You want to lose 50 pounds. Congratulations – you’ve chosen an ambitious, yet reachable, goal. No doubt you’re busy coming up with plans for healthy eating and exercise. But, you may not be planning celebrations for yourself when you reach the mini goals along your path to success. Don’t neglect celebrating mini goals, because these treats celebrate your accomplishments. Indeed, most dieters aren’t derailed by a big piece of chocolate cake or by a fast food meal, but rather because they give up over the long haul. Don’t let that happen to you!
Yes, you want to lose 50 pounds. Break that down: would you like to lose 5 pounds the first month? 20 pounds by your class reunion next summer? 30 pounds before your niece’s wedding? Whatever your goals, write down some dates and numbers and post them where you can see them – perhaps on the door to the fridge or the pantry. Having a “to do” list can help you stick to your diet.
Add Short Term Goals
Knowing that you want to lose 10 pounds by Christmas may not help you with that irresistible urge to eat a bag of M&Ms. So, set short-term goals for yourself, probably every single day. Your goal for today may be to not eat any of the Girl Scout cookies in the pantry. It may be to drink water only (rather than soda) during the day.
Goal setting and goal reaching are hard work. Be sure to reward yourself when you reach your goals. Did you reach your short term goal of not breaking into a bag of chips? Reward yourself with a bubble bath or 15 minutes with a good book.
Larger goals can call for bigger celebrations: perhaps you can plan a girls’ night out at the spa as a treat for losing 20 pounds. At the halfway point, treat yourself to some new clothes. The key to all these celebrations is to plan them in advance and then post them where you will see them often and be motivated to work towards them.
Rewards Don’t Have to Be Food
In our society, most celebrations center around food – and it’s usually not carrots and celery sticks, either. This makes it challenging for dieters to celebrate in healthy ways that won’t jeopardize weight loss goals.
Make a list of things you can reward yourself with that won’t tip the scales. Do you enjoy pampering yourself with bath products? How about some aromatherapy with lotions or candles? Maybe you would enjoy some new plants to spruce up your house.
Don’t forget that time can be a gift, as well. Give yourself permission to make a long phone call to a friend or spend an afternoon at the mall. If you’re married, discuss these “time celebrations” with your spouse and hopefully he will work with you to free up some time for you as well.
Losing 50 pounds is not easy. You should be commended on taking steps to reach your goal, and with mini goals to celebrate, your success will be that much closer.