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Setting Goals: A Procrastinator's Dilemma

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Old 11-09-2007, 12:15 PM   #1
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Default Setting Goals: A Procrastinator's Dilemma

I was thinking today about how I'm always joining challenges and setting goals, and never making them. I've lost weight consistently in the past, so what's the problem?

I know I'm capable of keeping to a diet plan (I've done it), and I'm exercising more this time around than I did when I lost weight in the past! I often engage in self-sabotage, and my weight constantly yo-yos up and down. The last time I lost a large chunk of weight (about a year and a half ago), I stuck to my diet like glue and I just did it. What I wasn't doing was posting on weight loss forums--it was something that I was doing for myself.

In fact, I started posting on a different forum for weight loss and found that I actually stopped losing weight and fell into the yo-yoing habits again. When I stopped posting there, the weight started coming off again. So what was the deal? I came to 3FC on Atkins and I had lost 10 pounds already during the summer, I was SO looking forward to goal. It helps me to share with people who understand, so I was glad to be back on a supportive forum. However, almost as soon as I started posting here, the yo-yoing started again...why??

Well, I was thinking about my tendency to procrastinate in my day-to-day life. I procrastinate with my school work all the time. I love making lists and calculating and setting fantastical goals...but I never actually check things off of my lists or reach the goals. When I just do things, I don't have a problem... As crazy as it sounds, I think that setting goals hinders me with weight loss. If I have a deadline to meet, I usually wait to the last minute to get it done...you can't do that with weight loss. Consistency is required.

Trying to rid myself of being a procrastinator is hard...I'm working on it, but in the mean time it is hindering me from losing weight. What did the forums (these and the ones I used to post on) and the halt in my weight loss have in common?? I set goals within a time frame, and posted them up. As crazy as it sounds, the things other people find so encouraging and uplifting are, in a way, causing me to halt in my weight loss efforts. Challenges, which appeal to me on many levels, I think are in part causing the procrastinator in my brain to move toward sabotage...

Anyone else discover that they were losing more weight without a support system/set time in which to lose weight? I like being on 3FC...it's like a family here and everyone is so supportive. I just also want to get back in the right mindset to lose, and when I'm setting time goals, joining challenges, weighing in here, etc, I seem to slip out of that mindset. I'm just looking for some thoughts from fellow (or former) procrastinators. Does my self-analysis make sense?
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Old 11-09-2007, 12:50 PM   #2
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Maybe it's not you being a procrastinator at all...

As inspiring and motivational as this site can be, coming here every day (in my case, several times a day) can sometimes be a reminder that we have either been way more successful than others so we give ourselves permission to go off plan, or that the struggle is so great that it seems insurmountable... So why try?

Just my 2-cents (worth only what you paid for it)...

I've read many of your posts and find them to be very encouraging and kind so perhaps it's time to be kind and encouraging to yourself.

You are just about at my goal weight (truthfully, I'd settle for your starting weight!) so try to give yourself a break by remembering how wonderful you are and how far you've come. And if you don't want to do it today, you can always put it off until tomorrow. Ha ha...

Best,

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Old 11-09-2007, 02:23 PM   #3
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I wonder if sometimes we elevate the grander goals over the day-to-day work of moving toward a goal. (Do you post at AW? You seem familiar to me.)

For me I am trying to focus on a day by day, meal by meal strategy. I've done "I wanna lose XYZ pounds by XYZ random date" but then I putter out and revert to former habits. I do have a goal line in my sig, but whether I ever get to 150 is less important to me that controlling my intake and my exercise today. A little bit of effort repeated eventually turns into a mountain of achievement.

My "decision by decision" mentality has the added bonus of procrastination---but in a good way! For lunch I spied a bag of chips. I considered if I really wanted them for lunch. I decided "no", mainly cause I can have them later if I want to. I might or I might not, but I just had to make a small decision in just that moment. It is getting easier to make those decisions, and the more I procrastinate unhealthful food intake, the more I am rewarded by those numbers on the scale.

It makes sense in my mind, anyway!
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Last edited by midwife : 11-09-2007 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 11-09-2007, 04:08 PM   #4
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I get really discouraged with time frame goals, so normally I don't do it. I got caught up in a thread with a goal by Christmas, so you can see that in my signature. I kind of wish I wouldn't have done it now. I can already feel the self-doubt and pressure... all self-imposed! So, once this goal is gone, I'm not putting time frames on my goals.

Maybe for you, keep posting and reading, but take off the ticker or goal. Would that help?
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Old 11-10-2007, 11:24 AM   #5
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Here is what I think...because I am pretty much like you in a lot of ways. I think the fact that we arent "fat chicks" anymore, makes it hard to keep plugging, when you come here and see how far you have come then I think it does something subconciously. I dont make "goals" anymore. I dont do challenges anymore because it doesnt work for me. It doesnt motivate me. In fact i had to change my ticker because I had my HW on there and seeing that I have lost 100lbs didnt motivate me for something as trival as these last 25. Im finally just so fed up with myself that I am doing this damn thing... because I can. I am finally to the point where im not cool with the size that I am now, and I want to lose more. I was to a point where I was happy with my size so I was in no hurry, whatever... ya know? Im just ready to be done with weight loss so I can focus my energies elsewhere.. ie.. school, work, and relationships in my life. My weight has been on front burner for longer than its welcome, and the only one that can change that is me Thats what it takes to get me moving.
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Old 11-10-2007, 01:41 PM   #6
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Former procrastinator here
I agree with midwife. Setting goals that are far away is fine if they work. But the real key to success is NOW. What is my plan for today, for my next meal, for my next snack?
I log everything in Fitday to keep me on track. I love playing with data, so I also keep an Excel spreadsheet which includes weight today, yesterday, last week, last month. If I start to stall - I come back to analyzing my daily choices and tweaking.
I have changed my personal weight goal in Fitday 3 times. I can't know how fast or slow my body will lose lbs. But I CAN know how many calories I will eat, how many minutes I will exercise.
Control what you can - every minute of every day.

