Tag Archives: goal setting

Success Breeds Success!

Success breeds success
Mia Hamm

achievement-star-transparent.png

Who doesn’t like a little pat on the back once in a while. Heck, who would not like one every day!  It is nice to be recognized for an achievement. It gives us a little energy boost, a bit of extra motivation to keep going, to try harder, to overcome obstacles.

Successful leaders know recognition is an important part of keeping a team going.  In fact, according to the book How Full is Your Bucket,  the number-one reason most Americans leave their jobs is that they don’t feel appreciated.

So, who is the CEO of your well-being?  Who is the leader of your weight loss journey?  YOU!  As a smart leader, who knows you do not want to quit your weight loss goal,  how often to do you recognize your achievements?

It can feel self-serving to recognize our own achievements.  However, research consistently shows that self-criticism lowers the chance of reaching a goal. Since finding our faults can be a knee-jerk reaction, we need to make it easier to recognize what is going well or we might automatically end up focus only on what is NOT going well.

Here are tips for making this most effective:

  1. Make it easy.  Keep a daily accomplishments list on something easy to access, such as on your phone or in your daily calendar.  Every day jot down at least one accomplishment.  Whether it is exercising that day, or eating a vegetable, give yourself credit for the achievement.
  2. In the moment.  As soon as you notice an achievement, no matter how small, jot it down so you don’t forget.  (enjoy that pat on the back!)
  3. Be specific.  Instead of just saying “good job”, note exactly what you did.  You might even make a special note if you overcame a challenge in that achievement.  For example, “I did my strength training routine, even though I was tired after work. I felt so much better after!”.
  4. Connect it with the bigger goal.  The more you connect what you are doing with why you are doing it, the more you harness the energy of this goal for you.  For example “I exercised after work giving me more energy for playing with my kids, and that is why I want to lose weight, to have energy to play with my kids”.

When looking back on this list, you will find you have a record of what works well for you.  This is like finding gold in times when you are struggling, looking for ways to get back on track.

I challenge you to try it for a few days, see how it goes for you. (Give yourself credit for at least trying it). Let me know how it goes!

Keep Moving, Be Well

Janet

Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Please share these posts with anyone you know interested in losing weight with or without weight loss surgery.  Click here to learn more about the UMass Memorial Weight Center

These weekly blogs are general guidelines. These guidelines apply to patients who are cleared by a physician for the type of exercise described. Please contact your physician with any concerns or questions. Always report any symptoms associated with exercise, such as pain, irregular heartbeats, and dizziness or fainting, to your physician.

 

 

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by | October 18, 2016 · 3:36 pm

Moving into Summer

walking on beach

Happy Summer!

How will you keep moving this season?

It is one of those times of the year where schedule shifts and extreme weather can curtail the best intentions to keep moving.

Every year I find myself saying, “I will do that over the summer when I have more time“.  As summer ends, I am amazed how I did not have more time. I have heard this from many of you as well, even from those of you with the summer off!

A bit of structure can go a long way.  So now is a great time to set some  summer exercise goals. 

Keep it simple, because after all, it is summer.  Simple goals are powerful when well designed.  Give those goals even more power by putting them in writing and share them with someone.  Goals that are written and shared are much, much more likely to be met! 

The first day of Summer is also a great time to review the hot weather exercise guidelines to keep moving safely as the temperature rises.

Wishing you a wonderfully active summer!

Keep Moving, Be Well,

Janet

Please share these posts with anyone you know interested in losing weight with or without weight loss surgery.  Click here to learn more about the UMass Memorial Weight Center

These weekly blogs are general guidelines. These guidelines apply to patients who are cleared by a physician for the type of exercise described. Please contact your physician with any concerns or questions. Always report any symptoms associated with exercise, such as pain, irregular heartbeats, and dizziness or fainting, to your physician.

 

 

 

 

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by | June 20, 2016 · 1:47 pm

One Thing I have Never Heard a Patient Say…

walking long road

After listening to patients experiences with weight loss over the years, I can say one thing I have never heard:  “I re-gained weight, but have not changed my exercise and physical activity level”.  Never, not one patient that I can recall has reported this scenario.

Why?

Because the two tend to go hand in hand.  Lower activity level, increase weight.  I am pretty sure you know this first hand.

Now, exercise is not the magic bullet for weight loss.  Food habits have to be a main focus for weight loss success.   However, physical activity and exercise add a huge boost that is hard to beat:

1)” Wiggle room” in your food intake for the occasional slips and celebrations.

2) Maintaining metabolism, which lowers as one loses weight without doing strength training.

Certainly, a consistent activity level is not a 100%  guarantee that  you will maintain weight loss – but it is a pretty good bet.

Life, however, is not consistent.  How do we keep life from getting in the way?

