Do you feel frustrated with your diet?
Are you frustrated because you stop and start the weight loss process over and over again?
Are you frustrated because an “off day” causes you to give up instead of sticking to the process?
Are you frustrated because you keep promising yourself you’ll start again tomorrow?
Are you frustrated because you can’t follow your plan perfectly?
Life is seldom calm and it’s never perfect. It doesn’t allow for perfection. So, instead, you need to strive for consistency.
Consistency will always beat out perfection.
Every. Single. Time.
Stopping and starting a diet is a struggle point almost every long-term dieter has faced. At some point you’ll see a shiny, new object. You’ll get distracted. And what you originally agreed to do starts to feel boring or overwhelming. You’ll no longer feel like you can stick to the process when life throws you a few curveballs.
I used to have this mindset too. I’d think: If I can’t do it perfectly, I won’t do it at all. I’d create a long list of expectations for the day, but whenever I encountered a roadblock, I wouldn’t do any of the things on my list.
This mindset of “all-or-nothing” and “black-and-white” thinking really kept me stuck for many years.
It wasn’t until I had children—three boys within 23 months of each other—that I accepted my life would never be “calm enough” to do everything I expected myself to do. I had to learn to navigate this crazy, unpredictable life while making healthy goals a priority. I had to willingly embrace the many gray areas of my life.
And you can too.
Whether it’s having kids, getting married, getting a new job, moving cross country, or some other major life upheaval, no one is immune.
So, when I chose to lose 170 pounds and become a role model for my kids, I knew I’d have to learn how to do this process differently. I decided to create a system for evaluating my days—not as I hoped they’d be, but instead based on my actual daily life.
This evaluation, allowed me to work continuously on my goals. It allowed me to feel empowered, even when things were outside of my control.
This evaluation helped me create a system that allowed me to categorize my actions as minimum, basic, or preferred behaviors. Here’s what each of these categories looks like:
- Minimum behaviors keep you from quitting completely. Quitting, or the belief that you are quitting, usually leads to destructive behaviors in the moment. You believe you will start over tomorrow. This “I’m starting tomorrow” thinking lets you give into your impulses. You then make a (false) promise that you’ll “make up for it later”. However, this negative thinking loop keeps you stuck.
Your need to design your minimum behaviors so you can coast along when necessary without giving up completely. Essentially, your minimum behaviors stop you from throwing in the towel. They’re for the days when you have a flat tire, your kids are throwing up, or your work deadline was just pushed up to tomorrow. Some days you just have to downgrade your expectations and focus on your minimums.
For me my minimums are just to write down what I eat even if it is on a cocktail napkin and walk for 30 minutes even if it is in the halls of the hospital. I don’t stress about the food I am eating or the perfect workout.
- Basic behaviors are the ones that hold you steady. They allow you to make some progress and stop any regression.They are a step above minimums and will keep you moving slowly towards your goals. Basics are what you feel you can do under normal circumstances. These are the behaviors that allow you to maintain the progress you have made. For example, if you’re tracking your food, instead of trying to hit a deficit you focus on eating at maintenance.
- Preferred behaviors are for when your life is going great and you get to accomplish all the things you were wanting to get done. This is where most people want to be every day. They want to get in the workouts they love, eat the foods that get them closer to their weight loss goals, and track everything they eat. This represents the (almost) perfect day. You are doing all the behaviors that make you feel like you are moving forward.
If you give yourself permission to have these different levels of behavior based on your life situations, then you will not quit or go backwards.
It’s like a game—you can play at any of three levels, depending on your circumstances that day, and, as long as you keep playing, you are making progress.
I want to help you implement this system in your life. That’s why I created my Refuse to Quit Again coaching cast: https://www.halfsizeme.com/?&SingleProduct=3.
In this coaching cast, I will be walking with you, side by side, for 25 days and coaching you through how to establish these principles and behaviors into your own life, just like I have.
If you want to learn more about this coaching cast and the concepts I teach check out this podcast episode: https://www.halfsizeme.com/half-size-me-bonus-coaching-casts-and-refuse-to-quit-again-webinar/.
I’ve extended the concept of minimum, basic, and preferred behaviors to many other areas of my life. This system has allowed me to continue to make progress and not quit, even when life gets hard.
Let me help you. Refuse to quit on yourself and your goals ever again.