If you tend to procrastinate with your exercise routine - schedule it early in the day. Then do it. No excuses, just get it done.
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Old 11-10-2007, 06:46 PM   #7
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Thank you all for the replies. I love being here, but I don't think that having my goals/feeling obligated to be on the site for challenges, etc. is really helping me. I think I'm going to take the tickers away, remove myself from any challenges I'm in, and just focus and doing what I need to do. I may keep a private journal and start logging into FitDay again, and I'll still pop over here to post and encourage, but I think that feeling like I've got a deadline or that I'm obligated to someone other than myself to lose weight really had me in a rut. Thanks SO much for the responses. They've helped me work through this mentally.

PS~ Midwife, I'm not sure what AW is. But I only am active on one other forum right now, and it's a Ball Python forum
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Old 11-10-2007, 11:18 PM   #8
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Azure, so well put. As a serious, serious procrastinator myself, I can understand your decision and it even gives me a bit of insight to what might be going on with me. We will miss you on the Blue team! But again, you need to do what is best for you and I salute you for realizing what was happening and making that necessary spontaneous change. That is how procrastinators see the most progress, in my opinion anyway, spontaneously. Good luck!
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Old 11-11-2007, 07:19 AM   #9
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Hey Azure!

Everyone is different, and it's always good to find out what works for you. Goals and challenges help some people, but not others. I've never joined a challenge, and I can't say that I've ever met a loss goal "on time." But, here I am, lighter anyway!

Here are some thoughts about what the weight loss process is and isn't:

- It's not a race or a competition. No one is obligated to lose weight.
- The only failure is giving up.
- It's a dozen small decisions every day.
- It's accountability--weighing, measuring, tracking--to yourself alone.
- It means not kidding yourself about what you're doing with food.

I've often said that the purpose of a goal is to point one in the right direction, not to become a setup for making one unhappy. Dropping pounds is victory enough.

Hang in there, Azure! Hope you'll still post from time to time!

Jay
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Old 11-11-2007, 08:37 AM   #10
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Hey AZURE you will figure it out....you are a smart kid!

As JAY says, everyone is different, so just keep working towards "what might work for you".

For me, I found that setting small realistic goals...say 5 pounds...then focusing on losing just one pound at a time...maintaining that loss for a few days then working on one more really helped me.

Good luck
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Old 11-11-2007, 09:09 AM   #11
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Azure, I'm so glad you posted this as I'm struggling with this myself! I thought you were posting my story!! I've been so caught up on weight, setting my goals too high, being disappointed, and then over-eating because I deprived myself so much...

I'm starting anew TODAY with this plan from a friend who's been in the same place suggested: (and some of it's been suggested above )
*set my cals and log (I use fitday, too) and split up the cals as I see fit. I've deprived myself a piece of sourdough or whatever too long. I need to stop "eating behind my back" and just have a bit so I don't end up eating the whole loaf....
*get in protein and EFA's
*set short term goals and think in terms of 5 lbs (and whenever it comes, it comes; no date!)
*give yourself non-food items as rewards
*make a list of de-stressing things you love and schedule them in
*don't exercise to the point where you have CNS burnout to stress the body and lead to fatigue and overeating. (I have a tendency to over-exercise and will go to the gym twice a day and that's too much since I'm not training for the Olympics! )

I'm also adding in that I'm making pre-planned meals so I don't just "grab" when I get home. I can pop something I've made in the microwave and drink some water while it re-heats.

I am making my changes and a new journal today. Small term goals from now on!

PM me if you'd like a short-term goal buddy who has the same issues as you! Because I know we need support and a good kick in the pants somedays!

Today's the day! I'm conquering it one day at a time! I'll be thinking of you!!
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Old 11-11-2007, 10:38 AM   #12
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Azure, thanks for starting this thought provoking thread. I have feeling that goals and challenges may not be right for me, either, so I just don't do them anymore. On the other hand, the support group definitely helps. I like hearing about how others deal with the same issues I have to deal with.
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Old 11-11-2007, 10:47 AM   #13
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In 40 lbs, over 3 1/2 years, I have never met a timed goal. Never.

In the long run, it doesn't matter because I got what I wanted anyway.

One of the problems I had was that I zoomed down to my first goal (130 lbs) and kinda landed with a thump. OK what do I do now?

I think I'm growing more toward the notion of having a body plan rather than a goal. Does that make sense?
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Old 11-11-2007, 12:13 PM   #14
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You're so right, SusanB! Body Plan is great! I'm trying to steer towards healthy and I bet it'll all fall into place once I've tossed the "have to's" out the window!
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Old 11-11-2007, 01:54 PM   #15
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I do not like setting goals either. I feel like I have to set them, but if I do not meet a goal, I feel bad about it. I try to think more long term now.

I have found that if I avoid this site, my weight loss starts stalling. I do not post all that often, but it is helpful to read about everyone else's experiences. I really do not have any other supportive forces in my life, as far as weight loss is concerned. Weight has always been a difficult issue in my family, and my friends are basically all thin. So, the support helps a lot!
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