When considering how to accept the need for change, creating a written plan is very important for success. It isn’t just having a goal. I think we are all very good at setting a goal like “I want to lose weight,” but that isn’t an effective goal. It’s too broad, vague, and leaves too much wiggle room.
For example, if I set the goal “I want to lose weight,” my outcomes (measurable results of the goal) would be very difficult to measure. What do I measure? For starters, weight, but what else other than weight? According to my goal, there is nothing else to measure, so what happens? We are permitted to continue on and on in our pursuit, and in five (5) years we are still “wanting to lose weight,” yet are at the same place we were when we started. If you want to see a perfect example of an ineffective goal, look at my weight loss widget. Even though I am the queen of goal setting, I obviously wasn’t all that serious about losing yet because you’ll see how my weight ping pongs along.
So how do we fix that? How do we create an effective goal? We need to answer the basic questions that we ask about anything we want to know about.
Who: me (you)
What: Lose weight (broad); Lose 2 lbs a week (short term/ongoing); Lose 5 lbs (short term); Lose 150 lbs (long term)
When: Before a special event (broad); For each Weight Watchers meeting (short term/ongoing); within 3 weeks (short term); with 2 years (long term)
Why: This needs to be specific. To fit into a new outfit for a special event is one way to be specific, but that’s not the “important” point. For those who have a lot to lose like I do, this is going to be a “journey.” It is really easy to forget the “why,” if you aren’t specific enough. My reason is to add as many years to my life as I can to LIVE and THRIVE with my husband and newest addition to my family, my son who is just 15 months old now. For some people, it may not be as worrisome to think of the future, but for someone who is morbidly obese and 41 years old, it is VERY worrisome because of the medical conditions that I can add or worsen by not considering it very serious! While my “Why” is somewhat specific, it isn’t specific enough. I need to add something that can actually be measured. A blood work panel and doctor’s suggestion of ideal weight FOR ME will work.
Where: In this particular case, it will be a goal that will be active no matter where you are (including at your favorite restaurant, so don’t forget that). There are no “free zones.”
How: This will vary according to your body type, medical condition, and amount of weight to lose. This would be a great time to go for a check up with your doctor. Tell them in advance it is to discuss a weight loss plan and ask them to schedule you a full blood panel before your appointment, so you can discuss which plan would be best considering your numbers. P.S. Ask for a copy of it. There’s a lot to be learned from this document.
So we just finished the planning phase. Now, we will use that information to create our goal statement:
241Lady is going to set a short term/ongoing goal (which is easiest to make adjustments to as needed) of losing a minimum of 1 lb per week (52 lbs/yr), effective immediately with 2 meals a week being “cheat” meals until I reach a weight my doctor and I agrees to be healthy (I’ll fill this in after my appointment), and definitely not until I have reduced my need for any prescriptions currently being used for conditions that are related to obesity such as chronic fatigue, thyroid dysfunction (at least lowering it as far as possible), diabetes (same here), etc., for the purpose of improving health in hopes of lengthening life span to experience my son grow up and start a family of his own (and to meet my grandchildren). This plan is effective everywhere I go (vacations included), following a low glycemic eating plan and incorporating increasingly challenging exercise to improve cardio and respiratory endurance.
Now this statement could be posted as is, but it’s a little difficult to see the important points. Be creative in how to correct that (or just a basic list):
What: Lose min 1 lb/week
When: Effective immediately until Doctor agrees to end
Why: Extend life expectancy and enjoy life with son/family
Where: Everywhere, even vacations
How: low glycemic diet, eating 5-6 very small meals a day, with 2 cheat meals a week, exercise for purpose of cardio/respiratory strength and endurance
When you get your plan written out and rendered down to brief, yet concise, statements, print it out and post it where you can see it. Make yourself view it by setting an alarm on your phone and maybe put dates and checkmarks to show when you read it. This is just to constantly remind you of your goal. You’ll want to do this at least once per week.
Another reason for posting it and requiring a weekly reading is for adjustments. You may find that your plan isn’t working and you need to change something. You’ll want to give yourself a good month to get everything going before making any big changes, but after that time has passed, if there hasn’t been some changes in what you see and feel, then you need to tweak a few things. Those tweaks may not change your written plan, but they will change the way that you accomplish it.
Ok, so that is the goal for the week. Write your plan and post it. I want to hear from you. You’ve been so quiet so far, and I know that you’re out there reading. Please comment if only to say, “I’m going to try this.” I would love to know that you’re out there. Hope to hear from you soon!!