Goal Setting: Baby Steps DO Count!

Filed in Goal Setting, Uncategorized by on April 17, 2013 2 Comments

Baby steps DO count!Last week I got into a heated debate with my good friend….to the point where she was calling me “sweetheart” (and believe me, she didn’t mean “sweetheart” as a term of endearment!)

We were arguing about the best way to weight loss and the definition of a “diet.”

We both had started Weight Watchers about a month ago (it’s one of my New Year’s Resolutions to get my “pre-baby” body back!), and we disagreed about whether I am officially “on a diet.”

She says I am.

I say I’m not.

Those points aside, since they’re a little off topic……

…..I went to her yesterday, moaning about how I had “only lost 2-3 pounds” in this last month since starting the program. Instead of supporting me and congratulating me on the progress, albeit slow, she insisted I needed to be on a restrictive diet instead of the “just-trying-to-create-a-healthy-lifestyle” route I was taking.

Then she rubbed in my face the fact that she has already lost 9  pounds, compared to my inconsistent 2-3 pounds.

I began defending those same 2-3 pounds that I had just finished moaning about.

And the “Aha!” moment was when I remembered a favorite quote from Chris Gardener, from The Pursuit of Happyness:

Baby Steps_PIC

Why was I complaining over “only” 2-3 pounds??

My pants are fitting more loose…..I feel amazingly healthy…..I’m eating better and getting some exercise…..and best of all, my nasty “mom gut” is shrinking and I no longer fear someone will mistakenly say, “Ooooh! Yay! When’s the baby due??”

My baby steps are PROGRESS! I am moving in the right direction! I’m 2-3 pounds closer to my goal this month than I was last month!

After realizing that my perspective was totally out of focus, I thought about the rest of you that may be condemning your baby steps, instead of celebrating them….frustrated that you’re not getting where you’re going fast enough.

This post is hopefully going to help you see that you’re getting there, too!

Baby steps DO count!

How to Make Your Baby Steps Count in Goal Setting

What are the things that you’re working on that aren’t moving fast enough for you? Are you trying to pay off debt? Losing weight like me? Maybe you’re saving up for a special vacation or something and the balance just doesn’t seem to be growing fast enough.

I’m here to tell you that your baby steps COUNT!

These are the things we should probably keep in mind as we work on our goals so that we don’t get discouraged:

Stop comparing yourself to your friends!

You are not your friends. Their life, situation, motivation, opinions–everything–is totally different from yours, even if they’re your best friend. So don’t measure your success against them. Every time my friend would tell me how much weight she lost for the week, I felt worse about my own weight loss. But her body, her goal, her eating habits–are not my own. I can only compare myself to myself. Whether you’re losing weight, paying down debt, saving for retirement, starting a blog–whatever your goal–celebrate your own progress. We must remember:


Be realistic!

I’m not a goal-setting expert, but I do know that goals have to be realistic.  I’m 35 years old now. And I’ve got 3 little boys. And I weight about 170 pounds (yep, I was 173 last monh–progress!!). I need to get out of my head that “150 pound” standard when I was 25. I probably looked anorexic! Realistically, I should strive for 160; hell, I’d even look great at 165. You’ve got to be realistic, too. If your goal is to pay off your $5,000 credit card, can you really get it paid off in 3 months?? If not, don’t set yourself up for failure. Set a goal for a year….maybe even 2 years. Whatever is realistic. And stay positive when you see the balance going down, albeit only a few dollars each month. But, it’s going down! You’re moving forward! 


Measure it!

So because I was getting discouraged about the number on the scale, I started taking my measurements, and saw half an inch gone from my big ‘ole hips! More reinforcement that I’m making a difference! I write down my measurements, too, and track the numbers. You can do the same with your goals. Hang up a sign that shows your weight, then cross it out and write the new number below it! Or if you have a savings goal, every month write the new balance on a sheet of paper! Seeing where you started from is a lot of motivation to keep going.


Celebrate 10 Percent!

Recognize the “small wins.” When I signed up for Weight Watchers, they set small wins for you, like when you lose 10% of your body weight. I think that’s a great Rule of Thumb for all your goals! Imagine if you’re 300 pounds and you want to lose 100 pounds. Daunting, right?? But, going for the first 30 is sooooo much easier and more attainable in your mind! And when you get there, don’t pout, “UGH, I’ve only lost 30 pounds so far!” Celebrate it! Treat yourself to something nice. If you’re paying off that $5,000 credit card bill, reward yourself when you’ve reached $4,500 (10% paid off)!


So What About You….?

Do you give yourself enough credit for your BABY STEPS? How do you manage the baby steps?



Photo courtesy Free Digital Photos

About the Author ()

Serena Appiah is a wife and mom to 3 boys in the Washington, DC metro area who enjoys writing about family, finances, and raising children.

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  1. I enjoy your writing style really loving this web site.

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