2. Solidify your commitment.
Writing a statement of what you are committing to will help strengthen your resolve. Putting pen to paper, taking the ideas out of your head and into a written agreement with yourself will help concretize your plan. Reading it out loud to others, or even just to yourself, is a powerful exercise.
3. Increase your confidence.
No matter how committed and motivated you are, there still might be a tiny voice in the back of your head whispering that you'll probably fail, especially if you’ve tried to lose weight before. Don’t focus on the big picture or on that number you're trying to reach. Identify small steps you can take that are realistic and actionable. For instance, if you’ve been skipping breakfast only to end up overeating at lunch, work on adding a healthy breakfast into your day. Start with three days a week (not being perfect every day). When that feels easy, add a fourth. Not exercising on a regular basis? Begin with one 10-minute workout, such as a walk, a day. By creating a plan of small, manageable changes that you’ll work on one step at a time, and acknowledging each success, your confidence will grow.
4. Anticipate obstacles and create strategies to overcome them.
What barriers to weight loss have you experienced in the past, or do you fear will trip you up in the future? Anticipate problems before they occur and create strategies to avoid them. Do you travel long hours in the car for work and find yourself at road stops buying anything available to ward off hunger? Brainstorm a list of non-perishable and portable snacks you can bring with you. Do your friends meet for happy hour every Friday after work, only to end up drinking and eating more calories than you'd like? Perhaps you can convince one or two of them to join you at the gym instead, and then head out for a healthy dinner together.
5. Build a support team.
You must recognize that the job of weight loss is your responsibility and no one else’s. But that doesn’t mean you have to go at it alone. Who will support your journey along the way? Sharing your vision with family and friends and telling them how they can help you can be wonderfully useful. Perhaps using SparkPeople's online Community features is a good fit for you. Having the camaraderie of others who are working on weight loss, too, can give you a place to swap ideas, help keep you motivated and make the journey more fun. You can also build a team of professionals to help you with different aspects of your weight loss journey: your doctor, to monitor your health along the way; a personal trainer, to help you learn new exercises; or a psychologist, to help you overcome emotional eating issues.