By Steve K. Johnson
How many times have you started to lose weight and been really fired up (and successful) for a few weeks, only to find yourself losing the drive and with it, your achievements. The bathroom scales, whilst not inherently evil, can become the most feared item in your home as the weeks go by. But remember, the scales are NOT in fact evil, they’re just brutally honest!
Dieting goals, like ANY goal, are always hardest if they seem impossible. If I tell my family and friends that I’m planning to lose 50 pounds in 6 months, no-one will believe it – especially me! This reminds me of the old self-development concept that I was taught many years ago – how do you eat an Elephant? One bite at a time!
If we apply the “Elephant” concept to our weight loss goals, we can start to understand that the overall goal, whilst important, should never be our primary focus. What we find is, we should always be focusing on small, short-term goals to give us a continual ego boost each time we achieve a goal. For example, which of the following sounds easiest?
– “I’m going to lose 100 pounds within 2 years”
– “I’m going to lose 50 pounds over the next 12 months”
– “I’m going to lose 4 pounds over the next 4 weeks”
As you can see – the last one is “only” 4 pounds, and you get 4 whole weeks to do it! That’s easy – it’s just one pound each week! Plainly, the other 2 are also just one pound a week, but the magnitude of the figures have a tendency to overwhelm us, which usually ends up with self-sabotage and remorse.
Another factor to be taken into consideration is that when starting any diet program, it’s likely that you’ll lose weight quickest during the early stages, and that weight loss will gradually slow down over time. It’s crucial to factor this into your goals to avoid trying to maintain an unrealistic dieting pattern over a tortuous period of time!
So here’s my Secret Seven Step Program:
1. Decide how much weight you want to lost overall – but don’t write this down!
2. Break this down into comfortable chunks (no more than 10 pounds)
3. Decide by when each target should be reached (bearing in mind the effect of slowing down mentioned earlier)
4. Put the individual goals in writing so that you effectively make a contract with yourself
5. Make a start on the first goal, and put the rest out of your mind
6. When you reach each goal, give yourself a reward (other than an enormous dinner!)
7. Keep repeating this process until your ideal weight (as defined in step 1) is reached!
If you can stick to this plan and keep good, strong focus on your diet progress, you’ll wake up one morning and find that you’ve suddenly transformed into the person you used to dream about. Also, once you’ve experienced this transformation for yourself, you’ll be able to apply this proven approach to goal setting in other key areas of your life.
I wish you every success in all that you reach for!
Steve is the creator of the website Nutrition Online 4U. Steve has been studying health, diet and associated fields for many years and is now ready to share his experiences. — Get your own unique version of this article here.
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