BLC 43 “SMART” GOALS
Thursday, April 30, 2020
Yesterday the doors opened on a new round of BLC (Biggest Loser Challenge). The round officially starts Wednesday, May 6. The awesome admin came up with mini challenges for this week (if we choose to do them) to help us get ready for the new round. The first, read an article on making SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely) GOALS and then to set some SMART Goals for the round.
I have been reading BJ Fogg’s book Tiny Habits and Atomic Habits by James Clear. Their ideas on setting goals is more about forming habits than the end goal. So, while I will make my SMART Goals, I will use their habit making methods.
I want to lose weight (about 50 pounds total, but for this round I want to lose between 5 – 10 pounds). Why? I want to be healthy. Why? I want to be able to travel and cruise (when this pandemic is over), trek, hike, bike, walk, live normally. Why? I want to live in less pain daily. Why? I don’t want to end up in a wheelchair. Why? I spent several months in a wheelchair after a tendon replacement surgery on my left ankle. It was a real challenge to live a normal life from a wheelchair. I mostly “self-isolated” because I didn’t want the hassle of leaving the house (trying to lock the door from the wheelchair, getting into/out of the car (especially while balancing on one leg), hefting the wheelchair (they aren’t light), etc.). I also watched while my step-father-in-law went from an active, healthy man to one who could barely stand and couldn’t walk without support of either two canes or a rollator (wheeled walker). It severely limited his choices while traveling and how frustrated he was when he couldn’t do the excursions that required walking.
** I want to be physically (and mentally) strong, mobile with a stable core so I can enjoy traveling. **
How? Well, eat less, eat better food, exercise of course. But that isn’t specific! Let’s look at some behaviors that will help me get there.
1. Eating less. How? Eat the NS (Naturally Slim) way by eating slowly, using the 10-5-10 timer on their app, track calories eaten, sew my mouth shut, don’t bring treats into the house, bite it write it, wait until truly hungry to eat, eat sensible portions, skip breakfast, don’t eat after dinner, distract myself from false hunger (emotional hunger) by doing something that lifts my spirit, limit eating to a certain time period, journal what I eat and why, drink water before eating, determine hunger level, determine if hungry for food or soothing (fear, glad, mad or sad).
2. Eat better food. How? Bring lunch from home, don’t bring treats into the house, cook at home, substitute salad for fries, skip the fast food joints, enjoy treats while out of the house, limit the number of times “treats” are eaten, don’t drink calories, meal plan, eat more salads, no fries, no Reese’s peanut butter cups (or eggs, trees, ghosts, etc.), no chips, journal what I eat and why, drink water before eating,
3. Exercise. How? Do two wall pushups after flushing, do two wall pushups before exiting a door, put on exercise clothes after flushing, 10 minutes in the morning before work, 2 squats before eating, 2 squats while doing dishes, 5 minutes of yoga, 5 minutes of mobility training, 5 minutes strength training with dumbbells, do one yoga pose, balance on one leg – then the other, do 2 squats with overhead press when I get home from work (or in the morning), park farther away at the store, go for a walk,
So many ways I can make this happen. BJ Fogg & James Clear say to pick a habit that is so simple you can’t not do it. BJ Fogg also recommends choosing something you *want* to do as well. So, I need to pick things that are both easy and I want to do. They also recommend finding a place to insert that habit that is logical (for you). I have been using this to get into the habit of flossing. In order to make it happen I had to find a good place to put it into my daily routine AND find a floss I *actually* liked. Because my teeth are so close together, I had a hard time sliding the floss between my teeth. I found a “thinner” floss which makes it much easier to complete the task. Then I had to find a time. BJ Fogg flosses directly after brushing his teeth. I floss my teeth after I put on my deodorant (TMI, probably) because I brush my teeth in the shower, so flossing in the shower isn’t as practical for me. The floss sits right next to my deodorant, so it works better for me. I also used his trick of my goal being to floss ONE TOOTH, anything more is a bonus. That way, no matter if I only have time (running late) to floss one tooth I have still completed the habit.
Exercise - I used to get up and exercise Monday – Friday without fail. Why? Because it was easy. I could just walk out to my living room and start the video. I had enough space behind my computer chair to move.
What changed? My computer is unstable. I need to turn it off every night to keep it from overheating. Now it takes extra time to boot the computer in the morning (and I am NOT a morning person by nature). Also, there is a LOT of boxes (DH is addicted to Amazon and must have the boxes in the living room to get his fix I think). So, I now need to make space (yet again!) in order to exercise. The boxes keep creeping further into the walkways. I clean them out and he fills the space again.
I need a new habit. One I can do regardless of the state of my computer, whether we are “social distancing” and “safer at home” or not and how much I hurt (RAD). The pandemic has also played havoc with my moods and I just haven’t done anything about these things.
Habit: I will complete 2 squats after flushing.
Bonus: Completing more than 2 reps.
Eating. There are two components I see to this issue one is how much/often I eat and what I choose to put into my mouth. I have been dealing with the pandemic by eating my fear & boredom. I don’t want to live that way anymore. So, I will find ways to compensate without resorting to motivation (BJ Fogg states that motivation is good for short term “heroic efforts”, not long-term day to day tasks.) I am less sure of what habit to work on for controlling/changing my eating habits. I need something that is very easy to do, that I want/like to do and where/how I can integrate it.
My husband does most of the limited cooking we do at home. He is the better cook; he works from home (east coast hours while we live on the west coast) and so has the extra time to cook (when he chooses to). Neither of us likes washing dishes, but I am the only one who will. (Don’t start, he’s been this way for the past 29 years.) However, I have agreed to wash the dishes if he cooks as doing both is physically tough on me (stupid RAD). Whether we eat out or in is mostly in his hands. I like the idea of journaling; my problem though is keeping it handy and knowing the best/easiest time to write it. Hm… I think I’ve got an idea. The NS app allows me to take pictures of my food and journal about my meal. I almost always have my phone handy. I will start there with one meal a day. I want this habit to grow to every meal and snack. I think that as a first step just documenting what I’m eating will make me more conscious of my decisions.
Habit: Before I start eating my first meal of the day, I will take a picture of my food.
Bonus: will be writing in the log how much I ate and how I feel. It will also be documenting any food over that one meal. The meal I choose to document right now is my first meal of the day (breakfast) when I get hungry, not necessarily before work.
One final step recommended by BJ Fogg & James Clear (not included in SMART Goals) Celebration. Something simple and easy (like everything else). So when I complete these tasks I will celebrate by a simple Yes! (inside my head if with others) or Victory! Possibly raising an arm above my head in a fist pump.
To recap my SMART Goals this round is to:
I will I will complete 2 squats after flushing and celebrate my win.
I will take a picture of my first meal of the day and celebrate my focus.
Did I do this today? Yes/No. I need to figure where to write this down that won’t bog me down or stress me. Thinking cap on. But I know whether I did it or not and I am honest enough to tweak if it isn’t more often instead of less.
Both habits are very easy to complete.
Yes, I believe I truly can do these tasks, every day and I also believe that these simple successes will lead to the next step of success.
I will check in every 4 weeks of the next 12 and determine if I am ready for the next step or if I need to tweak my goal.