  • Keep your exercise program sustainable: The quick-fix exercise programs may have great results, but if you cannot sustain it, the results will quickly fade. When setting up an exercise program ask yourself, Is this sustainable?
  • Plan A, Plan B…:  Have at least one back up plan if your scheduled exercise time is interrupted.  Schedule Plan A into your calendar.  If there is a conflict – don’t delete – reschedule to Plan B.   For example, you plan on exercising in the morning for 30 minutes, but hit the snooze one too many times.  Reschedule it to two 15 minute  bouts, one at lunchtime and one in the evening.
  • Use lifestyle activity to fill in the gaps:  Lifestyle activity is simply the amount of movement you do during your daily life.   Its about taking advantage of those moments when you can take a quick walk, dance for one song, sneak in some exercises.  It has been shown to work well for weight loss.  Tracking with an activity monitor is helpful here when your regular activity level is lowered for some reason,  such as a longer work meeting or caring for an ill relative.  Armed with the information from your activity monitor,  you can ensure you are burning about the same amount of calories by keeping your step level the same as when you are regularly exercising.
  • Use movement to manage stress:  With plenty of life stressors to go around, if exercise is your go-to remedy, you will have many reasons to keep moving.  In your body, movement is the antidote for the response to stress – so this strategy is a way to naturally work with your body to lower stress level.
  • Connect with your “why”:  Why do you want to lose weight? Keep physical activity connected to your real, bottom line reason, instead of just exercising to make the numbers on the scale go down.  Your “why” is your natural motivation.  When physical activity is connected to your own personal “why”, your natural motivation will remain.

So, while it is great to challenge yourself with fitness goals – one of the best ways to boost your odds for lifelong weight loss success is consistency with exercise.  Hows that for a challenge?

Keep Moving, Be Well,

Janet

Please share these posts with anyone you know interested in losing weight with or without weight loss surgery.  Click here to learn more about the UMass Memorial Weight Center

These weekly blogs are general guidelines. These guidelines apply to patients who are cleared by a physician for the type of exercise described. Please contact your physician with any concerns or questions. Always report any symptoms associated with exercise, such as pain, irregular heartbeats, and dizziness or fainting, to your physician.

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by | June 16, 2016 · 3:29 pm

How to Set Successful Exercise Goals

goals 3This time of year it is common to see all kinds of advice on goal setting.  As I read through the articles though, I realize there are some unique aspects of setting physical activity goals for weight loss.Goal setting is important.  There is a science to goal setting that increases the chances of success:

A study conducted by Gail Matthews, Ph.D., at the Dominican University, found three factors that increased success:
1. Written Goals:  Those who wrote their goals accomplished 50% more of their goals than those who did not write their goals.  Use the format below to write down your goals.
2. Shared Goals: those who told a friend about their goal accomplished more.
3. Accountability:    A regular check in with another person increased rates of success .  This does not need to be complicated, a simple text to an accountability buddy would work.

This is also supported by a recent study by our own Sherry Pagoto, PhD on using social media for support and accountability.

