First, create a permanent record of your goal weight and target date. Write down your goals. The psychological component of writing down goals can’t be overstated. Whether you enter your goals in a diary app or write them in a journal, the act of writing them down makes them real. By contrast, people with no recorded goals find it easy to drift in the wind. Perpetually extending the end date or continuously putting off getting started in the first place is far too easy. You need a hard date and a tangible target that you’ll be working towards. Carve it in stone.
A strategy that has enabled me to achieve my fitness goals has been coordinating my target date with an event. Give yourself no alternative other than success. For example, I’ve entered Men’s Physique competitions that are 12-weeks out on the calendar. I’ve also scheduled and paid in advance for photo shoots that are 12-weeks out. You don’t have to get on stage but anybody can plan a photo shoot. Another great strategy I’ve used is planning a vacation, preferably a beach destination that is 12-weeks out. Friends of mine have used similar strategy by timing their goal completion date with a significant life event like a birthday or a wedding. As far as your New Year’s resolution goes, circle March 31st on a big wall calendar, take a picture of it and text it to all your friends. Creating a permanent record of it makes it real.
This leads me to my second tip. Don’t keep your weight loss goal a secret. In fact, tell as many people as you can. Tell your significant other, your family, your friends, your work colleagues, the butcher who sells you your chicken breast, tell anyone willing to listen. More psychology at work here as there is strength in numbers. By numbers I mean the number of supporters that you’re going to solicit. You will be surprised by how many people support you when they realize that you’re serious. You’ll even be more surprised by how many of those people you influence with your new and improved eating behavior.
Think about how much we influence those close to us and how easily most of us are swayed. If you order out pizza for dinner your significant other is probably along for the ride. But if instead you grill chicken breast and steam broccoli, guess what you both now having for dinner? Likewise, if you go out and grab a cheeseburger, fries and a milkshake for lunch then bring it back to the office a lot of people will think, now that looks and smells good. Many will follow your lead and indulge as well. Contrast that with bringing your own baked chicken breast and green salad every day to work. People are influenced and inspired by the positive actions of those around them. Eat clean, stay on track and you’ll quickly become a great example for all.
Speaking of staying on track, this brings me to my 3rd point. Track your calories in and out and track your progress. In my recently published book, Get Fit, Lean and Keep Your Day Job; a Transformation Guide For Any Body, I outline exactly how to easily track your entire program. My program covers everything you need to know including nutrition, cardio and resistance training. Good nutrition is 80% of the battle so I strongly encourage people to use a calorie counting app. Free apps such as MyFitnessPal allow you to track all your calories consumed and burned. Maintaining a calorie deficit is a key to weight loss success and you’ll never really know how much you’re eating without keeping a meal diary.
Again, there is more psychology at work here. Once you begin to see results and your bathroom scale starts responding, you’ll be providing your own motivation you’ll be much more likely to stay the course. It’s a bit of a snowball effect as success breeds more success. Whether your target means losing one, two, or three pounds a week, make a game of it. Set incremental weekly targets along the way and soon you’ll be well on your way to conquering your New Year’s resolution.
Yours in Fitness,