I tend to put realistic deadlines in place to help me lose weight. Right now my mini goal is for my March cruise and my main goal is to drop 25 lbs by July (I even put money on the line for this via HealthyWager - planning to win $1080 woohoo). I find the deadlines do help me but generally I am careful to keep them realistic and not push myself too hard and not go crazy if I miss my target a bit. Keeping it off after the deadline has been a bit harder for me. The only times I successfully maintain is by being continually conscious. Its really hard if I just let all food be a free for all. I think I am coming to accept I am going to have to watch my food for the rest of my life. Kinda sucky but it is what it is.