In the last support group meeting we chatted about the SMARTER acronym for goal setting.  The SMARTER system is a very useful formula for increasing the chances of success.  While there are several variations of this method, I find there are specific ways to make it most powerful for exercise and weight loss goals.
Specific – The more specifics in the way the goal is stated, the more chance your mind will stay focused on the goal. Goals that are vague are difficult for the mind to maintain focus on.   The nice part about exercise goals is we can get very specific.  What is one thing you can start doing regularly right now for physical activity that will have an impact on your weight goal?  Now make it as specific as possible, including the when, where, how’s.  IE:  I will walk every day for 15 minutes after work, I will do these three  stretches for my back every morning before breakfast, I will do these 6 strength training exercises every other day at 7pm after dinner, one set of 15 repetitions each.  Include in these specifics who will be your accountability buddy.What will I specifically start doing for physical activity?  Is this measurable?  Who will keep me accountable on this goal?
Meaningful – Why are you setting this goal?  Why do you want to do strength training, walk, stretch?   State what is important about it more that just to lose weight.    Make the connection between why you are exercising and the real underlying reason you want to be at a certain weight.  This taps into your natural lasting motivation.   I want to be able to play with my kids, be more independent, be around for my grand-kids, be more effective at my job, keep my home clean, feel good about myself when I get dressed.   The more important the “why” is to you, the more motivation you will have for the specific actions you need to take to reach your goals.Why is this goal important to me?
Achievable – Success is motivating.  Setting goals that are just within reach creates enough of a challenge to keep interest in them, but not too overwhelming to drain motivation.  I find most people set an exercise goal that is way to big to start.  We tend to need more practice with setting the small goals.    If you have a big goal,  set it as a long-term goal for one to five years from now.  Chip away a  much smaller version of that for a very short term 3 month goal.  Three months is long enough to achieve something but short enough to make it urgent.
How confident are you that you can achieve this goal?  If your confidence is low, go back and chip away some more until you come up with a goal you feel confident about achieving.
Relevant – This step reminds us to look at our goals in terms of what is important to us.  When our goals match with what we really want more of in life, the motivation to stick with them is easier.   Make your exercise program very specific to what you want to be able to do in the future.  Create a program that is training you for what you want to do in the future – kayak, ski, dance, climb stairs, get up and down off the floor.   When you are in training for your healthy future, you are as motivated as an athlete with his eye on the goal medal.How will this exercise plan train me for what I really want to do more of in life?
Time-Bound –  Start today!  Not on Monday or the first of the month.    Motivation will not be stronger later.  Waiting only reinforces the procrastination habit.  If you set goals with meaning and relevance, you won’t want to wait to start . So if you are tempted to put it off, it is a sure sign it is too overwhelming or not meaningful enough. Go back to the first steps and create a goal you cannot wait to start.   If there is some prep work like joining a gym or getting new sneakers make those the first goals, but still make your actual start date today.    Write the three-month end date on your calendar as well as on the top of your written goals.  This will be a reminder each time you look at them. My three-month goal date is______________?  In order to get there, today I will __________________________.
Evaluate Every Day – This daily check in will keep you close to your goal.  Again, goals that are set on meaning and relevance to your life are a tool for maintaining motivation. Review your goal every day to keep you focused on why you are making efforts.  With exercise goals especially it is easy to let a week or two go by without exercise.  Daily reminder will prevent them from becoming an after thought thgoals 4at just leaves you feeling guilty.  Evaluate in a way that you are observing  what works and what gets in the way without judging.  Simply notice what is going well and where you need some extra support. Keep it quick and easy so you can stick with this important step in the process.How will I evaluate this goal each day?  How will I include my accountability buddy in this evaluation process?
Readjust – The evaluating step leads into this.  As you learn what is working and what is not, re-adjusting will be needed.  We take our best guess on goals.  Learning only lets us be more specific and realistic.  Reworking the goal based upon what you learn is not a cop-out, it is a “smarter” way to achieve your true goals.

 

Wishing you a Happy, Healthy New Year!

Keep Moving, Be Well

Janet

If you know someone interested in weight loss surgery, forward this link to the Weight Center website and online orientation video

If you’re in the process of preparing for weight loss surgery at the Weight Center and have questions about your status or next steps, call 774-443-3886

If you’ve had weight loss surgery at the Weight Center and you’re due for a follow up appointment with one of our providers, call 774-443-3886 or email to weightcenter@umassmemorial.org

These weekly blogs are general guidelines. These guidelines apply to patients who are cleared by a physician for the type of exercise described. Please contact your physician with any concerns or questions. Always report any symptoms associated with exercise, such as pain, irregular heartbeats, and dizziness or fainting, to your physician.

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Filed under Barriers, Goals, Holidays, Inspiration, Motivation, Success, support, Weight Loss

Happy Summer!

summer33Ahhh Summer!  After this winter in New England, boy are we ready for summer!

Better weather, more opportunities to get outside to move.

Yet, each season presents its own unique challenges to sticking with an exercise plan.  And, each year the same season can present different challenges than the year before.

sumer seashellSo it is time to set some goals.

If the word “goal setting” seems boring or scary – or just too “serious” for summertime – I can relate!  Yet, we need them!

Without goals we can be like a seashell tossed by the waves with no direction.

“The beauty is in the details” Unknown

1) Imagine yourself on labor day weekend – how would you like to feel at the end of the summer? What do you want to have accomplished? When you look back on the summer on Labor day, what will you be most proud of/ happy about?

2) What will you need to be doing regularly to make that happen?  Brainstorm a list of ACTIONS you would be taking that would lead to a true Happy Labor Day feeling great about summer 2015!

3) What supports can you put in place this week?  A written schedule? A plan of action? A commitment to action with a friend?

4) What boundaries will you set up to keep yourself on track with these actions each week of the summer?  Boundaries are healthy reminders in your environment that will keep you from straying too far from your goal.  It is easy to get distracted this time of year – keep your goals safe with summer walk2lots of supports around you.  Tracking exercise? Using a pedometer? A sign by the coffeepot to remind you to exercise each morning? Ask a friend to check in on you each week?

5) What are you most motivated to start today?  No time like the present…. lets get moving!

If you need some extra accountability, feel free to post or email your goal.

I will check in again on Labor day (and probably during the summer too!)

Keep Moving, Be Well… Happy Summer!

Janet

 These weekly emails are general guidelines. These guidelines apply to patients who are cleared by a physician for the type of exercise described. Please contact your physician with any concerns or questions. Always report any symptoms associated with exercise, such as pain, irregular heartbeats, and dizziness or fainting, to your physician.  

