The unconventional weight loss motivation you really need to hear

When I was a teenager, my dad gave my sister and I a book called, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens” written by Sean Covey. If his name sounds familiar to you, he’s the son of Stephen Covey who wrote the bestselling book,”The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. As a pretty Type-A kid when it came to school, I re-read that book a dozen times, noting down the best strategies for living an optimal life. Yep, pretty intense for a 15-year old, but I also read lots of Archie comics so I think it balanced out somewhere.

I wanted to share the second habit with you today; I remembered it as I thought of summer winding down and the “back-to-routine” shift taking place. The habit is called,”Begin with the end in mind“. In a nutshell, it’s about living each day with purpose towards a certain set of goals. Below are some excerpts from the book, which elaborate on the idea:

  • Control your own destiny or someone else will.
  • Define your mission and goals in life.
  • All things are created twice – first mentally, second physically. Individuals, families, teams, and organizations shape their own future by creating a mental vision and purpose for any project. They don’t just live day to day without a clear purpose in mind.
  • They mentally identify and commit themselves to the principles, values, relationships, and purposes that matter most to them.

Phew. No pressure.

What brought it down to earth for me and made it relevant to my day-to-day life was actually a simple image in that chapter. It was a cartoon drawing of a boy looking outside his window at the neighbourhood kids playing, while he was sitting inside practising an instrument.

While at first I thought, “ew, that sucks” (obviously I was a teenage girl), I read ahead and the next paragraph pretty much said, “yeah, it might suck, but if you want something really bad, you HAVE to do what other people aren’t willing to do. You have to give up spending some time on other parts of your life, if you want to achieve a certain goal bad enough.”

The journey towards a goal takes up time, so logically it will have to replace previous pockets of time.

Although in theory this sounds straightforward, it’s something I think a lot of us struggle with, especially as we become adults and get busier and more entrenched in our obligations and routines. We want a lot of things e.g. a certain weight loss goal, but we aren’t willing to give up anything for it. We’re comfortable where we are. And then we periodically feel unsatisfied because we aren’t living a life that’s in line with the goals we’ve set for ourselves.

Which leaves two possibilities: either we re-assess those goals, or we re-assess how we spend our time. For example, if you’ve wanted to “work out three times a week” for the longest time, have you taken the steps to carve out time for it? Are you still sleeping in, accepting every social invitation that comes your way and putting your family or partner’s needs first? If you want that goal bad enough, you have to be okay to say NO to some things even if that means missing out on something fun.

The satisfaction you’ll receive from sticking to your goal will be far greater than the transient pleasure of a few social events. 

So as the new season rolls around, I’d like to challenge you to take out a few hours and think about your routine, how you spend your day, and if it’s in line with your goals. Do you want that goal bad enough to cut back (note: not eliminate, simply cut back) on some other activities you might enjoy, like watching a TV show, going for drinks after work or sleeping in on the weekend? If you don’t want to give any of it up, that’s fine but then accept that the goals you want may not be as important to you as you think, and probably won’t become a reality.

As I write this it is the last long weekend of summer, and while I’d like to spend it lying on a beach reading chick-lit books, I know it’s also the perfect weekend for me to set the stage for the year ahead. There are no social invitations, and I can use that time to get organized, strategize and map out my personal and business goals for the year. In hindsight I know I’ll feel better about this decision because it’s helping me get the life I want. Plus, I can probably sit in the park and soak up some sunshine while I do all the strategizing, so maybe it can be a win-win 🙂


About Alina

I'm a Holistic Nutritionist based in Toronto, Canada and my official title is Certified Nutritional Practitioner (CNP). I received my diploma in Applied Holistic Nutrition from the Institute of Holistic Nutrition. I'm a coach and an educator. Follow Alina on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for all of the latest updates.
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