The holidays have come and gone and if you feel like the Pillsbury Doughboy, you’re not alone. Like most Americans, you’ve probably already planned your “New Year’s resolution” to lose that extra 1, 2, or 24 pounds worth of homemade cinnamon rolls you consumed over the holiday break.
If you look at the statistics, the number of people who are still working on their New Year’s resolution by the end of January is pretty small. I can’t say anything because I’ve been in that boat many a time.
So, below I’ve outlined what I think is the minimalistic way to increase the probability of following through on that diet. Cutting through the fluff and focusing on how the brain works and how you can make it work for you.
It may take 10 – 30 minutes to do the 5 steps below, but its something that has worked for me and I think could be valuable if you’re tired of those “New Year’s Resolutions” not coming true. I’ll also be releasing a minimalistic diet that’s really simple and has proven case studies of it working later this week so stay tuned.
If I were you, I would read the article one time through. Then if you want to take it for a spin, block out 10 – 30 minutes of time, put your phone in another room, listen to your favorite music and knock it out in one sitting. I know it will be tough but it will be worth it.
Ok, I’ll stop talking and let you do your thing.
1.) Identify where you’re at.
Data helps here. If you’re 220 pounds, you’re 220 pounds. That scale doesn’t lie. If your body fat is 25%, its really 25%. I know this sounds simple but being up front with yourself can help you realize where you need to go.
2.) Pick your outcome and where you want to go.
Be SMART here. Specific measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. I believe outcomes are much more impactful than goals. If you’re like me, you’ve had a goal in the past that you wrote down but didn’t achieve. History repeats itself every year as you try new goals without success. Not very empowering, is it? But an outcome is direct. You will a 100% of the time get an outcome, be it good or bad, you’ll get one. Then once you give your brain a specific outcome it will lock on to it. This scenario is similar to when you go to the grocery store to “find something to eat” versus going with a planned list. Night and day difference (especially if you go hungry!). Below are some examples of good and bad SMART outcomes.
- Good Example: Give back 15lbs by March 1st
- Bad Example: Lose 100 pounds by tomorrow. No Bueno.
3.) Determine why you want to achieve your outcome.
THIS. IS. IMPORTANT. We are emotional creatures so by writing these down you’ll be way ahead of the game. You want to focus on what you’ll gain.
- Examples: Gain outstanding energy to play with my kids. Be able to run a marathon. Be a Spartan! (Gerard Butler is shredded so, you know, do that.)
Slap these “whys” on your bathroom mirror so every time you brush your teeth you’re reminded of the emotional and empowering reasons why you want to achieve your goal.
(Pro Tip: Finding pictures of what your idea body would be can help keep you focused on the outcome.)
4.) Leverage, leverage, leverage.
As stated above, emotions are a big driver in anything you do. Once the pain outweighs the pleasure of not doing something, you’ll take action. Let’s be honest, we’ve all had 3-month term papers in college that we started AND finished 3 days before it was due. The pain of potentially failing the class and wasting all that money finally outweighed the pleasure of putting it off for another day. Being able to identify what those potential long-term pains could be up front may push you into action sooner.
So right now, you need to gain leverage of all the pains. What are you missing out on if you don’t change? If you keep eating as you do now, in 5 years what will your body look like? What will your relationships look like? How much money could you save by not being a regular customer at the Chinese place near your house? (If they know you by name, from experience, I can reassure you it’s A LOT.)
Be VERY specific here. This part isn’t always fun, but it will help you keep a long-term outlook, be consistent, and follow through.
5.) The cycle of Success.
Alright, you’ve made it to the last step… Good job! Now, we’re going to finish it off with what’s called the cycle of success. If you’re a fan of Tony Robbins you’ve probably seen this before, but lets break it down. First your start with your belief of what you can do, which influences how much potential you think you have, and that determines the amount of action you will take and, finally, what results you will get.
The example below will help explain it more.
- Belief: You can’t lose more than 10 pounds because it’s been years since you’ve done it and your best friend, Carl, has the same problem
- Potential: The chance of me losing 15 pounds is just so small, I mean, Carl can’t do it either.
- Action taken: Maybe go to the gym today? Ugh, why try! Burger King is on the way home anyways.
- Result: You stay the same weight or gain even more weight.
Now let’s start with a positive result in your past, or from someone else.
- Result: You know, I lost 25 pounds that one time when I had to go Carl’s wedding and I kept it off. I was shredded!
- Belief: I’ve lost more than 10 pounds before and it really wasn’t that hard. Shoot, I lost 25 pounds. 10 pounds will be a breeze!
- Potential: 10 pounds is less than half of the 25 pounds that I lost for Carl’s wedding. It’s not a matter of if, it’s how soon can I lose it.
- Action taken: Get up in the morning and take a quick jog and do some push-ups. Pack a lunch, green food included, and realize how great you feel.
- Result: You lost 3 pounds in the first week and you can’t wait to work out on Monday!
If you haven’t achieved the outcome you’re setting out to do, it’s completely fine to use someone you know who has done it to empower your belief. Replace “I’ve done it before” with “Carl lost 15 pounds and I remember I could do way more push-ups than he could”. Once again, we’re trying to leverage as many things as possible to take action and achieve the outcome.
Whew! That was a lot of information and about 600 words more than I was expecting to write.
If you really want to lose that weight this year I think these 5 steps will help.
Make sure to keep an eye out for the minimalistic diet blog post later this week!