 

 

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by | June 26, 2015 · 7:39 pm

Pros, Cons and Take Aways for Former Athletes

thCAX2CO7GLast weekend I had the great pleasure of seeing my niece in a gymnastics meet at the University of Illinois Champagne where she has a full scholarship. WOW, how amazing it was to see the life of scholarship athletes at a university in the top 10 for athletics. They train hard and have TONS of support needed to excel.

 We see quite a few patients who were athletes in their younger days and now struggle with weight loss. If you or someone you know is a former athlete trying to lose weight, here are some tips for taking the good and overcoming the challenges.

Possible Challenges:

  • You were used to eating large volumes of food when you were in training. Now it may be a challenge to adjust to “normal” portions.
    OR you were an athlete who had to watch your weight. So you are used to ignoring signals of hunger from your body for the sake of excelling at your sport. Either way – your relationship to food was influenced by sport training.
  • Old injuries + weight gain = you can’t do what used to do for exercise.
  • All or nothing approach to training from either being in-season off-season.
  • “Go big or go home” – training hard and long was just how you are used to exercising. If you can’t go all out, what is the thCAWE9GNYpoint? Right?
  • “No pain no gain” – You might be used to ignoring signals from your body that you had overextended. You had to in order to excel in your sport. You might find yourself getting injured easily now and that zaps motivation to start again.
  • You are used to an external motivator – the coach, getting ready for the game/performance, your teammates, your personal goals for the sport.
  • Exercise had a purpose with a deadline when you were an athlete. Now it is easy to put off starting.
  • You know how to exercise specific for your sport(s). This training may not help in training for “life” losing weight and sustain it.
  • You had group support built in with perhaps lots of kudos from others to keep motivation high.

Plus side of Athletic Experience:

  • You are comfortable with pushing yourself physically.
  • You know how to exercise, it just might need an update for your goals now.
  • You probably like to move and be active.
  • Sweating might be a positive thing for you (for many non-athletes, sweating is a de-motivator).
  • You might have other activities you like to do now recreationally that keep you fit.
  • You are probably have more muscle development and are stronger than those your age who were not athletes.

Some advice for weight loss:

  • Update your Motivator: find your motivation for now. No longer pushed by athletic performance – what is important about weight loss and exercise now in your life?
  • Build a Support system: Connect with other former athletes only if they have updated their approach too. If they are still caught in the “no pain no gain, go big or go home” approach you may be led back to old mindsets that don’t help you now. Connect with those thCA4MNZIWwho share your goals and approach to exercise now. Use social media to build your “team” for support as well.
  • Update program: Learn an exercise program that is specific to training for function and weight loss. Exercise training is specific – so let go of old ways of training which are sport-specific and could even be outdated. Your training for a new game now – life!
  • Create structure: Pull from the benefits of structure of athletic training. Create a schedule and a plan like you had when you were training.
  • Consistency not intensity is the challenge: The BIG challenge in preparing for the sport called “life” is being consistent. The intensity and the duration of your workouts are not near as important as how consistent you are with exercising. That is enough of a challenge when LIFE tends to get in the way.
  • Seasonal Training: There is no “in-season and off season training” in life. However you can use this approach to adjust your program form the weather seasons. We are always in training for what we need/want to do in the next season IE: shoveling snow, weeding the garden, mowing grass, recreational sports, etc.
  • Most important, try not to compare yourself to what you used to be able to do. Enjoy the memories of past victories and then celebrate the “wins” of today.

Keep Moving, Be Well,

Janet

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by | February 25, 2015 · 5:19 pm

Exercise Motivation Week 8 – Mining for Gems and Setting SMARTER Goals

louisamayalcott104679 

Last week we set some SMART goals based upon readiness to change. I have only one question this week: 

What was your best learning from last week’s goals?

Less of a concern is if you achieved them or not. Yes, that is important.

For kind of true success we have been talking about – most important is what you learned.

Many times we can get so caught up in the “score” – did I win or lose this week – that we forget that learning how to play the game is how we get more “wins” in the future.

What does a good sports coach do after a game? Study the game to figure out what happened, whether it was a win or a loss.   Just tallying up wins and losses can be fun if you are winning. The real pay off comes from learning, not just winning  

Bill Gates says,  Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning

Mr. Gates certainly knows what he is talking about. Some of the best gems are in the muck. We can learn the most from when we don’t meet our goals.mining

So, what did you learn that you would like to use when setting your goals this week?

Use that so set a SMARTER goal this week.  (see SMART goals from last week)

Remember!: You know more now than when you lost and re-gained weight lasgemst time! Use that information wisely and you can go forward with confidence that you will get to your goal of sustainable weight loss.

So dig in…. learn lots… and enjoy all those gems (especially the ones you found in the muck).

Using what you learn will keep you moving toward your goal.

Keep Moving, Be Well,

Janet

 

 

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by | November 12, 2014 · 7:51 pm