New Year Same Objectives

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Time to start a new year. This generally means reflecting on the previous year, resetting, getting resolutions and goals in order. But for me, it is only a new year and I continue on the same path pressing forward towards better health and better eating habits, which will lead to more weight loss.

As I reflect on where I was a year ago, I have indeed made some progress. I weighed in at 457 at the beginning of 2013 and maxed out at 368 mid year. I weighed in a couple of days ago at 435. That is certainly not my lowest, since I had gotten down to 425 before Christmas and the holidays have zapped me and I have gained a bit.

What I would really like to do is put a greater focus on the system and process rather than say I am going to lose a certain amount of weight. I recently read a great article from Entrepreneur Magazine on the web that dealt with goals vs. systems. I do want to share a few comments from that. ( See Entrepreneur article here)

Scaling a Mountain

Scaling a mountain is a step-by-step process that requires adjustment along the way

The Difference Between Goals and Systems

What’s the difference between goals and systems?

If you’re a coach, your goal is to win a championship. Your system is what your team does at practice each day.
If you’re a writer, your goal is to write a book. Your system is the writing schedule that you follow each week.
If you’re a runner, your goal is to run a marathon. Your system is your training schedule for the month.
If you’re an entrepreneur, your goal is to build a million dollar business. Your system is your sales and marketing process.

Thinking about the above philosophy, if you’re trying to lose weight, your goal is to drop the pounds. My system is my meal process and the training schedule for the month. I have honestly believed in this philosophy…that the process will get you to the goal. Indeed, this is how the tortoise beat the hare…one step at a time always moving forward.  Or, as the photo above shows, when you scale a mountain, it is a step-by-step process (literally!) and you may need to make adjustments along the way.  We cannot always foresee the obstacles in front of us and so, with a process (or system) in place, we can adjust based upon the obstacles.

Goals and Obstacles

Goals and Obstacles

Processes are different. It’s not that processes don’t change. It’s that they acknowledge and embrace change. Processes are designed to expect and react to change when it is least expected. Processes are dynamic.

Another point the author makes: “When you’re working toward a goal, you are essentially saying, “I’m not good enough yet, but I will be when I reach my goal.”

So, what you do when a goal is not met….let’s say you set a goal for 1500 calories and four glasses of water today…you get discouraged, or feel stressed. Do this enough times and you may give up. Maybe you’ll break down and get a burger or a donut for the “feel good factor.” Not the “feel good that I accomplished a goal,” but rather the “comfort food feel good factor.”

Comfort Food

Comfort Food; The “Feel-Good” Fix

On the other hand, if you have a process, then slippage is more forgivable. You keep moving forward. Humans are not machines (at least most of us aren’t) and we do slip. But the consistency of a process or routine is what gets you there.

One of the challenges that Julianne and I faced after she got a job in October last year was a change in routine. We both had good momentum in weight loss and eating right, we supported each other and we were there for each other, especially in the weaker moments. Once she headed to work, the routine was shot, then the holidays came which further ruined the routine. The result? We have both gained weight back…not nearly all we lost, but there were gains. We were no longer on a process. We deviated from the path…we became the hare rather than the rabbit.

As January 1 rolled along, Julianne sat down to discuss our objectives for the year…the same things…finances, spiritual things, health and wellness. Rather than “goals” we set “objectives” – $xx in savings each month, auto withdrawn from her checks and added by me (since I now do contract work) — all as a percentage; go to the temple on certain days of the month; specific date nights; and, on the health and wellness front, join a program at University of Kentucky since she is an employee. Each of these is a process rather than a goal.

For our weight management, we joined a ten week program called “Weight Loss Matters“. They have group meetings every Tuesday evening for the period. There are dietitians and health coaches there to help us. We also have that group support as others are striving to do the same. Sure, they may have us set a “weight loss goal,”, but you can be sure that there is a process that they work with you on. Coupled with that, we will set down workout times at one of the UK gyms. This will help with the calorie burning. And, as a part of the program, we will participate in the “Biggest Blue Loser” competition at UK, another motivator (especially for the competitor in me!!)

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Coupled with the UK programs, we also determined some “quick meal solutions” to make it easier for us both since we have such busy schedules. Julianne has learned how to make Salad in a Jar using wide mouth canning jars and her FoodSaver vacuum sealer. Slick little concept!! She spent about an hour preparing a variety of salads and we now have 9 salads in the fridge all vacuum packed. We will do more of the same with soups and other meals. Easy to prepare and run with and then time saving at meal times.

Salad in a Jar

Salad in a Jar

Vacuum Sealing a Salad in a Jar

Vacuum Sealing a Salad in a Jar

With all of these processes in place, we will once again be back in a routine and back to our downward progress by losing to become winners!!

Achievement

You can achieve by following a process

Should be an interesting 2014!

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