Deciding to lose weight or to get slimmer isn’t always enough to get where we want to be. Many of us struggle with diets, exercise and other lose weight facilitators because we lack the right direction or we don’t have enough knowledge to be able to pull it off. Most importantly we lack a plan.
When making lifestyle changes, sometimes it isn’t enough to just make the decision to change that habit or pattern. We have become so accustomed to living a certain way that the only hope we have of getting out of it is to create a plan that can help us achieve the goals we want. A plan is not only important for helping us to achieve our goals and set out what we need to do, but it is also important to write up a plan – nice and neatly – to show its importance to us. Losing weight is very important to a lot of us – it is our route to being healthier, to being slimmer. Noting down on a scrap piece of paper our plan of action to achieve our outcome/goal will only get forgotten and won’t be taken seriously. Writing our plan up, printing it off (and even framing it if you must) will show how important the plan is to you and will place in your mind this importance on a subconscious level. This is crucial!
So if you want to take your goal of weight loss seriously you must write a plan. Open word or notepad on your computer and start planning! This may take some time especially if you lack the knowledge needed to create an effective plan, but there are many resources online that can help you with your meal plans section (some you may have to pay for, like my own plans on this website and please feel free to email me if you need any help to write this) and there is also a lot of help online for writing other aspects of your plan too.
Below are some questions you should answer in your plan:
1.What do you want?
You may be tempted to write “to lose weight” here, but this is a negative outcome. It is much more beneficial for your thinking mind to work towards something as opposed to trying to avoid or move away from something. “To lose weight” implies you want to move away from something, so is negative. Instead frame your answer in a positive way – positive meaning moving towards something like “to be slimmer”
Set a date to achieve your weight loss goal and how much you want to lose – for in 6 months time is a good goal to aim for so set it for 10 th October or whatever you want it to be.
2. How will you know you are succeeding/have succeeded?
It is important to know that you are on the right track with your goal. You need the right feedback in the right quantity and it needs to be accurate. So try setting realistic goals – whether you are going to look at your weight loss on a weekly/monthly basis etc. I would set a plan for 6 months as well. So use this to work out what you want in 6 months time as well as working up to the end of the 6 months.
3. What resources do you have and what obstacles do you have for achieving your goal?
Exercise equipment, weight loss support from friends/family, anyone you can follow or learn from, personal qualities, knowledge in nutrition and diet overcoming cravings, emotional eating etc.
4. What do you need to do to achieve your goal?
Under this section you can write a list of things you need to do in order to achieve your weight loss goal and overcome the obstacles you face (e.g. not enough knowledge on diet, fitting in exercise around my family). Of course you may be tempted to write general statements here like: eat healthier, exercise daily – but this isn’t what you need. You need to be specific about what is standing in your way currently and how to overcome it. Here is a sample list of things you can work on:
Educate myself on diet and what foods to eat.
Educate myself on emotional eating and cravings so I can overcome these obstacles when they arise.
Increase my consumption of fruits and vegetables.
Pick an exercise I enjoy and do it for at least half an hour daily.
Work out a plan to slowly ease myself into a better eating habit e.g. Starting with change my breakfast to something healthier (like a fruit smoothie) for week 1 (or first month) and then adding in a healthier lunch and then two weeks later a healthier dinner. Also what about changing snacks?
Create a perfect vision to help me get through the toughs time.
Also have a section of daily tasks:
Walk for 1 hour (or whatever exercise).
Increase my fruit and vegetable intake.
Only drink water – cut out all other drinks.
Be aware and conscious of my eating habits: when I am eating for comfort or emotional reasons.
If you bought a meal plan or had someone help you come up with one, write here to follow your meal plan or to follow one aspect of it if that’s what you are choosing to do (e.g. like having a healthier breakfast for the first week before incorporating a healthier lunch in too). You can amend daily tasks as you progress in the direction you want.
If on your list of things to do you have the task of educating yourself on diet and nutrition so you can actually write a meal plan for yourself, you will have to do this before you can set any real diet goals for yourself (other than eat more fruit and vegetables a day if that’s one of them or only drinking water).
This is quite a general overview of a weight loss plan and it may seem quite daunting to do at first but it is WELL WORTH IT. It will help you become focused on what you really want. Just getting it typed up and on paper laid out properly will give you the mental boost you need to succeed.
If you have any questions about this article or how to write your plan, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to help you!