Do you remember why you decided to pursue weight loss surgery? You, like me, probably have goals that are beyond your current capabilities. Goals that can’t be achieved until you take charge of your health and your life and make your surgery work for you. It’s natural to dream of things that you want to do someday, but currently can’t. However, to realize your dreams, at some point you must stop planning and start taking action to achieve your goals of better health and a stronger body.
While planning is an important part of bringing your weight loss target from a dream to a realized goal, avoid spending more time in the mental preparation and planning process than actually taking action. If you spend your entire life planning for, and thinking about a healthier future, but never create a plan and take action, then when will you actually start living that healthier life?
Try these strategies to help jumpstart your weight loss and healthier life action plan:
Actions speak louder than words. You’ve probably heard this statement before, but have you really considered the meaning? Taking action and achieving are more powerful than simply planning for the future. Start taking steps to build that healthier life while you make plans, instead of waiting for every detail of your plan to be complete.
- Keep in mind that you can accomplish your weight loss and health-related goals as long as you’re moving in a forward direction. It may take some time, depending on how large your weight loss goal is, but moving forward will get you where you want to be. Taking action, regardless of how small, moves you forward.
Consider the language you use. Which is more effective, “I am going to exercise,” or “I am exercising”? How about the difference between “I am planning to eat according to my nutritional plan,” and “I am eating according to my nutritional plan”? The differences in these statements may have a profound impact on whether you’re actually making positive progress toward your goal of a stronger, healthier body, or just thinking about it.
- Try this: Rather than saying “I am going to read 100 books” (which is something you could say for years without actually picking up a book!), choose a single book, read a chapter or two (taking action) then say: “I have started reading a great book and I am still going!”
Break goals into smaller bites. Rather than stressing about a lengthy weight loss plan that will take several years to fully realize, try breaking your goal up into smaller short, medium and long-term goals that you can achieve one at a time? Setting goals too far into the future can hamper your ability to take small steps in the right direction now.
- For example, say you want to purchase your first (or next) home. Try setting goals to cut unnecessary expenses and add that money to a special account until you reach your final goal. Achieving several “stepping stone” goals over a period of time will help keep you motivated rather than focusing only on your major goal that may seem very far away.
- Perhaps you want to achieve something significant over a period of time, such as earning a bachelor’s degree. In this case, you can break your goals into quarters or semesters. This will help you feel a sense of success with your progress as you work toward the larger goal of graduating with a degree.
Sometimes you may feel challenged to build the momentum you need to achieve goals and get where you want to be in life. Raise your standards and expect action from yourself instead of just thoughts and words.
If you’re struggling to move from planning to actual accomplishments, try breaking your goals into smaller pieces. You’ll be amazed at how motivational a little success can be, and how it can propel you forward to the next phase of Success Beyond Surgery!