Think it Through Thursday: How to Accomplish Goals
I am not doing so amazing on my weight loss! LOL. This is such a disappointment because I have been almost blogging for a year now and only have about 5 – 6 pounds lost to show for it. It should also be said that I don’t have tons of weight to lose in the first place, but still! This is not how I envisioned the plan working out – or NOT working out in my case.
Therefore, it has come time for a re-boot of the program; a re-setting of goals and what I want to accomplish. This post could be used for a variety of topics in regards to going after what you want, but I’m going to use my weight loss endeavors as my example.
First of all, I will say I have learned valuable things along the way during this year process. My gluten-intolerance realization has been a God send. I had no idea a year ago that this was something I would have or deal with for the rest of my life. I have also done a lot of research on health and have come across so many great pioneers on the trail to wellness. Their insight and truths about food and our culture have been phenomenal in the choices I make towards my eating and exercise programs. I also adore my French research on how that culture views food and health. There are plenty of posts on all of these subjects throughout my blog.
Now, how do I propose to change my ways this time? Well, it has come to my realization that I need more structure. This is not going to be something everyone will agree with or even work well with. But, over the years, when I think of how I accomplished great achievements, such as my Bachelors and Masters Degrees, learning a lead role for a musical or opera, training for a marathon, etc, there was some major structure in the program in the way of planning, rules, consequences and set-points. You know, if I don’t read the material, I can’t write the paper, then I fail the course – type of stuff. How does this translate to losing weight? Let me explain…
“Not planning is planning to fail!” Who said that? I don’t know, but I’ve been hearing it all my life and unfortunately, this has been the mantra for my non-weight-loss this past year. Planning takes some organization, so I suggest, if you are anything like me, you get yourself to pen and paper (or colored pens if it makes it more fun) and write your shit down! This can be done in the form of just a plain piece of paper and then tack it onto the refrigerator or bathroom mirror; buying a daily planner and writing down to-do lists everyday and/or monthly; or composing some sort of planner on the computer or tablet that you update and look at frequently. I prefer writing it down, because then I remember it better and I just like that tactile exercise. For instance: I bought a cute french-looking weekly paper planner that has all sorts of goodies in it. On one side of the planner it has a weekly outlook where I can write in what types of things I want to accomplish each day. I mostly use this to organize my week so that I get things done, but I also use it for food and exercise planning. I write down daily what I’m eating and if I exercised. I also write down how many calories I burned during my workouts. It helps me to keep track of what is exactly going on. I also include upcoming meals I plan to make and shopping lists for those meals accordingly. This writing process gives me a sense of things to do. It isn’t just willy-nilly so that I’ll eat whatever is lurking around the house that day. What I’m going to eat is already scheduled way in advance. I have definite plans to exercise that include the exact time and what activities I will do during that time. You plan to dress each day you go out, right? You plan to brush your teeth and feed the dog/cat? Then, try planning for the goal of losing weight.
Icccckkk….rules. But I love them too. Nothing makes me get on task then trying to work within rules (I know, I’m a psycho.) Children need them, they respect adults more if they have them. If we didn’t have rules for driving how much worse would it be out there? Some people like breaking rules, not me. There is something self-satisfactory about making rules and sticking to them – within reason of course. I don’t carry a whip…or do I? I’m talking about rules like: No eating after dinner and/or 8 pm; dessert is for the weekend; Drink 64 oz. or more water a day; etc. That kind of stuff. I have made a brightly colored list of rules for myself and and I will continue to work on it as I see the need. My biggest problem is not eating enough fruits and vegetables. This is a new rule: 2 servings of vegetables at dinner. This, in addition to other servings throughout the day. I just never eat enough at dinner. Another rule: Exercise 5 days a week planning what, where, how and when – again, back to the planning. And this one: No eating out – pack all meals eaten out of home. That may not work for you, but I can make it work for me. One of my biggest downfalls is not knowing how many calories are in food prepared in restaurants, plus, I lose all resolve once I sit down at at table.
Ok, this one goes with the rules. If perhaps, rules are “accidentally” broken, there must be a pay-back. This must me swift and brutal. Don’t wait a few days to correct the problem or you will find an excuse. For example: I ate too much the day before – next day will have a calorie deficit (in approximation of extra calories taken in) and/or extra exercise to work off said extra calories. Another one: I skipped my workout – I will add 15 minutes to the next 3 workouts to make up for it. If I don’t want to deal with consequences, then I don’t commit crime in the first place. Stick to the plan+follow the rules = no consequences. Brilliant!
I use this term in reference to an actual goal that is tangible and doable in a certain period of time. In other words, you should have big and small goals for your major accomplishment. My big goal is to lose 26 pounds. The small goal might be: I will lose 5 pounds in 4 weeks or a month. Write these things down as well. Put them on the calendar in bold and a bright color so that they scream out at you to be remembered. That is your cheerleader egging you on to keep going when the going gets tough. And the going will get tough, I can assure you. When I was training for the marathon, I set daily walking goals for myself that I HAD to accomplish because I was up against time running out for training. If I didn’t accomplish the small goals, the big one suffered too.
I hope this gives someone hope to keep trying no matter what. Even though I have gone another year and “failed” to lose weight, I’m not going to see it entirely that way. I’ve learned things that have worked and a whole lot of what doesn’t. Planning my food and exercise will make it actually easier to stay on track because it is a daily/weekly/monthly reminder about what it is exactly, in plain sight, that I want to accomplish. Irritating, yes, but doable.