Live the life you’ve imagined – step 2
Where am I going?
Weight loss has traditionally always been a negative goal – something to move away from, to avoid. A goal of: “I want to lose weight” explains where you don’t want to be which is about as useful as a roadmap of the town you are about to depart. Just imagine how successful Roger Bannister would have been if his goal was “to not be a slow runner” rather than “to run the mile in less than four minutes”. A healthy weight goal needs to be:
1. Positive: Something that shows you what to be rather than what not to be
2. Descriptive: Explains exactly what it is that you are working towards and how to get there
3. Imaginative: The outcome is so clear to you that in your mind you can see it. Using all your senses you will understand precisely what it will be like to reach your goal
4. Relay-able: You will be able to share your positive goal with others
5. Values orientated: You will be driven to achieve this goal because at some level achieving this goal will help you to succeed in an aspect of your life which is absolutely vital to your happiness (appearance, fitness, health, emotional strength). Look back to Step 1 ‘Why change’ for an insight to your values.
6. Believable: It can be used as a mantra, to be self-fulfilling by living the life you want to create now rather than waiting until you arrive – “I am a size 16 person who eats healthy food and seeks activity everyday”.
7. Outcome orientated: It’s not about the weight it is about what you can do and who you can be. Being a certain weight could make that easier for you to achieve e.g. ‘being healthy’ ‘being confident’.
An example of powerful outcomes may be: “At my ideal weight I will fit the size 42 jeans I have in my wardrobe” (appearance), “I will be able to finish the local half marathon in less than 2 hours” (fitness), “I will lower my blood pressure so that I can be taken off medication” (health), “I will feel confident when I walk into a room full of strangers” (emotional).
In one sentence write your outcome:
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________
Estimate what weight you would need to be to achieve your desired outcome. This is just a guess and may change over time. If health related you may want to get advice from your consultant or health professional:
My long term target weight: _______kg/lb
To reach this long term goal it may be helpful to have some medium term targets. Work out what your recommended weight loss per week should be. For most people a reduction of around 1lb/500g per week is a good and safe achievement. Then take a look in your calendar and assess week by week if you can achieve that reduction.
Are you going to be in situations where it may be challenging to control the food on offer, for example: away on holiday, travelling with work or have a long weekend away with unhealthy friends coming up? If so the target during these times is to maintain your weight so add this into your calculation. Maintenance techniques can ‘minimise the damage’ in challenging times rather than trying to lose weight.
Your long term target is flexible. Recall that it is just a guess of what you need to be to achieve the real outcome identified above. As you get closer to your outcome it becomes clearer what is required and how close it is. You may find you can achieve your outcomes, of being confident in public for example, with a different weight than you initially planned.
My weekly reduction target: ________g/lb
Put yourself in the situation of having achieved your long term target. How would you know you have achieved it? What do you see/hear/feel when you have it? Imagine it then write it down.
Long term target
See: ______________________________________________________________________ Hear:______________________________________________________________________ Feel:______________________________________________________________________ Do:_______________________________________________________________________
At your long term target weight specifically what other things would have changed? E.g. “I would be able to walk my regular circuit in half the time it takes me now.”
Clothing size: _______________________________________________________________________Personal life: _______________________________________________________________________Wilpower: _______________________________________________________________________ Health: _______________________________________________________________________Relationships: _______________________________________________________________________ Nutrition: _______________________________________________________________________
Who is your support crew:
Friends: _______________________________________________________________________Family:_________________________________________________________________Professional support: _____________________________________________________________ Partner:________________________________________________________________