7 steps to change


You know how you feel when you fall off the diet and exercise wagon?

Hand writing New Mindset New Results with black marker on transparent wipe board.

Maybe you give in to your sugar addiction and eat way too much junk food. Maybe you stop exercising on a regular basis and it just kind of slips away for a few days, weeks, or even months as you get busier and busier. Maybe you had your weight under control and then, in one weekend of bingeing, you’ve undone your progress.

That kind of slipping can quickly lead to giving up. The voice in your head convinces you that one more donut won’t hurt or that piece of birthday cake is so small (but you have three of them!). You soon find yourself in worse shape than you’ve been in a long time.

And then you stay there…for a long time.

All of this is on my mind because I’ve been struggling a bit lately. I recently put on 7 lbs.

You may be thinking, “Well, 7 lbs. is not all that much.”

The problem is not just the 7 lbs. It’s the additional 2 lbs. I put on over the past few days. It’s getting used to being over the weight I’d like to be. It’s the effect of doing nothing about the 7, and now 9, and the distinct possibility that, before long, it becomes 10 or more.

I have to take action to get back to where I want to be, to where I feel comfortable and healthy. So today, Monday, August 24, 2015, I begin my 30-Day Challenge to lose 10 lbs. and get back to regular exercise.

How am I going to do it?

First, let go of judgment. We frequently think in terms of “I’m too.” I’m too fat. I’m too addicted to sugar. I’m too slow. I’m too old. I’m too tired. One excuse after another for not claiming our lives. But, it is what it is. Here’s a fact: I am carrying 10 lbs. more than I’d like to be. Period.

Second, assess the situation. I put on weight for three major reasons: I stopped exercising regularly. I increased my portion sizes. I have eaten more junk lately than usual.

Third, plan the attack. This grows directly out of your assessment of the situation. I need to move my body regularly, cut down on portion sizes, and stay away from junk food. I know if I do those three things, I will lose weight.

Fourth, schedule it. If you need to take action in order to change, it has to be scheduled on your calendar otherwise chances are slim that you’ll actually do it.

Fifth, get a partner. It’s always easier to go after a goal when you have someone else working with you. My wife and I both work at home so we’ll be able to motivate each other during this 30-Day Challenge.

Sixth, do it.

Seventh, be patient and celebrate. Get off your own back. Relentless self-criticism is one of the most debilitating habits we can get in to. It’s going to take time but you can only do it one day at a time. Give yourself a pat on the back when you’ve done well and keep moving forward.

If you haven’t guessed by now, you can use these steps to address most issues in your life.

Get the Nerve!

About Joe Serio

Dr. Joe Serio is a keynote speaker, trainer, and author who helps the people in your organization navigate resistance to change so they can move forward successfully.

2 Responses

  1. Jan Kin says:

    Thank you for this brilliant reminder!! I am so glad you put “let go of judgment” first — for me, that’s the hardest part! I can’t wait to hear about your progress and successes!!

  2. Joe Serio says:

    Thanks, Jan! The judgment part is indeed one of the trickiest parts of the whole process. We get locked down in our fear, it grows into some kind of monster that’s disproportionate from anything in reality, and we heap upon ourselves guilt, shame, judgment, and a whole lot of other emotions. Letting go is the hardest part. Everything after that is logistics.


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