Why Setting BIG GOALS...Can Make You Fat

Big goals or daily habits.  What works for you?

  • Set a BIG GOAL...one that scares you
  • Set a “Big Hairy Audacious Goal”
  • The bigger the better. Big, big, big...think big!  
  • Think outside of the realm of possibility!
  • Go big or go home!
  • Make a goal so big that you may not accomplish it

Maybe you have heard these sayings before. But I say, just maybe that BIG GOAL is making you fat!

These concepts may work in the business world of sales. But in the world of weight loss, not so much.

 I think the reason for this is because of the link between emotions and food.  I will explain that one on another post someday.

Let me explain what I mean about HUGE GOALS

Many weight loss books will tell you to write down a specifically defined goal.

Example: “My goal is to lose 40 pounds in the next 90 days by November 1, 2014.”  

You are told to write your goal down and make several copies and post them in the bathroom, kitchen, wallet, and car dashboard to remind you of your BHAG...your huge goal.

And what happens after you reach your goal – if you ever do? You have denied yourself so much that it is almost impossible to maintain your weight loss.

Give this some thought: Why do the majority of those who are SUCCESSFUL on a diet, gain most of the weight back over time?  

I am not talking about those who start a diet and then never even get past week three (which is the majority of people).

I am talking about the few who make it to the end of the diet and really accomplish the weight loss. Why, after all the hard work, do MOST fall back and gain most if not more of the weight from where they started?

I know this battle baffled me

I worked so hard to lose over 40 pounds, and yet I ended up gaining back over 20 pounds.  

It did not make sense to me why I could not maintain the weight loss.

If this concept of setting huge goals worked, why are so many adults so overweight?  

So what to do instead?

 I know you need to lose 40 pounds. You know you need to lose 40 pounds. Everyone who sees you knows you need to lose 40 pounds.   

It is not something you can hide.

Don't set a weight loss goal and “go on a diet,” but instead, create a new (good) habit.

Now I focus on creating daily habits

This play on words may sound simple, but it is very freeing. Words and thoughts matter because they affect your behavior.  

Doesn't it sound more noble to say I am working on building a new habit?  

Would you like to hear your kids say, “I am on a diet,” or would you like to hear them say, “I am working on a new habit of lifting weights 3 times a week”?


Instead of thinking about all the weight you need to lose, think about changing your daily habits. Let’s say you are one of the few who completes a diet and makes it to the goal of dropping 40 pounds.

Congratulations...now what are you going to do?  

Unless you have changed your habits to support your new weight, you will start to gain it back.  

Start with just one habit change at a time, and make it so simple that you will be encouraged to go on to add more good habits.

Habits:  like being on automatic pilot

Example: When choosing good healthy food over junk food becomes an automatic response to you, you know you have created a good habit. 

If you have created the habit of exercise and eating healthy, what is going to happen when you reach your goal of losing 40 pounds?  

Your new habits will be the safeguards that keep you on the right road.

This is why a lot of folks who go on a “crash diet” and eat just (fill in the blank) after they reach their “goal” fall off the wagon and gain all the weight back.

Starting a new habit ~ make it simple to start

Start the habit of walking every day for 10 minutes. Keep working on it until you are consistent at it and feel really good about it.  

Once you get to the point of not even thinking of missing your walk, then you know you have made a new habit.  

And unlike a “diet,” that habit will carry you into the future.

But remember, you are developing a new habit; you are not on a diet. Words do mean things. How you think and how you talk can be the difference in your health.

Your new good habit will influence other areas of your life also.  

A habit will stay with you for life. It is not like a “diet” that you “start” and then reach your goal and “stop.”

Consider what small habit you can start TODAY that will improve your health.

Work on no more than 3 habits at a time

But give your full attention to those three habits. Track them daily, and watch how they improve your health and life.

Keep it simple. You will see how habits will carry you to more success.  

Success grows more success!  

The more you win in small things, the stronger you will be to change the big things in life.  This is called the "snowball effect".

I know this may not sound very BOLD or BIG or EXCITING. But, if you desire long term results that you can use for the rest of your life, forget the “BIG DIET GOALS” and start working on that new good habit – today!

Working on a new habit, you will not lose “20 pound in just 4 weeks” that’s often promised by popular diets.  

Just think... how would you feel a year from now if you lost 40 pounds in a slow and steady way, and also along the way you have created a habit that will stay with you and keep you at your healthy natural weight?

New Habit Ideas

  • 5 Pushups per day 
  • One green smoothie per day
  • Weigh yourself once a day
  • Walking, running, riding your bike daily
  • Daily Bible reading or listening
  • Make one meals every day 100 % natural and healthy
  • Go to bed at a reasonable time
  • Drink water - lots of it.
  • Walk 10% faster than you normally do
  • No refined sugar
  • 5 squats per day
  • Work out 3 days per week 10 minutes per day
  • Plan your daily meals
  • Drink tea over soda
  • Don’t eat in your car
  • Eat a healthy natural breakfast
  • Develop a Taste for Plain Raw Vegetables
  • Replace one processed food with one unprocessed food
  • Choose spices (flavor) over a large volume of food
  • Put exercise on your appointment calendar
  • Eat fruit instead of that afternoon candy bar

Change your thinking and your words

Simple habit tracking form.  Printable PDF. you can download.  Click here.

Simple habit tracking form.  Printable PDF. you can download.  Click here.

Make a simple chart and keep track of your new habits. Here is a chart that I use.  

I have tried 3-4 different apps on my iPhone. But I did not stick with them.   I find that writing on paper is the most effective and gives me the most motivation.

But if you want an app, the one I like the most is called  “Way of Life”.  It is an easy way to track your habit victories. 

 But I don't use it anymore. I am back to pen and paper.

Deprived or energized

After 30 days of building a new habit, instead of dreading your “new diet” and feeling deprived, you will be inspired and energized to continue your new habits and to add more new ones.


I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.
— Bruce Lee