The 'Magic Word' of Goal Success
By Brad Isaac
Whether you have some weight to lose or not, weight loss is an important study for anyone serious about setting goals. Weight loss is a physical, mental and physiological challenge and is often met with failure due to the seemingly 'cyclical' nature of the weight GAIN process.
We all know the "cycle" don't we? Even the thinnest among us can probably relate. You put on a little weight which makes you tired, which makes you eat more to stay awake which makes you too tired to exercise, which makes you eat more, and so on.
That is why how to lose weight is one of the most common questions I receive in personal consultations. I deliberately chose 50lbs for this series because coincidentally, most of my consultations request I help one lose somewhere in the 50lb range. You can apply these methods to more or less than that amount, or even apply them to other goals you may have.
If you are caught up in the cycle I describe above, where to we start to break the "cycle" of weight loss failure and trim our waistlines by 50lbs? The first place to start is with the obligatory doctor checkup. Make sure you don't have an overactive thyroid, suffer from depression or some other issue that may actually be contributing to your weight problem. By the same token, confirm with your physician you are able to lose weight. This is a goal setting method not a consultation with your physician. Although my methods are tried and true, I can't be held responsible for any health related issues you'd have as a result.
With all of that said and out of the way, where do we begin to "take off" that stubborn weight, "lose a few extra pounds" and begin to enjoy the new you?
The magic word
There is a word that helps make every goal more attainable. It is one word that if used will clarify your goal and motivate you towards your desired outcome. I like to call it the "magic word of goal setting" because if focused on enough, it will stack all of the odds in your favor.
So what is the magic word? I will indeed tell you, but before I do, I want to request you take it seriously and do the simple exercise that goes along with it. You will need to apply this word to your top 1 to 3 goals and review it frequently.
By using the "magic" word it will help get you through the tough times. It will help you lose extra pounds during the not-so-tough times. It will focus your mind like a laser beam on the importance of your goal and why you need to do it.
So do we have an agreement? Are you going to take it seriously? If not, put this away until you are ready to take it seriously. This is the beginning of weeding out whether you want to really lose the 50lbs. or if you are just giving your goal lip service. Don't worry, I am not going to make you run a marathon, we are just going to review the magic word and how to use it.
BEWARE: I will play devils advocate to help you get the most out of the magic word. So stay with me.
Ok, you've gotten this far so I trust you have made the commitment to take what I say seriously even though it is simple. The magic word is WHY?
Let that sink in for a second. Why do you want to lose weight? Why is that goal even on your radar? Aren't you valuable enough as a person as you are to not need to lose 50lbs? If you did lose it, how would that benefit you? Would it really make a difference?
Many of you might be scratching your heads right now wondering why I would actually ask questions that seemingly lead away from your goal. In my defense, I'll say that if I didn't ask these questions, the anti-goal "gremlins" would. It is better we answer these questions up front and make sure we answer them before 11p.m. on a Friday night, when the gremlins are saying "Go ahead, you deserve a double helping of cheesecake, you worked hard this week!"
So why do you want to lose the weight? Pull out a sheet of paper and list out your reasons. Try to make a thorough list. Don't leave any "why?" unanswered. You need a detailed list of why this goal is important to you. Pile on the reasons! Without the reasons you'll have a tendency to be like our little gremlin above and say. "It's really not that important. I don't need to lose weight THAT bad."
Let me give you a list of 10 questions you can use to stimulate ideas as you are asking yourself the magic word. There are certainly more than 10 areas you can consider. I just want to get you started. So in the spirit of answering "Why should I lose 50lbs.?", consider the following areas and use your answers as the "BECAUSE" answers:
1. How would being 50lbs. lighter affect your mental and emotional state?
2. To what degree do you think you will feel better after it is accomplished?
3. How will others perceive you 50lbs. Lighter?
4. What will bragging to your friends, family and co-workers about losing 50lbs. feel like?
5. Will you be able to help others with their weight struggles?
6. How will losing weight affect your finances?
7. Does eating smaller portions and more nutritious food cost less?
8. Is having more choices in clothing important to you?
9. How will weight loss affect your doctor bills? Medications? Risk of diabetes?
10. How will you feel overall when you accomplish your goal?
I have a confession, even though I don't need to lose weight, after writing out those 10 questions, I feel like going on a walk. :) You should feel similarly when you finish answering the questions. If so, go with it. Take your walk. Throw out the junk food, whatever. It doesn't hurt to start today.
Are you starting to get more clarity on your motivation now? Don't stop with those 10 questions, come up with more for yourself. You need a big pile of "becauses" to offset negativity when times get tough. Losing weight typically goes slower than everyone would like, so having this list will be important.
Next time we'll discuss what to do with this list so you can maximize its effectiveness. So get to work on answering "Why?" you want to achieve your goal. You promised to take it seriously so get to work!
About The Author
Brad Isaac (The Goal Guru) is the creator of Achieve-IT! Goal Setting software for Pocket PC. He has made human achievement and motivation a study for over 20 years. You can subscribe to his newsletter by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and visit his blog at http://goalsuccess.typepad.com.