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Weight Control Infocenter

DietBuddy Archives

Step 5: Make your goals personal

by Dr. Jacob Mathew, Moderator, DietBuddy

We had been discussing goal setting.

If you had been following the process with us, each of us should have a goal that is realistic.
We may need to fine-tune our goals to ensure that we will be able to keep them for the rest of our lives.

Last week we said the goals have to be realistic. This week, we will discuss, another important attribute of the goal.

Step 5 Make your goals personal

I can probably set a goal for each of you based on what you said while signing up or asking you a few questions. Similarly, your other diet buddies can tell you what your goals "should be."

Unfortunately, that won't do you any good. It will be their goals; not yours.

You cannot delegate this task to someone else. You need to do it your self. That is why we are taking this time-consuming approach to train you so you can arrive at your own goals. It is only yours; no one else's. it is something you have to be comfortable with. You have to be convinced that it is realistic. And that if you accomplish the goals, it will make significant improvement to your health and life - something you can be excited about.

In her book Judy Molnar says:

"Be honest about what you want. I tried to follow the Oprah way of going after a marathon. I was going after her dreams and goals, doing it her way, not mine. When I started doing the exercises I liked, I was led to doing triathlons."

Triathlons, obviously is not for everyone. It may be jogging and ultimately going for marathons for you. It could be becoming a swimming champion; or cross country running,... etc. The choices are endless. The path chosen by you must keep you interested and motivated day in and day out. So, take some time to plan your future. It will be well worth it.

So, don't let your goals be dependent on someone else. Their failure then becomes your failure, your excuse.


Action Items:

Action Items 1. Read the following article:

Unrealistic Expectations Can Cause Failure
by Caryl Ehrlich

You can find it at:


This article reviews what we said in step 4 - making reasonable goals. It also talks about our failure orientation. We don't see successes; we only see failures. So, we set ourselves up for failure. We need to change this focus on failure. If your goal was to lose 10 pounds in a month and we only lost 5 pounds, what do we normally do? We groan and moan and give up saying that we are not up to it. But the fact is that we lost 5 pounds. If we keep it up, we will lose 60 pounds in 1 year. That is really significant. And more importantly, we didn't gain anything! I am not saying that we should sabotage our goals every step. What I am saying is that you should celebrate your small victories, analyze what went wrong, make corrective actions to bring us back to our plan and work to accomplish it in the next month.

Action Items 2. Read the article:

The 20-Minute Meal
By Caryl Ehrlich


It will introduce the idea of mindful eating - taking time to eat your food and enjoying the experience. Many of us are compulsive eaters. We eat when we have nothing else to do, when we are depressed, when we watch TV, or when we are bored - all wrong reasons to eat food. We stuff ourselves with pizza because it is there. We need to get out of that habit and take our time and enjoy it. I will talk more about it later. But I want you to read this so you can incorporate that in your goals and action plan.

Action Items 3. Read the article:

10 Easy Ways to Kick-Start a New Healthy Eating Lifestyle 
By Erin Rogers


This article has lot of pointers that should be part of your action plan.

Action Item 4: Increase your water intake to 8 glasses of water a day

If you had been following the plan with us so far, each of us should be drinking 6 glasses of water a day. It is time to increase that to 8 glasses of water a day.

Action Item 5: Continue with your journal.

If you are not already doing it, write down everything you gulp down into your mouth everyday. Make a list. Make sure you complete this before you go to bed each day. (Yes, I will be asking for it; so make sure you have this in writing.)

Next: Step 6: Set a Time Frame

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