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Why Setting Goals is Important to Success


Short- and long-term goals can provide encouragement along your journey to a healthier life.

Every coach knows how important goals are. They provide something to aim for—and a way of measuring your progress. There’s nothing more motivating than a sense of accomplishment, so with every goal you achieve, you create more positive momentum on your get-healthy journey.

You’ll get the most out of your goals if you keep the following tips in mind:

Have both short- and long-term goals. Long-term goals provide a sense of purpose and keep you oriented in the right direction. They work best if they’re not so far in the future that they seem unattainable: ideally, six months or up to one year. Short-term goals focus on a more immediate time frame, such as “this week” or “this month.” They move you toward your larger goals and give you feedback that your efforts are paying off.

Be realistic. Setting an impossible goal—say, “I’ll never eat fast food again”—is self-defeating, because only a superhuman could reach it. And an unachievable goal sets you up for failure, which can send your thoughts into a devastating tailspin (“I broke my promise to myself, so why not just give up altogether?”). Focus instead on a goal you know you can attain with some effort—or break a large goal into smaller, more manageable steps. A more realistic approach to the fast-food goal might be: “I’ll cut down on fast-food meals to just twice a month.”

Choose specific and measurable goals. Being clear about your goal gives you a better chance of understanding when you’ve reached it. Tie your goal to a specific action if you can: Rather than saying “I’ll eat vegetables more often,” try “I’ll eat at least one serving of vegetables at lunch and one at dinner every day this week.”

Reward yourself. As you reach your goals, make sure you acknowledge your achievement with a reward. This tangible recognition of “closure” on your goal is powerfully motivating, so don’t skip it! Your reward doesn’t have to be expensive, but it should be something meaningful to you. Think of something that is not food-related: Rent or go to a movie, schedule a massage, buy yourself a book, some music or a new pair of shoes. For many of us, time for ourselves is the most luxurious gift of all. How about a 10-minute phone call to a long-missed friend, or a long, hot shower or soak in the bathtub?

Revise goals when you need to. Once you’ve reached a goal, set a new one so that you continue to keep yourself challenged and motivated. If your goal was to work up to walking a mile three times a week, set the bar a little higher—say, a mile and a quarter.


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BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR is an FDA-approved prescription weight-loss medication that, when used with diet and exercise, can help some adults (body mass index [BMI] 27 kg/m2) living with extra weight, with a weight-related medical problem, or adults living with obesity (BMI 30 kg/m2), lose weight and keep it off. It is not known if BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR when taken with other prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal weight-loss products is safe and effective. It is not known if BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR changes your risk of heart problems, stroke, or death due to heart problems or stroke.


  • Pregnancy: Do not take if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, as weight loss offers no benefit during pregnancy and BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR may harm your unborn baby.
  • Hypersensitivity reactions: Do not take if you are allergic to lorcaserin or any of the ingredients in BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR.
  • Serotonin Syndrome or Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS)–like reactions: Before using, tell your Healthcare Provider about all the medicines you take, especially medicines that treat depression, migraines, mental problems, or the common cold. These medicines may cause serious or life-threatening side effects if taken with BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR. Call your Healthcare Provider right away if you experience agitation, hallucinations, confusion, or other changes in mental status; coordination problems; uncontrolled muscle spasms; muscle twitching; restlessness; racing or fast heartbeat; high or low blood pressure; sweating; fever; nausea; vomiting; diarrhea; or stiff muscles.
  • Valvular heart disease: Some people taking medicines like BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR have had heart valve problems. Call your Healthcare Provider right away if you experience trouble breathing; swelling of the arms, legs, ankles, or feet; dizziness, fatigue, or weakness that will not go away; or fast or irregular heartbeat. Before taking BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR, tell your Healthcare Provider if you have or have had heart problems.
  • Changes in attention or memory: BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR may slow your thinking. You should not drive a car or operate heavy equipment until you know how BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR affects you.
  • Mental problems: Taking too much BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR may cause hallucinations, a feeling of being high or in a very good mood, or feelings of standing outside your body.
  • Depression or thoughts of suicide: Call your Healthcare Provider right away if you notice any mental changes, especially sudden changes in your mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings, or if you have depression or thoughts of suicide.
  • Low blood sugar: Weight loss can cause low blood sugar in people taking medicines for type 2 diabetes, such as insulin or sulfonylureas. Blood sugar levels should be checked before and while taking BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR. Changes to diabetes medication may be needed if low blood sugar develops.
  • Painful erections: If you have an erection lasting more than 4 hours while on, stop taking BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR and call your Healthcare Provider or go to the nearest emergency room right away.
  • Slow heartbeat: BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR may cause your heart to beat slower.
  • Decreases in blood cell count: BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR may cause your red and white blood cell counts to decrease.
  • Increase in prolactin: BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR may increase the amount of a hormone called prolactin. Tell your Healthcare Provider if your breasts begin to make milk or a milky fluid, or if you are a male and your breasts increase in size.
  • Most common side effects of BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR: Headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, dry mouth, constipation, cough, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) in patients with diabetes, and back pain.
  • Nursing: BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR should not be taken while breastfeeding.
  • Drug interactions: Before taking BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR, tell your Healthcare Provider if you take medicines for depression, migraines, or other medical conditions, such as: triptans; medicines used to treat mood, anxiety, psychotic or thought disorders, including tricyclics, lithium, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, selective serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, or antipsychotics; cabergoline; linezolid (an antibiotic); tramadol; dextromethorphan (an over-the-counter [OTC] common cold/cough medicine); OTC supplements such as tryptophan or St. John’s Wort; or erectile dysfunction medicines.

BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR is a federally controlled substance (CIV) because it may be abused or lead to drug dependence.
For more information about BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR talk to your Healthcare Provider and see the full Product Information.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit or call 1-800-FDA-1088.