As I coach more clients and talk with more weight loss surgery patients, getting and staying back on track is more of a common concern we share. It is a struggle that I also share myself. All of us have our thing we are aware of and staying on track is mine.
I’ve devoted a lot of my time and efforts, and am dedicating more of my energies to helping myself and others to back on track.
For many of us, January is a special time to reflect, make promises to ourselves, obtain a new beginning and a fresh start to accomplish our goals. As January marches on, the shiny new can start to become a bit scratched and loose some of its shine. Now we’re in February, how are those goals you set in January coming along? If your goal in January was to be on track with your nutrition, exercise and change in habits for a healthy lifestyle, is your motivation as strong? Life happens and bumps can occur in the path to be on track.
The road to getting on track and staying on track has speed bumps, detours, work in progress and many other obstacles to get past. The key to being on track is not being perfect. Hardly. If you’ve gotten off on a wrong exit or taken a u-turn on your track to a healthy lifestyle, it is never too late to get right back on your track. Changing habits is a process and rarely do you do a 180 degree change that is permanent.
I share five ways to get AND stay on track:
1. Consider what might help you grow your energy, your motivation, and your inspiration. Do you feel enthusiastic about what it is that you are trying to do? Prime areas to examine include whether you might need more support; whether your goal is meaningful or exciting enough for you; or whether you might benefit from a partner or a strategy to stay accountable? If you’ve off track, think about what caused you to get there. What lessons can you learn from getting off track? Yes, there are lessons you can acknowledge that will benefit you and help you in the future stay on track and reach your success. In getting back on track, what changes or adjustments do you need to make so this is less apt to happen again? Use this as an opportunity to solidify your commitment to get right back on track and stay on that track.
2. Do you require yourself to be perfect? Is your definition of being “on track” too rigid or being perfect in your food choices and exercise program? Requiring too much of yourself to be considered on track can be a set up to get off track. Things happen in life that sometimes you make choices less than what you normally would. Expand your definition of being on track in your food and exercise to take into consideration those times that you eat a choice you might not otherwise or have an indulgence. Remember, it is progress not perfection. We did not become overweight in one day or one meal or one food choice. You will stay on track with your choices for the long haul.
3. Look at the big picture. When faced with an uncomfortable situation or emotion, step out of the immediate and look down the road. Think of yourself fitting into your favorite pair of jeans, weighing a number on the scale, the feeling of confidence and happiness you’ll feel after you do not give in to the situation or emotion. Remember that “this too shall pass” because the situation or emotion will pass. What you’ll be left with is not wearing the results of emotional overeating.
4. Get support. Have a network of family, friends, work friends, online community or anyone that you can turn to that you trust to help you over the hump of wanting to make an unhealthy choice and stay on track. A support person can remind you of your goals and refocus you on the benefits of staying on track. A weight loss surgery coach can also be an invaluable support person too. Another means of support can also be keeping a food and exercise journal.
5. Get some distractions. Instead of emotionally eating during a difficult time, uncomfortable emotion, or just to calm yourself, consider what could help you to increase your energy, motivation and inspiration. Make a list of reasons why you want to get/stay on track that you can refer to that will get you pumped up again. If you aren’t on track right now, what could you do to move you to get on track? What could you do that would get you close to feeling like you are on track? If it feels overwhelming to get back on track, take one simple action to promote the feeling of being on track. Maybe, for you, it is cutting out one sugary food choice or drinking water rather than soda. Get back on track in steps will help you get there without the feeling of doing too much and being overwhelmed. When you have one day of being on track, you’ve already created the momentum of staying on track the next day and the next and the next, etc…..
To set a goal is great but staying with it day in and day out (and starting again as you need to) through the less exciting and more difficult times that come along in your life is the real key to success.
Believe In Yourself, Cathy, CLC Certified Life Coach, Weight Loss Surgery Coach Certified Back On Track Facilitator