Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most important things we can all do for our health. Defining your goals is the first step and we have some tips for getting started.

1.Make Your Goal(s) Specific

Saying you’re going to lose weight is a start, but it’s also kind of like saying you’re going to travel around the world. Get specific! What’s your first destination? When your goals are too broad, they can easily seem big and daunting, or too abstract to know how to tackle them. Set yourself up for success by identifying specific, concrete goals that include timelines. Commit to having green smoothie for breakfast everyday this week, or going to the gym three days a week all month long, or trying a different class every week. Each of these goals is attainable and specific and charged with positive action.

2. Be Realistic About Timing

Don’t rush yourself. It can be easy to underestimate how much time it may take to losing weight or build muscle. That can be a real bummer when you step on the scale and aren’t where you had planned to be. Be realistic. Know that a rate of 1-2 lbs per week is a healthy weight goal; anything more can put real strain on your body.

3. Get Friends Involved

Having a workout buddy (or buddies) can be great motivation. They can help hold you accountable while also making the work more fun. And sometimes inspiring others is the best way to stay on track, so don’t be afraid to be the cheerleader in your workout or healthy eating group. Positivity is contagious!

5. Hold Yourself Accountable

Your best friend on your healthy weight journey is you. Learn to hold yourself accountable, whether this means journaling everyday, using an app like MyFit to keep track of your calories and physical activity, or blocking off time in your calendar for workouts. Take a moment to check in with yourself every now and then and ask yourself, “how do I feel?”

6. Don’t Fall For Gimmicks

We’ve all seen the TV ads that promise quick weight loss with no cravings, or the pill that will kill your appetite and make the pounds magically disappear. Stay away! The best method to reach and maintain a healthy weight is the good old fashioned way - clean, nutritious foods and exercise. (Side effects include a healthy, vibrant lifestyle.)

7. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

Every body is beautifully different, and your uniqueness also pertains to finding and maintaining a healthy weight. Your weight journey is yours and yours alone. Don’t be disheartened when your friend loses five pounds and you lose one. Instead, celebrate your success and set the next goal.