It’s that time of year again. The kids are back in school, the holidays are right around the corner and it’s time to recommit to taking care of yourself. The difficult part always begs the question, where do I begin?
One of the first things that I ask my clients seeking weight management is why it’s important for them to manage their weight and what does it mean to them personally. At first glance, this seems like a simple question but actually the answers are very unique for everyone. We each have personal reasons for wanting to make lifestyle changes. Some may be based on health issues, others on physical appearance and confidence. Whatever the reason, it’s important to have a clear picture as to what motivates you and if possible to get those thoughts down on paper.
One place to start would be with creating a simple “Top 10 List” that highlights a few of the most important reasons why you would like to lose weight. This is your personal list and doesn’t need to be shared with anyone so it’s best to be specific and candid. It’s amazing how different we view our thoughts and feelings when they come out of our head and put onto paper. This simple process not only legitimizes our efforts, but also helps us sort through our priorities. You’ll know that you’ve created a meaningful list if upon re-glancing at it in the future, it takes you back to the feelings you had the day you created it.
Another strategy I use to help clients begin their journey is through a simple tool that I created called the Commitment Worksheet. This worksheet acts as a self-contract by outlining your short term goals, exploring potential roadblocks and setting a plan for rewarding your accomplishments.
These items are not just an exercise in listing your thoughts and goals, but tools used to help keep you on track when your motivation begins to wane. Everyone, and I mean everyone, goes through cycles of highs and lows in their motivation. Much of the variance is related to your individual stress level and pressures of daily living. Simple everyday distractions always seem to threaten our best efforts to stay on track. Take control of your life by ensuring your goals are personally meaningful and visibly available; especially when you need a little extra help committing to taking better care of yourself.