidence.

IDENTIFY YOUR RESOURCES. Do you have what you need--knowledge,skills, time--to succeed? For instance, if you're committing to a daily walk, make sure you have good shoes. Identify a track. Decide if you'll go alone or with a friend. Clear 30 min of your day so you'll be sure to hit the trail.

SYSTEMATICALLY ANALYZE BARRIERS. Think through, in very concrete and specific terms what is likely to get in your way. For each obstacle, list solutions. If bad weather is a threat, come up with indoor alternatives. If the breakroom always has goodies, limit the time you're there or bring a healthy snack.

SET GOALS THAT GO BEYOND LBS. Thinking only in terms of lbs can be both limiting and frustrating. Set goals that focus on changing behavior and make them as specific as possible, for example:

Today's goal: I'll take a 15 min walk and will have low-fat milk instead of a milk shake with my lunch.

The week's goal: At least 3 evenings this week, I'll have fruit for dessert or none at all.

This month's goal: I'm going to get off the bus one stop sooner and walk the rest of the way to and from work. If the weather's bad, I'll walk up one flight before taking the elevator up to my office or apartment. By the end of the month, I'll get off two stops away and walk two or three flights before getting on the elevator.

  Lisa as Intended (CE) Replied:

I admired and wished I was "THAT GIRL" who exercised in the 100 degree weather, sleet, snow, etc. for many years, and now I'm pretty sure I've gotten this one down since reading the "100's" committed, and protect your program turning wishes into actions...I've snuck into a stadium to do stairs, suggested to go to the mall when my walking partner called to cancel due to rain, and I walked in a downpour just to prove I could...only later to find out there had been a tornado warning at the time, lol! THAT wasn't on my "THAT GIRL" list! I'd probabely feel like Super Woman right now if my house was cleaned! Guess that will be my next goal interview and hire a maid (just joking...sorta)!

Contact Card Symbol

  Anonymous Replied:

Ok Lisa, I actually think I am more excited by the thought of a "that girl" list than the TSBS for today!! What an idea, we all have a mental picture of the sort of person we want to be, I am going to write down what "she" does that I don't - but could or should - then work on it one day at a time. Excellent - that is today's "beyond lb's" goal sorted then!

  Lisa as Intended (CE) Replied:

Thanks for your support Slim...I know it has been very expansive for me and has gotten me excited about today and tomorrow, and by releasing "old ideas" of who I am, has really healed some areas that I had felt powerless over. And I think by doing that, the weight I've been carrying around emotionally that is now falling away, will transpire to weight dropping away from me physically as well. Be your own "THAT GIRL SUPER HERO"! THIS GIRL is sure much more hopeful and encouraged for doing so. I'm having fun doing it too, giggles!

Contact Card Symbol

  Anonymous Replied:

In 1998 I was so comitted to walking that I did walk in the rain and cold. I also did a lot of walking at night on the rode in front of our house in the country. Hopefully I am on the way to becoming that comitted again.

  Sharon VA Replied:

I have had to keep my goals pretty simple to get the ball rolling. Right now I am working on packing my food and vitamins each day and trying to get to 10,000 steps more days than not. Theses small changes are helping me creep my way to goal weight.

  Shirley Replied:

Sharon, I think that's great. I like that the book said make goals a reach and reachable. I have always believed in baby steps...and keeping things simple. Good for you on that 10,000 step goal. I've got to get moving!!

Contact Card Symbol

  Anonymous Replied:

I like the idea of baby steps. When I started I hadn't exercised in forever and the thought seemed overwhelming so I started with just 10 minutes 3x/week then I increased it to 10 minutes 5x/week and so on and now I'm up to 30 minutes/day!!! Baby steps work for me.

The opinions expressed on this forum may not represent the opinions of Please consult your physician to determine the weight, nutrition and exercise levels that are best for you.