New Strategy; New Goals

Monday, August 01, 2016

For those of you who have read my blog from Saturday, you know that I am basically starting over with my goals. This blog is going to list my current goals and the strategy that I am going to implement going forward.

When I came back to SP, I made a lot of really big changes and I made them immediately. I went from eating fast food 3x per day and never working out to eating only healthy food all the time (mostly) and working out like a mad man every day. I did this overnight.

The results were AMAZING. I lost 16 pounds in one month! People were excited about my progress.

Things slowed down after that. I only lost 4 pounds the second month. I began falling back into old habits in the second month.

In the third month, I had abandoned all of the changes entirely. I'm actually very near my original weight as I write this. I have gained back 17 of the 20 pounds that I lost. This coincided with a major depressive episode (see Saturday's blog).

Let this experience be a lesson to you. It has been a lesson to me. In fact, it has been a hands-on lab for a lesson that I already knew before I came back to SP because I had done the book learning the last time I was using SP.

The lesson is simply to make small changes. Get used to those changes. Get good at those changes. Make a couple more small changes. Let those set in and take hold. Make a couple more changes. And so on.

I can't even tell you how many articles on SP I've read in which this is the basic, underlying lesson of the article. I knew this lesson so well, in fact, that my boilerplate copy & paste welcome message for new SP members says:

"1. Make 1-3 small changes each week and build on them. Many times people try to make a bunch of changes or some very big changes right away, and when they aren't successful with those changes, they get frustrated and lose hope. You didn't get to where you are overnight. Don't expect to get fit and healthy overnight either!"

Also note that this is the FIRST bit of advice in my message, as indicated by the number 1.

DO AS I SAY! not as i do.

So I'm going to basically start over at square 1 and follow my own advice. Instead of trying to lose 50 pounds by the end of October 2016, I am going to be happy if I lose 50 pounds by the end of October 2017.

With that in mind, I have created a daily to-do list or goal list. Actually I've created two.

Minimalist daily goals (for when the depression kicks in and I can barely function):
- Get out of bed when the alarm goes off (If nothing else, just go to the bathroom and then get back in bed.)
- Drink 1 glass of water. My glasses are 16 ounces, so that's 2 servings.
- Take my morning medications.
- Take my evening medications.

That's it. On bad days, those are the only things I have to do in order to have a successful day.

Daily goals (for when I can actively participate in the normal world):
- Study Spanish. I have the Duolingo app on my phone. It's amazing if you want to learn a new language. It uses the same approach as Rosetta Stone, but costs $0.00 instead of $500.
- Study for IT certifications. I'm paying $84/month for the training site. I should really use it.
- Shower. Life sucks when this has to be on your to-do list.
- Wash the dishes.

That's it for this week. Pretty basic, but those are all things that I struggle with and have struggled with for more than a year.

I started officially counting these as goals yesterday. Next Saturday I will add one or two new goals to this list and incorporate those into my daily routine beginning on Sunday.

Thank you for reading and have a great day!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • 52BINCE
    Sounds great ........ and wish you well!
    1582 days ago
    emoticon emoticon I love how you are taking the lessons you've learned to heart and are building from the basics!
    1585 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/3/2016 10:16:55 AM
  • no profile photo CD2369084
    Thank you!
    1585 days ago
    Glad you have set some new goals and are working towards them. These are good goals and you are right, starting out slowly is a good thing. I think we only hurt ourselves when we try to pile on too much at the beginning. It can become overwhelming and then it's too easy to just quit or start blowing them off. You can do this. And don't forget, you can always ask for help when you need it. You are doing great.
    1585 days ago
    Life is a learning tool. I had set backs as well as great days. We just pick ourselves up, dust us off and begin again. You can do it. Your on the right track.
    1585 days ago
  • no profile photo CD15665102
    Thanks for this. Excellent.
    1586 days ago
    Never one to throw cold water on ANYONE's goals... and some people can pull the big changes off... BUT... most of us? Learn more slowly, and need to make changes the same way. Good job recovering from the initial lesson of "I'm not one of THOSE" (love at first sight, program winner on first shot, etc.)!

