Thoughts on this post? Share them with me on Facebook, join the SPANily or Tweet me at @angieatkinson. ~Angie

Blendsocanu“Successful weight loss takes programming, not willpower.” ~Phil McGraw

When it comes to weight loss, the biggest hurdle that people face is that of getting started. Where do you start? How do you start?

If you are one of these people, you’re not alone. In fact, I was there myself when I started this journey to health. It doesn’t really matter whether you want to lose ten or a hundred pounds, honestly. It’s all about putting one proverbial foot in front of the other.

The first step to successful weight loss is to set some goals. Goals should be used in the same way as milestones are used on highways. Just as without any milestone, you will have no idea of where you are going, without a goal, you will have no idea of how much work you need to do to get to where you want to go.

First you should ask yourself some questions:

1. How much weight you want to lose?

2. By when you expect to lose all the weight?

Write down the answers on a piece of paper or put them in your blog or on your phone. Refer back to them occasionally. But ultimately, while your goals are important, they won’t be what’s getting you through each day–that will be credited to the small changes you make each day to lead you to those goals.

Setting goals is just not enough; in order to make the goals achievable, you must set REALISTIC goals. If you have a goal of losing sixty pounds within a couple of weeks or a month, that is not going to happen. Setting such unrealistic goals for yourself will nullify the very effect of goal setting.

Find out how I lost 100 pounds (and counting), right here.

When you set unrealistic goals and fail to achieve the same, you will be disappointed and frustrated with yourself and your weight loss efforts. Believe me, I’ve been there.

Ideally, no matter what you do, you should aim to lose no more than 1-2 pounds per week. So set your goals accordingly. For example, if you want to lose sixty pounds, it will take you at least six or seven months to do it in a healthy way. And what I’ve learned is that weight that comes off slowly tends to stay off longer.

Set small and achievable goals for yourself so that when you achieve them, you will feel more confident to move forward. This is the biggest secret of successful weight loss!

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