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Optimal Goal Setting is Essential to Success!! (Part Two)


Part One of the article, “Optimal Goal Setting is Essential to Success!!” describes the importance of well thought out goal development and details the four key steps of a successful goal setting process.  Part Two will demonstrate the importance of applying these steps by comparing and contrasting two case examples.  Jean and Joan would both like to set a weight loss goal. Let’s look at their different strategies and evaluate the outcomes.


Jean’s Story:


Jean feels that she would like to lose weight. She tells herself that she is going to eat better and start exercising. The first day Jean eats toast for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and chicken and rice for dinner. After dinner Jean takes a walk around her neighborhood. Jean follows a similar pattern on days two and three. However, on day four, Jean realizes she has nothing to eat at home, so she rushes over to a fast food restaurant to grab a burger and fries. Afterward, she feels too lethargic to walk, so she zones out in front of the T.V. with a bowl of ice cream.  Upon waking the next day, Jean feels discouraged as a result of her actions the day before and stops by the donut shop on the way to work, believing that a sweet treat will improve her mood. After continuing a similar pattern throughout the day, Jean allows herself to give up on her weight loss intentions and completely slides back into her previously unhealthy routine.


Joan’s Story:


(Identify Your Core Values)


Joan feels that she would like to lose weight. She knows that to be successful she must first identify the WHY of why weight loss is important to her. Joan examines her Core Values and realizes that Health is a number one priority in her life because it is important to her to live a long and healthy life. Upon further reflection, Joan also realizes that weight loss will also align with her Core Value of Recreation, because once she loses weight she will be able to resume her hobby of horseback riding, which she used to really enjoy, but since her weight gain has become physically uncomfortable for her.  Weight loss will also positively impact her Core Value of Social Connections, because once she feels ready to resume riding, she will recommence participation in the Riding Club where she is looking forward to resuming currently neglected friendships with her fellow riders.


(Clearly State Your Goal)


Now that Joan is fully aware of the WHY behind her weight loss goal, she is ready to define her goal clearly, concisely and specifically.

Keeping these parameters in mind, Joan creates the following goal:

“I will lose 20 pounds by March 1st”.


(Assign Yourself Small Tasks)


Now Joan is ready to assign herself tasks that correspond with her goal. Joan carefully considers what small action steps she must accomplish in order to achieve her overall goal. She knows that there are two components to weight loss-healthy diet and exercise. Joan assigns herself specific tasks relating to these two areas.

1)     Clear refrigerator and cupboards of unhealthy foods

2)     Purchase replacement healthy food choices

3)     Develop a food plan detailing each meal and snack for an entire week

4)     Develop an exercise plan; such as briskly walk a minimum of 45 minutes per day, 5 days per week.


(Maintain Your Motivation Level Using Support and Rewards)


Joan knows it is important to keep her level of motivation high. She does this by engaging her sister as her Sponsor/accountability partner. Joan will be forthright in notifying her Sponsor about her progress and will rely on her sister for both moral support and accountability.


Joan has successfully utilized the optimal goal setting process, and by March 1st she has reached her weight loss goal!  Hopefully through the use of these two contrasting case examples, the advantage of mindful goal setting is abundantly clear. The bit of extra time and energy it requires to engage in optimal goal setting will pay off in a big way by putting you on the road to success!!



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