Here are some tips for making effective change in your life, to help you lose the weight and become healthier.
Have desire , take action, and you’ll get what you’re after.
- Set a very specific goal.
Resolving to “exercise more” for example, is not specific enough. Making a goal to work out 30 minutes a day, four days a week is specific. Define exactly what you want in clear terms.
- Set a goal that has a measurable outcome.
“Getting in shape” is not quantifiable. Without a goal that is measurable, how will you know when you’ve made progress or even reached it? Weigh yourself at least once a week to see tangible results.
- Assign a timeline.
“Someday” is not a day of the week. The difference between a dream and a goal is a timeframe for making it happen. A deadline can also help motivate you and prevent you from procrastinating.
- Choose a goal you can control.
You don’t control how much you weigh. You can influence it, and you can control the things upon which your weight is based, but you do not control the number on the scale. In identifying your goal, strive for what you can really create, not what you dream about.
- Program your life with a strategy.
Willpower is a myth. It’s emotionally powered, and emotions are fickle. Wanting to do something — no matter how badly you want it — won’t make it happen. You need a plan and you need to change something in your lifestyle. Realistically assess the obstacles and resources involved, and create a strategy for navigating that reality. Your environment, your schedule and your accountability must be programmed in such a way that all three support you. Life is full of temptations and opportunities to fail. Without programming, you will find it much harder to stay the course.
- Identify small steps.
Major life changes don’t just happen; they happen one step at a time. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Steady progress through well-chosen, realistic, interval steps produces results. Know what those steps are before you set out.
- Create accountability.
Without accountability, people tend to make excuses and procrastinate. If you know precisely what you want — and there are real consequences for not doing the assigned work — you are more likely to continue in your pursuit of your goal. Find someone (like me!) to whom you can be accountable. Make periodic reports on your progress.
- Set your environment up to help you succeed.
If you’re trying to quit snacking on sweets, for example, the one thing you need to control is your environment. Set your environment up so that it does not support your habit. Don’t keep cookies in the house. Don’t buy them at all, or you’re programming yourself for failure. Your lifestyle supports your habit, so you need to change your lifestyle. Remember that you don’t break habits: You replace one behavior with a new one.
- Change your lifestyle.
If you’re trying to get in shape or lose weight, for example, make sure you have a plan and start making a lifestyle change. It is difficult to be overweight without a lifestyle that supports it. Having the intention is not enough to lose weight. Joining a weight loss program won’t get the weight off if you don’t take action, follow-through and consistently follow the plan.