I am willing to bet if you polled the American population about 90% would answer that they would like to lose a little weight. Statistics indicate that around 70% of our population is overweight and the epidemic of obesity continues to rise every year.
Our desire to lose weight has fueled the diet and exercise industry to the tune of 20 billion dollars annually. Despite our intentions and money spent, we often find ourselves struggling to accomplish the weight loss goals we desire.
This lack of accomplishment can have many reasons, but for most people, it is usually has to do with not taking these 5 important steps.
1. Clearly identify what you want to look like.
I know, we all heard about writing clear goals in order to achieve what we want, but does that really work, Absolutely! Unless you get crystal clear on what you want to look like and how you want to feel, you will have a hard time “knowing” what you need to do to achieve it.
Just like a map is needed to guide a ship on a voyage, a clear defined plan is crucial in order to achieve your goals. A plan, however, is impossible to create without a clear destination.
Action Step: Imagine that you could snap your fingers and achieve the perfect body. What would you look like, how would you feel, what type of energy would you have? Write out in detail exactly what you would like to look and feel like.
2. Make a detailed Plan.
Once you have a destination, now you can create a plan to achieve it. Most people state that they would like to lose weight yet do not have a complete plan on how they are going to achieve it.
Simply exercising more or eating less, is not going to be specific enough to achieve your goal. You must really spend some time on clearly identifying what you will need to be doing in order to achieve your goals. Just like any building requires detailed blueprints in order to create a structurally sound and beautiful building, a detailed plan is necessary to create the beautiful body you desire.
Actions Step: Spend some time identifying what strategy you are going to take to achieve your goal. What dietary changes must you make? What type of exercise are you going to engage in and how often and when are you going to do it? Are you going to seek professional help from a trainer or a doctor? Are there underlying health factors that must be dealt with and how are you going to deal with them?
3. Evaluate your plan.
It is awesome to have a plan, but what you must also do is be completely honest with yourself. Too often, we have great intentions yet never accomplish our goals because we simply set ourselves up for failure. You must evaluate your plan to determine if it really makes sense to you. If you find that it is loaded with vague statements or ideas that have proven not work in the past, then you must make appropriate changes. The goal here is to come up with something that you will be able to accomplish.
Action Step: Carefully review your plan. Identify any vague statements like “I am going to workout a couple days a week” and change it to “I will workout on my lunch break on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.” Make sure that you are not trying to do something that has proven to be unsuccessful in the past. For instance, if it says that you are going completely give up all sweets until you reach your goal and you know that Christmas is just around the corner, you need to change it to a more realistic goal. Something like “six days a week I am going to avoid all sweets and one day a week I will have dessert”. This strategy is not only much more realistic, but will allow you to sustain your plan much longer.
4. Share Your Plan and Goal.
Let’s be honest. In order to lose weight it is going to take some time and sacrifice. Most importantly, it is going to require you to do some things that you aren’t currently doing and will probably prove to be challenging.
It is easy to give up on a goal when it is only ourselves that we are letting down. If we believe that we are letting someone else down, however, it is typically harder to quit and we often push through. Recruiting a ‘partner in crime’ is a great way of adding some accountability and support. Just by sharing your plan and goal with another individual can substantially increase the likelihood of your success.
Action Plan: Choose at least one person to share your goal and plan with. Be selective, however. We all have “nay sayers” in our lives and those are not the ones to share this with. Identify someone that you trust and know wants the best for you. Ask them to routinely ask you about your progress and struggles throughout your journey. Having that accountability will provide you that extra push to see your goals manifested.
5. Change your Identity.
People make decisions and preform actions based on the identity they perceive of themselves. If someone believes that they are a rude and crude individual then they will say and do things that will support it. If you believe that you are an overweight individual who always eats desserts, struggles with portion control, and doesn’t like to exercise, then guess what, you are probably going to continue to act as that type of individual. On the other hand, if you visualize yourself as someone who has an ideal weight, comfortably fits in their clothes, loves the feeling of great exercise, and consistently makes smart decisions about their food, then you are more likely to do all of those things.
Action Step. Begin identifying with who you want to be. Wake up every morning and declare your goals as if you have already achieved them. Make statements like “I am full of energy today and I love the way I look in my clothes. I can’t wait to exercise today and supply my body with nutritious foods.” By doing these affirmations you will begin to convince your subconscious of these “truths” and you will begin to do the very things necessary to receive the results you are looking for.
Achieving weight loss and improving your health isn’t an easy task but with the right tools you can be successful. Improve your outcome with these 5 important steps and move one step forward on Your Hunt For Wellness!