Ian McKenzie wrote a great self management checklist that we can apply to Weight management.
Some people look at self-management techniques as cumbersome, getting in the way of productivity. The truth is, if you look at successful and productive people, you’ll find some type of system guiding them. Give it a try.
1 ) Set Specific Goals, 2 ) Set Specific Times, 3 ) Track your Progress, 4 ) Set Rewards or penalties, 5 ) Take small steps, 6 ) Break it down into pieces, 7 ) Monitor time increments, 8 ) Share your Goals, 9 ) Have a work buddy, 10 ) Review with your buddy, 11 ) Eliminate distractions, and 12 ) Review and rework your system.
How can we apply this to weight management?
Here are some examples and comments:
- Set Specific Goals
- For examples, see below for set specific times.
- For me a Goal must include a time. So, Set Specific Goals and Set Specific Times are closely tied together. In fact, I like SMART goals.
- Set Specific times
- I will eat 2000 calories today.
- I will wake up at 5:30 AM and perform Jorge Cruise’s 8 minute workout.
- I will lose 1 lb a week for 20 weeks to lose 20 lbs.
- Track your progress
- This is what simpleweight.com is all about. I track what I eat, what I weigh, and what I do everyday even if I eat poorly or don’t exercise. It helps me determine if I am eating healthy and I can correlate that with my weight.
- It is difficult to change if you do not measure
- Set rewards or penalties
- For example, when I got married, my wife and I said we could spend money on a lavish honeymoon only if I showed progress of reaching my goal weight. That was a great motivator. In fact it was so powerful, that I lost 30 lbs. You have to experiment and find your own motivators and then use them.
- Penalties, Some simple weight loss users have told me that they pay $1.00 to savings every time they eat unhealthy. For me, negative reinforcement is not as good as positive reinforcement, but everybody is different. You need to experiment and find your motivators and leverage them.
- Take Small steps
- The Slow Weigh to weight loss is all about small incremental steps to change your habits.
- For example: the first step can be: Weigh yourself everyday and record your weight on simpleweight.com, Wake up and do the 8 minute workout everyday, or Eat every 3 hours.
- Slow simple methodical changes will be easier to implement than 1 gargantuan change like run a marathon tomorrow while not eating at restaurants and changing my diet to vegan.
- Break it down into pieces
- No matter how many blogs, magazines, books, or articles you read, you can not lose 100 lbs in one night without drastic surgery. So, how do you lose weight? One pound at a time.
- If you’ve never run 2 miles in your life, It’s dangerous to go out and run a marathon tomorrow. You have to build to a marathon. How do you do it? You start running .25 of mile this week, then next week up it to .5 miles, then the next week try 1 mile, and so forth. Small incremental steps.
- If you have a goal of becoming a vegetarian or vegan, start with removing red meat, then move to removing chicken, then move on..
- The old cliche applies, How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
- Monitor time increments
- This goes along with Set Goals and Track your progress. With weight gain or weight loss, we don’t worry about the micro-data such as day-to-day or hour-to-hour fluctuations. We worry about macro-data such as weekly trends. Set a time you want to monitor and stick to it.
- Time box your exercise. In other words, set a time and specify how long. Then track it.
- Share your goals
- With Simpleweight, you will be able to Share your Goals, Weight Charts, Food Charts, and Exercise Charts. This will allow your friends, family members, and other motivators to help you. That’s one of the best practices to weight management.
- Tell everyone. By telling everyone, you will feel compelled to achieve your goals.
- Tell yourself. By visualizing yourself already attaining the goal, you will make it happen.
- Have a work buddy
- Review with your buddy
- By sharing your data with buddies, you can talk to them. Ask them how they’re doing. You both learn and grow. For example, my brother has been really good at losing weight. I can ask him how he modified his diet to achieve his 14 lb weight loss to date. He gets motivated, because I am giving him positive feedback. I get motivated, because he gives me a tip I know is successful.
- With new Simpleweight club features, we plan to offer Fat-Offs and Muscle-Ons to motivate you with other simpleweight club members.
- Eliminate Distractions
- What I do with eating is don’t buy sweets, ice creams, chips, and other high calorie junk food. If it is not within reach, you can not eat it during a late night craving binge.
- Another example, My wife and I like to bake cookies or brownies every now and again. One trick I will do is put the brownies or cookies away in the cabinet rather than on the counter top. It’s out of sight, and I don’t think about it every time I walk through the kitchen. In fact, I’ll put it high and out of reach. So, I actually have to work to get at the treat. It really increases the length of time the treat stays in the house, and we can enjoy it longer. (Be Careful you don’t forget though, who wants to eat 2 month old brownies.)
- Review and rework your system
- Guess what, we change. What works one week/month/year, may not work the next week.
- For example, you might start with the Hack Diet Exercise plan. Then over time, you might get bored with those exercises and move to Heart Training or some other exercise plan. You have to do what’s right for you at that time.
- Change keeps you fresh and mindful about the experience. So, by constantly measuring and tweaking your system, you can easily attain your goals
Thanks Ian for an inspiring post.