Today marks an important milestone for me. It is exactly one year that I have kept off the 40 pounds that I lost over a six-month period in 2014.
I’ve lost weight before on various programs, but I have never been successful in keeping all of it off for one year. What made the difference this time? I have concluded that a successful weight loss program is like an organizing project. These are the key aspects.
Having a goal. I had a clear vision of what I wanted to accomplish. I didn’t just want to “lose some weight”. My goal was to get my BMI out of the overweight range and into the normal. Once I achieved that, I reset my goal and decided to continue so that my BMI was in the middle of the normal range. Similarly, when starting an organizing project, it’s important to have a vision. What does “get organized” really mean to you?
Being willing to make changes. I had tried to put myself on various diets over the past few years, but they were not successful because I wasn’t really willing to make changes to my eating habits. Once I was ready to do something different, I could truly get started. Similarly, if you want to get organized, you need to develop some new habits. You can’t keep practicing the same habits that got you disorganized in the first place.
Asking for help. I realized that I wasn’t going to accomplish this on my own. I needed the structure and accountability that working with a professional would provide. I enlisted the help of a nutritionist, Carly Feigan. Similarly, if you want to get organized but have not been able to accomplish it on your own, consider hiring a Professional Organizer. There’s no shame in admitting you need some help. Change is hard.
Having a plan. I like having rules to follow. Carly set me up with a food plan that has worked for many of her clients, and we customized it to the things I like to eat. I still follow her basic rules to maintain my weight, and I still keep a food diary so that I can be honest with myself about what I’m eating. If you are going to get organized, it’s helpful to figure out what has to be done in what order and what guidelines you need to follow to make it stick.
Tracking results. I weigh myself every day so that I know if I need to make any modifications to what I’m eating. Similarly, once you’ve accomplished your organizing project, you should develop some signposts that tell you when you need to modify your behavior. For example, if the pile of unopened mail reaches a certain level, it’s time to stop and process it.
I hope my weight loss success inspires you to tackle a project that you have been struggling with!