Setting Goals to Get You to Your Goal Weight

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Writing down goals is the first step to success. Recently I came across a paper from many years ago where I had written a long list of goals and dreams that, at the time, seemed nearly impossible. Would you believe, I have crossed almost everything off the list—from running a 5K, to owning an espresso machine, to publishing a book.

This year I realized my weight-loss goals shouldn't have been so black and white. I started by identifying my goal weight: 150 pounds, but I've realized that my focus should have never been just about a number. (Getting to 150 pounds is especially dear to me because it was my wedding weight.)

The changes and improvements I've been making haven't really been reflected in my scale numbers, but they are showing up elsewhere. When I compare myself to the beginning of my SHAPE Weight Loss Diary, I'm a completely different person. I sleep through the night, gave up alcohol, retired all processed foods, and am an overall a happier person. I also see the world completely differently. I've learned that life is what we make of it and we need to be as healthy as we can be to be able to live life to the fullest.

As for my body and setting weight-loss goals, I'm still working hard to achieve the body of my dreams, but the numbers and goals I'm focusing on are elsewhere. Like…

1. In the weight room. My trainer Tomery has been challenging me in the weight room with heavy bench presses and deadlifts, and I've never felt stronger in my life. My goals are increasing the weight I lift: Right now I'm eyeing 150 pounds on the leg press. (Self, you can do it!)

RELATED: 8 Reasons Why You Should Lift Heavier Weights

2. On my timer: I've always considered myself a slow runner, but my husband and I have been taking runs through the neighborhood in the evening, and he has challenged me to pump up my pace and, surprisingly, I'm faster than I thought. My next goal is to shave several minutes off my 5K time. (Meaning, a 30-minute 5K!)

3. On new race courses: This weekend I'm completing my first duathlon! My gym Life Time Fitness is hosting the women-only Espirit De She, which is a two-mile run, 10-mile bike ride, two-mile run race, and I'm so excited to challenge myself with this new race. For me, this isn't about time, but about just doing it.

4. In the dressing room: This morning I went shopping at Athleta when I picked up my race packet for the Duathlon. I was so surprised when I fit into a size medium athletic top! I ended up walking out in a cute red tennis outfit (my first tennis outfit in my life!), and I felt great. Now to get that size medium skirt to fit just a little bit better, but in the meantime I'm happy to wear the large skirt. After all, when it really comes down it, it's really about how I feel. And I feel marvelous!

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