My friend Steve Miller used to weigh 440 pounds. Since January 1, 2019 he’s lost more than 220 pounds. This wasn’t the first time he’s tried to lose weight. But, it’s the first time he stuck with it. The difference was what Steve did in December 2018.
He practiced what he was going to do starting on January 1.
Steve’s strategy to lose weight was simple. His wife found an eating plan she knew Steve would like. He also was going to do yoga every morning. During December, Steve would get up every morning and go downstairs to his yoga mat just like would starting New Year’s Day. He didn’t actually do the yoga, but he was building the habit of starting each day with that task.
Steve also was mindful each day of how his new eating plan would impact him. Steve determined he would not allow himself a cheat day or even a cheat meal once he began on January 1. He knew the things that could derail him…like a lunchtime meal at McDonalds. Steve loved McDonalds! During December, he would sit at his desk and visualize what it would feel like to want a McDonalds lunch and worked through the habit of saying no to himself.
Every other time Steve tried to lose weight it was an emotionally driven decision. He would dive in highly motivated to change his eating and exercising habits in one day. Those emotions would last a couple weeks and when they died down so did Steve’s commitment to losing weight.
Steve’s decision to drain the emotion and practice his new habits for 30 days before he actually started were the difference maker. Since then Steve has not strayed off his eating plan for even a cheat bite. In fact, Steve says it was not hard at all…even in the early days because of what he did the month before he started.
January 1 is fast approaching and many of us are ready to set some new goals for 2022. To give yourself a better chance of succeeding, I recommend you do what my friend Steve did. Set those New Year’s Day goals now and use December to practice.
If walking for fitness is one of your goals you’ll have a unique and powerful way to practice. The Walking Is Fitness podcast is transitioning to a daily podcast on December 1. This will be a ten-minute podcast where we can walk together and hold each other accountable to creating and maintaining a lifestyle of fitness.
This won’t be a podcast to inspire or even motivate you. Instead, this will be a podcast of action. I’ll record my part each morning as I take my long walk. You’ll have the opportunity to listen as you begin your daily walk.
I’m also taking my friend Steve’s advice. Starting on November 1, I’ve been practicing doing this daily podcast. I’m draining the emotion because this feels exciting. But, I know that emotion will quickly fade as I get into the real work of doing this. I’m also practicing what to say each day that has real value for you.
I like the way it’s coming together and the feedback I’ve received after announcing this change last week has been positive. I also thought it would be fun to let you listen to one of my practice podcasts. This was a fun one for me to do for a specific reason as you’ll hear when you listen.
By the way, if you want to receive this podcast every day, you’ll need to subscribe or follow wherever you get you get your podcasts. While the podcast is going daily starting December 1, this blog will remain a weekly thing.