There are always steps to achieving something. Whether it be a successful new job, reaching a new PR, or losing weight. Unfortunately it just doesn’t happen by us doing nothing.
Typical weight loss plans are a series of steps and of course include diet and exercise.
Let me ask you this…
What really is a diet?
It is a meal plan that ensures we are getting the right amount of calories and servings of different food groups. For some it is a way to monitor the calories we put into our bodies.
This is a series of steps that you follow to achieve your weight loss goal.
Exercise is another series of steps where you complete workouts, specific exercises and on specific days to burn calories and lose weight.
This combination is a great way for us to lose weight.
What happens when this combination stops working though?
There are different reasons why the steps in diet and exercise stop working. It could be a restriction of calories, bad meal choices, bored with your workouts and so forth.
What tends to happen is the series of steps are no longer being followed because there isn’t a master plan. The steps have been randomly replaced with other not so healthy steps.
Many of us go to see Dietitians, Personal Trainers or attend group exercise classes because they have one thing in common.
They have a plan…
Whether it be a set workout that you are going to do every other day or a meal plan you are going to follow there is a plan that contains a series of proper steps.
Having a good plan can help you lose weight and keep it off as well as develop healthy habits in other areas of your life.
Here are the key components to create a successful plan:
1. Recognize the need to change some aspect of your life
2. Create short and long-term SMART goals.
3. Have a proper support system.
4. Reward your successes and acknowledge your mis-steps
Let’s break each one of these down...
Recognizing the need to change: We all have something in our lives that we want to change. Whatever the change or goal is figure it out and write it down. You can also tell someone else about your goal/change and why you want to do this. Something as simple as telling someone else can have a profound impact on your success rate.
Create short and long-term goals: This is a very important step in creating your plan. You want to think three months out for long range goals and then develop short term goals around that to reach so that you can reach that long-term goal. Develop 3 to 4 short term goals that will get you closer to that long-term goal and write them down.
Here is a way to create proper and effective goals. Create S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Specific – The more specific your goals are the more likely you are to accomplish them. Just telling yourself you want to lose weight is way too vague. Writing down that you want to lose 15 pounds in the next 90 days is specific and puts a timeline to it. This increases the chances of succeeding.
Measurable – You want to be able to track your progress with reaching your goals. Mark off your short terms goals as you reach them to be able to see the success at the end of the long term goal.
Attainable – Each goal you create should be difficult, but also attainable with consistency and dedication. This can lead to higher performance in reaching your goals.
Realistic – This goes hand in hand with attainable. Your goals should be realistic and shouldn’t be that you want to lose 100lbs in 3 months. That isn’t realistic. Set goals that are realistic to your situation that you can reach with hard work and dedication.
Time-Based – You should have an end time/date to your goals. This creates a sense of urgency to completing your goals. This keeps you focused and accountable.
Have A Proper Support System: Now that you have created your SMART goals you need to share them with someone whether it be a friend, relative or colleague. This holds you accountable because you know someone else is watching and expecting you to achieve your goals. This will motivate you to succeed.
Reward Your Successes: Rewarding your successes gives you the opportunity to acknowledge that the changes you have made are beneficial. It provides reinforcement which builds more confidence.
Don’t forget to recognize your mis-steps either. You need to understand that there are challenges and bumps along the way, but you can overcome them and move forward. Always be thinking of moving forward and don’t dwell on the mis-steps. Just acknowledge that they have happened and think about what you are going to do differently next time.
Changing your behaviors and creating plans like this do not come easy. Our behaviors are ingrained deep into us and it takes discipline and consistency to be successful with change.
Follow these steps to creating a plan and you will have a success in reaching your short and long terms goals.
To get you a little extra kick in the beginning when you are implementing this plan give FRIED a look and see how it can boost your weight loss >>