Thursday, October 25, 2012

The "Ps" of Long Term Success, Part 2

Continuing my series on how to achieve long term success.

2.  Plan

So, you have passion for your goal. Or maybe you don't. Maybe your goal is something you would like, but don't know if you can commit to it forever. In either case the next step is to make a plan.

What is your priority goal?
What are your intermediate goals?
What will be your path to reach your goals?

But you say, "I know what my goal is. I want to lose weight.  Isn't that enough?"

Not really. Think about the last time you went on vacation. Did you just pile into the car (train, bus or plane) and VOILA you were at your destination? Oh, I know people can do that. My wife and I did that once, early in our marriage. But that was just for a weekend, and we did not go far away.

No, most vacations require planning. When Tammy and I drove east earlier this year, we spent days planning potential places to stop. We knew we wanted to include Boston and Portland, Maine. Those were our priority goals. But that was the easy part. And your main goal in weight is also the easy part to plan. You pick a number and say, "I want to lose X pounds."

But we Googled a lot of different routes and other destinations en route, all through Ohio, New York, and Canada. We wanted to see what we could do on our way through the vacation. We hit our two primary goals first (four days in Boston and then two days in Portland.) Upon leaving Portland, we then planned out three intermediate stops while on our drive home to Green Bay.  And at those three destinations, we had fun, explored new regions (and drank a LOT of wine.) We had fun at our intermediate goals. This applies to your weight loss plan, especially if you have a large number as your primary goal. You should set intermediate goal while always working towards your final destination. And then, success you reach each of those steps to success, you should celebrate! Have fun while making progress!

Finally, we had a set path to our destinations. We not only printed out Google Maps directions, we also bought a GPS unit. That was our predetermined map to success. Did we stay on track? No, not completely. There were a few times when we deviated from the plan by taking a detour that was not planned due to road construction. But even though we were not following our exact plan, we were still driving towards our intended destinations.

You need to make a route to your weight-loss goal, but in this case, "a route" is all about what you will do. Will you eat low carb? Will you eat no wheat? Will you do a program that provides you prepared meals? Will you join Weight Watchers? Will you simply count calories? Will you join a gym, or run, or do P90X, or yoga? Those are all aspects of your route to success.

And like our vacation, you will also have detours. Maybe you will get ill. Maybe you will have surgery. Maybe the Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Years trifecta of parties will result in a weight gain. Those are all temporary disruptions to your short term plan, but they will not--should not--cause you to stop your journey. (If we stopped our journey due to a detour, we'd still be in Ohio, continuing to drink wine!)

You need to find your PASSION (what do you really need?) and then sit down and carefully make a PLAN (how will you get want you really need?)

Come back tomorrow for step three!

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