I did it. Twenty-one days after setting a goal to lose nine pounds, I have lost ten. I’m lower than the weight goal I set which is the weight I hovered at for years prior to a big jump at the end of last year around the holidays. It feels good to be here again.
Now that I’m on this side of the goal, what next? Where do I go from here?
Well, I could lose a couple more pounds just to be on the safe side for those times when I eat out with friends or family and inevitably add a pound or two in a day. That seems reasonable. But beyond that, the need is for a consistent lifestyle that doesn’t result in being five, ten, then fifteen pounds overweight again. It needs to be nipped in the bud on a daily basis.
It is my habit to weigh every morning before stepping into the shower. I know people tell you not to weigh every day because of the little fluctuations that people experience. For me, though, it works to weigh daily because that is what determines what I eat or don’t eat for the day. I can’t do what I want for a week and then exclaim “Oh, look, I’m five pounds over!” No – that has to be known when I’m one pound over so that my behavior is appropriate that day.
The more general lesson in this is that all of our goals need incremental milestones and checkpoints along the way in order for us to know where we stand and to increase the likelihood of reaching them. Going too long without a checkpoint allows you to veer off course too easily, making the return path long and tedious.
Don’t set annual goals without more frequent checkpoints. Don’t only do annual performance reviews for employees without very frequent checkpoints along the way (mine are every two weeks with my manager). Don’t think that you will succeed just by setting a New Year’s resolution without some accountability from others as well as from yourself at least monthly throughout the year.
Leap year lesson #196 is Reaching goals happens in baby steps.