    You can do this, and giving yourself credit for SMALL goals, one day at a time, is a great way to increase your odds of long-term success. If you do what you can TODAY, given where your head is at (depressive episodes and all, with their built-in catch-22's), pat yourself on the back, get a good night's sleep, and count it good!

    1586 days ago
    Those seem like solid healthy goals.
    1586 days ago
  • no profile photo CD924924
    Great advice and great first week goals! emoticon
    1586 days ago
    Drop by drop the glass is filling... Step by step with consistency!
    May God Help you in reaching your healthy goals!
    1586 days ago
    I'm a list maker as well--comes from writing lesson plans--but now the lists I make for the most part are grocery lists! The daily to do lists or calendar of activities I create for work are simply guidelines. Good luck with your new goals! I believe you'll do well because it's the small changes that add up to permanent changes!
    1586 days ago
  • no profile photo CD16433418
    You can do this. I love the list idea, I am a list maker. Always remember that people care about you, and wish you wellness, peace and love.
    1586 days ago
    This is a good reminder for me. I've been slipping on my goals lately, and need to remember this advice.
    1586 days ago
    How about on "bad" days you add ... reaching out to others. Just sayin'.
    1586 days ago
    Your quick start with great success reminded me of the parable of the sower and the seed which grew quickly (Matthew 13: 5-7). Let's hope the next sowing takes root and you grow steadily toward your weight goal.
    1586 days ago
    These are great gials! Stay focused, you CAN do them!!
    1586 days ago
    Sound like a good strategy William. I started with baby steps and built on the momentum. My weight loss goal was to lose 1 to 4 pounds per month (I had 50 pounds to lose).. That was a little over 2 years ago. Since then I lost 55 pounds. Of course, I had a few set back during my journey, like we all do, and like you, I just re-grouped and got back on the right path. So like my SparkPeople moniker - it's on-day-at-a-time for me. Keep us posted on your progress. I wish you the best.
    1586 days ago
  • LINDAK25
    Yes! All those little goals turn in to lots of good habits. You can do this.
    1586 days ago
    Good for you staying on task and reevaluating your goals. You can do this!

    1587 days ago
    In my book you are always Mr. emoticon ! emoticon
    1587 days ago
  • ZORO22
    Once I get one tiny thing done it gives me some positive feeling to move forward. If I get stuck in having to do things in a certain way or order then I tend to freeze up an backslide. So hang in there one small step at a time is awesome!!!
    1587 days ago
  • ZORO22
    Sounds like you are getting back on track! When I get overwhelmed, which is frequently (my pattern is overwhelm -anxiety-freeze-procrastinate/avoid
    -repeatadnauseum) I tell myself just do something anything it doesn't matter what. Start somewhere.
    1587 days ago
    There are many times that have been bumps in my road to success and progress. Patience is the hardest part of this journey in trying to change lifelong habits.
    1587 days ago
  • no profile photo CD15597073
    You inspire me every day!
    1587 days ago
    It looks to me like you're on the right track and I love the idea of having a minimalist list so that every day can still be a success! I may have to borrow that idea. Welcome back!
    1587 days ago
    I could use goal setting lessons from you! I also have major depression and am struggling to get back on track. I don't do well when my schedule gets disrupted, and all plans go out the window. Thanks for the down-to-earth blog!
    1587 days ago
    Excellent!! ........ Cheering you on with your journey ....... and also taking heed to your points!! (Will come back later when I can to read Sat. blog) .......... Have a great day and new month!! emoticon
    1587 days ago
    Good Luck on your journey. I have recently restarted mine as well. Small steps will get us there.
    1587 days ago
  • no profile photo CD15003511
    Great goals!
    1587 days ago
    You can do it! It shows a lot that you're trying again. We all fall off the wagon sometimes. Good luck. One day at a time!
    1587 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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