You can’t hope, wish, read, or think your way to weight loss success. Insight without action is worthless. You must have a plan of action in order to make your dream real.
~ Catherine L. Taylor
I’m all for spontaneity but when it comes to achieving a weight loss goal, it’s all about the planning. A goal gives our mind something to focus on and a plan creates a structure for the accomplishment of that goal. One of the biggest mistakes I see people making when trying to accomplish a goal is that they start out with an initial burst of enthusiasm and try to do too many things at once. After a few weeks, they can’t possibly keep up the momentum and as soon as life throws a hiccup their way, they throw it all out the window in frustration, only to have to completely start over again somewhere down the road.
As a coach, I’ve learned that few people understand the dynamics of change and transition. Most of the people I work with want to go from A to Z without all the steps in between. They expect themselves to be perfect right away and when they struggle, instead of realistically accessing that they’re in a learning curve, they label themselves as failures. Labeling yourself as a failure never feels good. It’s shame inducing, binge creating, and not conducive to learning. It makes you want to quit.
Luckily, there is a better way – baby steps. My philosophy is start where you are, stand tall, and start small. Don’t try to be something you’re not; you’re a beginner. Don’t be surprised when you act like one. Stand tall. There’s no shame in that. Start building the momentum of success through small steps. Rome wasn’t built in a day and your new body won’t be either.
Begin the day with a simple plan:
Ask yourself, “What one thing can I do today that would create better health for myself?”
No matter how busy, we can all do one thing. This simple question and plan cuts through the overwhelm and excuses and keeps you in the game moving forward every day. Consistency is the name of the game and that’s the skill I see lacking in most of my overweight clients. Consistency is built one step at a time by daily action: not by how much, but by how often.
- Maybe today you’ve got time for a brief walk – even 10 minutes is good. If you can do more, fine.
- You could eat more fruits and vegetables instead of going for something processed.
- You could start to practice stopping eating when you’re full.
- You could squeeze in a few moments of breathing or meditation instead of reaching for that candy bar.
The fact that you’re doing something – anything – is far more important in the beginning than how much. As you begin to get more comfortable with your new habit, you can slowly add more in terms of quantity or length of time.
Just think how much your world, health, and weight would change if you chose to do one thing – like walking – every day, or at least most days, for a year.
What one thing are you going to do for your health today?
Let me know in the comments.