011113 Set a goal if you want to lose weight, get stronger, or run farther.

Set a goal if you want to lose weight, get stronger, or run farther.

If you are one of the many who is always wanting to lose ten pounds, run faster or get stronger then deciding on how many pounds or how fast or how much more you want to lift is the ticket to success. Once you have decided then write them down in specific terms.

Saying you want to lose ten pounds forever and ever is not the way to lose those ten pounds you’ve been bitching about for the last ten years is it? In the recent October, issue of the Journal of Consumer Research a series of studies reported that those who set ranges were more likely to stick to their plans when compared to others who did not set ranges. By ranges is meant that saying you will lose ten pounds is not as productive as setting a range of losing 2-4 pounds by the end of this week. Setting a single number is not as effective as an array of numbers that include the one you really want to arrive at in the end.

These range goals improved the individuals motivation to succeed and at the same time brought more engagement or buy in to the process than did the ones who used a single goal.

Probably the reason for the successes of those using the ranges was the built in flexibility. There is some leeway to this method, which seems to fit more people than the hard single number goal. On the one hand, you have the hard lower number for weight loss or the high number for strength gains and on the other hand, you have the easier to attain numbers.