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How to be a Weight Loss Success Story

How to be a Weight Loss Success Story

My approach to weight loss is about giving people the tools to create their own success. I want you to design your own model for lasting weight loss and feel comfortable using that model for life. And it’s a pretty foolproof system – so much of losing weight and keeping it off is about finding strategies that fit your individual circumstances and preferences. You’re actually the only person who can devise your own weight loss approach – all anyone else can do is offer advice and support. Just as no one else can lose the weight for you, no one else can tell you how to do it – because they don’t have your body clock, your taste buds, your genetic heritage and any of the other things that make you who you are.

Exterior vs Interior Success

Many popular weight loss programs emphasise interior, rather than exterior, success – the end result you’re encouraged to want is more about looking good (killer abs, a bikini body, toned thighs) than feeling strong and healthy. But one common factor in weight loss approaches that really work is the emphasis on interior, rather than exterior, success. And this is particularly relevant for anyone out there who’s been on their weight loss journey for a while and is starting to feel a little demotivated. Even if things are going really well – you’ve lost weight, you can see and feel how much fitter you’ve become, you’ve got more energy than ever – perhaps you’re not feeling the same sense of joy and satisfaction you once did, or perhaps you don’t feel like you’ve succeeded in the way that you wanted to. How can you get your positivity back?

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What’s Your Idea of Weight Loss Success?

Think about what’s guiding your approach to healthy living – is it more exterior, or more interior? What I mean by that is whether you’re influenced more by someone else’s idea of what weight loss success looks like rather than what it actually means for you as an individual. Maybe you haven’t sat down and really worked that out yet – if you haven’t, that’s OK, but it can be really motivating to find the time to do so.

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All of us, on some level or another, are influenced by other people’s ideas of weight loss success. It’s impossible to avoid, because as our obesity rates continue to climb (our obesity rates in Australia have more than doubled in the last 20 years, and one quarter of Australian teenagers are now overweight or obese), so does our obsession with losing weight. Everywhere we look – in magazines, online, in TV shows and on the big screen – we’re given an unrealistic, airbrushed template of what we’re all ‘supposed’ to look like. Bikini bodies, flat bellies, abs so firm you they’d double as a punching bag – for many of us, this is what we aspire to when we set out to lose weight. Obviously, it’s unrealistic, and probably most of us know this on some level. But it doesn’t stop us from imagining those model-like images and wishing they could be us. So when we do lose weight but we still don’t look in the mirror and see a fitness god or goddess staring back at us, we wonder what we’re doing wrong and start to lose our motivation.

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How to Reset Your Mindset

If you’re doing losing weight at a steady, sustainable rate, making gradual fitness gains and slowly making your lifestyle healthier, you’ve got nothing to feel bad about. You’re succeeding – you’re nailing it. So instead of changing what you do, you maybe need to change how you think. You need to reframe the ‘why’ behind your weight loss journey. You need to forget about those external influences, or at least stop placing so much emphasis on them, and bring it back to you and your life and your body.

Why did you set out to lose weight in the first place? What benefits has it brought you? How does it make you feel, physically and psychologically, to be fitter and leaner? And what are the things that you genuinely enjoy about being healthy and living a healthy life? Asking yourself these questions and reminding yourself of all the positive benefits your healthy living journey has brought you (and continues to bring you) can help you reshape your mindset. Whatever it is that you most enjoy about healthy living, do more of it – get yourself back into that motivated, positive state of mind, and remind yourself of everything you’ve achieved on your journey thus far. Stock up your motivational toolkit with reasons why you want to keep going and keep pursuing your healthy living aims – you haven’t come this far for nothing.

So remember: internal, not external, is what counts when it comes to weight loss. Even though the changes you’re seeing are often physical, don’t underestimate the psychological effects and benefits of weight loss and healthy living. Keep at it – remember why you’re doing this, and why it’s so worthwhile. You can only go from strength to strength.

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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