There’s a popular saying, “Shoot for the moon…even if you miss you’ll still land among the stars.” And while that may be good advice in some things, as we begin the new year I want to suggest something kind of contradictory to you: aim small!
Now before you go, “Gee, thanks for the vote of confidence, Julie,” let me explain what I mean.
I am not suggesting that you underestimate yourself or your potential in any way. As children of God we have within us the power to excel and achieve. But in regard to a weight loss journey—or really any monumental task that you have set for yourself—I say take it slow.
I not only look at my own experience, but I am basing this on what I’ve heard hundreds of others say as they share their experiences with me. They look at how quickly we did things on The Biggest Loser and compare those results to their own. Sometimes it seems unrealistic and discouraging. Sometimes if you look at the big picture all at once it’s easy to get discouraged. Discouragement leads to excuses. And excuses lead to giving up.
At the beginning of my journey to lose nearly 100 pounds, if I had really thought about all that I would have to do to reach that goal, it would have been easy to let discouragement set in. So I learned to set little, achievable goals for myself. And that’s what I recommend to others. Take it one day at a time; one pound at a time. Every pound lost is a victory. And then I recommend that when you’ve hit a milestone or a significant marker along the way (no matter how small)—CELEBRATE!
I used to celebrate significant accomplishments with a big piece of chocolate cake. Not so anymore. I encourage you to be creative in your rewards for yourself. But you do need to acknowledge your hard work and your accomplishment. Go get a pedicure. Or make a date with your favorite person to go on a nice, relaxing walk in the cool of the day. Or you might even treat yourself to a new piece of clothing one size down. But whatever you do, celebrate yourself.
And then before you know it, all your little goals will add up to the one big accomplishment you are striving for. And you will realize how strong you are and have a true feeling of achievement. Remember, anything worth having is worth working for, and working hard for.
I wish you the very best in whatever it is you are working for in 2009. Just remember to take it one day at a time, be consistent, don’t get distracted by the big picture, and don’t be afraid to be your own cheering section!