New Year’s resolutions are always a hot topic at this time of year and judging by the amount of weight loss commercials on TV, advertisers are trying extra hard to cash in on those who have made weight loss a goal for 2020.
As clients enter my office they see a large quote on the wall: “If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.” This sums up most weight loss journeys perfectly – if you want to succeed, you need to make it really important and stop making excuses.
If your goal is really important, you won’t be as reliant on motivation. This is a good thing as motivation is a fickle beast. It’s easy to feel focused in the morning after a good night’s sleep or a workout, but what about at 3pm when all you want to do is get stuck into the cookies or leftover Christmas goodies?
In my experience with clients, weight loss goals are created in two main ways: towards pleasure or away from pain.
Wedding in the future? I’ve worked with many brides-to-be who follow their food plan to the letter and get great results. An upcoming holiday to a tropical beach is a great motivator. Look at body builders and the amazing physical transformations they are able to achieve. How? Because the goal so important to them they will find any way to achieve it.
At the other end of the scale, I see people who are in pain. The extra weight and ongoing health issues are now impacting on the person’s quality of life. Cholesterol and blood pressure are high and they have joint pain from carrying around excess weight. It’s at the point where weight loss is an absolute must.
The challenge is when we are in neither of these groups and sit in the middle. Yes, we would love to lose a few kilos, but do we want it enough to change our lifestyle or give up the food and/or alcohol habits that we enjoy?
It is helpful to step back and assess the situation. Which is greater – the perceived pleasure of food or alcohol, which is, in reality, a very quick fix, or the ongoing displeasure of not feeling comfortable in your body?
If you struggle to find the motivation to make changes – make your goal exciting! Book a holiday or organise a family reunion for later in the year. Set a deadline and challenge yourself. Be accountable to someone who will help to keep you on track. If it is important to you, you will find a way to achieve it, once and for all.