Focus on where you’re going instead of where you’ve been…

It occurred to me last week that I’ve been around this mountain before. The path is familiar. If I’ve been on this road before, I should know exactly where it ends, or at least where I’ve stopped before, and that isn’t where I want to be. You see, I’ve been on weight-loss journeys lots of times. I’ve tried many diets, some of them more than once. Like most people, I’ve had some success. But I’ve never made it to my ultimate goal. Somewhere along the way I get side-tracked, discouraged, busy, or whatever, and never make it to my goal.

This time I really want to get all the way to the goal. No stopping too soon. I mean, what fun is it to plan a journey from Georgia to California, only to stop in Alabama? Alabama is nice and all, but California is the goal. I need to travel differently this time, to keep going when I feel like stopping. I was thinking about this while working out last week. Long walks are good for sorting out ideas. One of the things that keeps me going in a workout when I feel like I can’t go any further, or don’t want to, is the countdown. It goes something like this:

I’m tired (or bored or have something else to do). I want to quit. I’ve only been on the treadmill for 15 min. I can quit after I do 5 more minutes…4…3…2…1… Now I’ve burned 274 calories. I can make it to 300, then I’ll stop….296, 297, 298. 299, 300. Well now I have less than 5 minutes to 30. I can quit at 30.  …28…29…30. Now I’m almost at 2 miles. I just have to make it to 2 miles…. and so on.

Before I know it, I’ve made it past my goal of an hour workout when I wanted to stop at 15 minutes, by focusing on smaller goals along the way and counting down to them. I figure if I apply the same principal to my weight loss goal maybe I’ll make it all the way this time. Before I have always focused on how much weight I’ve lost, which means looking at where I’ve been. This time I’m going to focus on where I’m going, set smaller goals towards that direction, and count down to them. My ultimate goal is to lose 130 pounds. Although I celebrate the 40 I’ve already lost, I still have 90 to go. Here’s my countdown:

I only have 6 more pounds to lose this month to get to 10. Then only 10 more pounds to lose before Christmas. Can I reach another 10% by the end of the year? That’s only 4 more pounds… and so on.

When we have a plan with measurable goals, we know where we’re going. This keeps us from getting complacent and settling for less along the way. At least that is what I’m hoping. I’ll let you know if it works. 🙂

What about you? What are some goals along your path? Are you trying to lose weight? get organized? pay off debt? or something else?

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