Now that all the holiday celebrations are over, you may be feeling a little relieved and have officially decided that your goal this year is to lose the additional weight once and for all. You want to get started on your health and wellness journey and so that you can look back on your progress this time next year feeling very proud of yourself.
Although you are committed, excited, and motivated, you may be a little overwhelmed at all the things you have to do. However, you don’t have to worry! It is completely normal to feel a bit overwhelmed when first starting your journey and there are ways to work through this.
Check out these three ways to help you start your journey without the stress!
Focus on Behaviors, Not Outcomes
When you begin your journey, focus on setting behavior-based goals as opposed to outcome-based goals. For example, imagine you tracked your macronutrients every day this week, you drank a lot of water, and on the day of your weigh-in, the scale went up by a few pounds. This wasn’t because you ate off track during the week, but maybe it was because you had something salty the night before that could affect your weight. Focusing on all of the positive behaviors that you accomplished – such as the tracking, the water intake and any meal preparation – are all things that you have control over and should be very proud of. The scale shifting by a few pounds may be out of your control. It is important to set specific long-term goals so you have a vision to move forward and know where you are headed. Once you have a long-term goal set, follow through by setting up the behaviors and habits that will set you up to work toward that goal. When you focus on behaviors, you are focusing on something that you can wake up each day and control. However, when we focus only on outcomes we cannot always control them.
As you begin your journey, you may feel like you cannot always keep up with the things you need to do. You want to prepare all your meals, pack your lunches, exercise multiple times per week, and get in your proper water intake. Let’s be honest, it can be a lot of work! Be sure to start small to help you make these changes in a non-overwhelming and sustainable way. Choose one to two small goals that are realistic for you and that you know you can achieve. For example, maybe you currently buy your lunch at work five days per week. Perhaps your goal can be to begin packing your lunch two days of the week and increase from there. By setting these smaller goals and then adding to them, you are setting yourself up for success right from the beginning and working on your health in a non-overwhelming way.
Celebrate Your Successes
Sometimes we critique ourselves and focus just on the negatives instead of the positives. In a weight loss journey, it is so important to celebrate every success! You want to see how far you have come since you started and track your progress in multiple ways. If you formed a new healthy habit this week, went down a few pounds, hit your minimum water intake goal, or tracked your meals – celebrate it! Working on your health and wellness is something that deserves to be recognized, especially all the hard work that you are putting into it.
Although you may feel overwhelmed when beginning your weight loss journey, remember it is not a sprint but rather a marathon. The next time you are feeling like there is just too much to do, use these tips to help guide you and remember small changes lead to big results over time.