Be honest. How often have you resolved to lose that last 25 pounds? Successfully?
I come to this subject as one who is slightly obsessed with staying slim. I have a very slight frame where every pound is immediately evident just above my belt. I have spent the last 30 years attempting to keep my weight within a five pound range. Twice I failed. After each failure there were the multiple plans and failed attempts to get back into the range. And in each case, there was the eventual victory.
This last time was made more complicated by one of my clients, who is a personal trainer in Los Angeles. She is extremely bright and knowledgeable, and very willing to help. Eventually I decided to go on my own for two reasons. First, I am more or less her personal trainer for marketing. The role issues were hard to resolve. Second, I am not a very good follower. (Confession is good for the soul.)
But I do know how to set and make goals. This last time I neeed to take off 19 pounds. I cleverly chose January 1 as the starting date, presumed 2 pounds a week as reasonable, adjusted for potential set backs along the way due to travel, etc., and set March 31 as the end point.
I made the goal, and 8 months later I’m still in my five pound range. What mattered? What didn’t?
The “Want To” Matters Most
Don’t set goals that don’t matter to you enough to complete. I suppose there are minor goals that also don’t require much discipline, time, energy, money, or emotional investment that you can achieve even if you don’t care much. But weight loss isn’t in that class. You have to want to, really want to!
So assess your want to. Do you want the results more than you want the comfort that you get from snacking or deserts or seconds or high calorie, high fat, really tasty food? Be honest. There are plenty of diets where you will rarely, if ever, feel hung
ry. But you will miss some flavors, deserts, full feelings, and snacking is totally out. You may need to hug your pillow for comfort.
Set Starting and Ending Dates
What is the number one cause of depression? Hopelessness. What can create hopelessness? Open ended goals where there is no end date to the effort, expense, sacrifice, or commitment. Even in very, very long term projects, it is critical to have intermediate and short term goals in order to avoid burn out.
So how long will it realistically take you to achieve the goal? Once determined, set the starting date so that you can prepare yourself for the effort. Maybe it means giving up some time. What can you do to free up that time? Maybe there is expense. What must be done to free up the cash?
Now set the end date. I have a saying: “I can do anything for 90 days.” This has helped me to finish books, college semesters, and
yes, diets. If your time is six months, break out two ninety day slots. If you need a whole year, set quarterly goals with the opportunity to revise each quarter.
Best is to have an accountability person, coach, or teammate, paid or unpaid, to hold your feet to the fire. If not, just tell a few of your closest buddies, your spouse, children, and/or parents. Once you’ve made a public pronouncement of your intention, you will feel eyeballs watching over you, urging you on, even when they aren’t thinking about you at all.
It is doubly nice if one of these people can be an encourager. Someone who you can call to tell about your success, or who will be truly helpful during a rough patch.
I love Denali Extreme Moose Tracks ice cream. What better
way to reward myself for staying on track than a bowl of this fabulous treat. No, not daily! Weekly.
How else might you reward yourself. It doesn’t have to be big. It just has to matter.
There you have it, including my 100% money back guarantee of success. If you did all of these things and failed, write it up in the comments. Give us the details. Where was the breakdown?