A couple of weeks ago, I was having a conversation with a buddy of mine. He told me this story about a family member who had been instructed by her doctor that she needed to lose a lot of weight. She was overweight and was starting to develop obesity related diseases. My buddy proceeded to tell me about the feeding habits of this relative of his. From what I was able to gather, the issue was clearly that she ate way too much. Their solution to get her started was to get her a pair of running shoes. I was like “wait, what?”
I hear similar stories all the time. People decide they need to lose weight. They pick up somebody else’s plan and try to implement and most times it does not work. Off course it will not work! The solution they are trying to implement is not customized to their particular problem. If the plan was not made for you, it won’t work for you. You have to identify what is causing you to gain weight and work towards solving your particular problem. You have to create a strategy that can work for you and that you can sustain. To find something, we must search in the right place.
I offer an approach, a formula, that you can take and personalize to work for you.
- Identify your biggest rock. In other words, what is your biggest obstacle? When do you usually fall off the wagon? For example: Are you eating too much? Are you eating the wrong things? Are you drinking too much sweetened beverages or alcohol? Are you not getting enough sleep? Are you not active enough? Do you eat out too frequently? Are you consistently snacking after dinner? Getting to the root cause is a mission critical step. Identifying the problem is half the problem solved as the saying goes.
- Create a short term goal. Write down a short term (4-weeks preferably) goal to help you overcome the obstacle you identified in step 1. Making it a short term goal offers a sense of urgency. It offers a sense of immediacy. I find that when the goal is too far out, people tend to relax and procrastinate.
- Break it down. Break down the 4-week goal further into weekly objectives.
- Create micro goals. Break it down even further. Each day, as soon as you wake up from bed, spend a couple of minutes to look at your goals and ask yourself “What is the ONE THING can I do today that will help me move towards my weekly goal?
- This is the most important step…DO IT!!! Do that one thing right away if you can. No excuses. Just get it done.
- Stay accountable. If you are not focusing on the goals, you are not going to be acting on them. The role of accountability cannot be over stated. Do not set these goals and forget about them. Keep them front and center. Look at them every single day. Recite them if you have to.
- Automate. In other words, form a habit. Automation helps you conserve will power. Make it easy to do right and hard to go wrong. If you want to learn the best strategies to form habits, you should read Gretchen Rubin’s Better Than Before book on Habits. It changed my life.
If you need help identifying your big rock, setting manageable goals and/or staying accountable on your journey, do not hesitate to contact me.