Weight Loss Tip Booklet - 151 Simple Ideas

We’re six weeks into the year; so, how are those New Year’s resolutions workin’ for ya?

If they’re now broken shards lying along the highway shoulder several miles in the rear view mirror, fret not, you stand not alone. According to surveys, as many as 80 percent of people give up their vast and glorious seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time plans by the tail end of January; more alarming is as many as 90 percent are never brought to fruition. What might the foremost reasons for not accomplishing them be? About 40 percent of respondents say they didn’t have enough time (read that “not a high enough priority”) and about one-third say they weren’t even committed to doing them in first place. Basically, they set them to get someone off their back. Yep, nothing says “motivation to change” like a heaping, steaming pile of guilt.

Personally, I think the “New Year’s Resolution” is a manufactured event; akin to holidays we didn’t know existed until we went into the greeting card shop. We respond to public pressure, and since “everyone’s doing it,” we don’t want to pay the social price for not going along; hence we make promises we never intend to keep.

Nothing’s wrong with January 1; I mean why not, it’s as good date as any. But change drives its own train and you better get on board when it’s time or you’ll be left at the station. If your marriage is monotonous and unsatisfying on April 7, you might be single in seven months. Having trouble seeing your belt buckle without looking in the mirror? Why wait? After all, your belly’s not going to shrink by itself, is it? Or, if you get up most mornings with an “ain’t-life-a-drag hangover,” it might seem the perfect date for a decision is the one that’s staring you in the face on the calendar.

I don’t mean to be snarky but in the interest of trying to make a point, the perfect date for change is, well, today. If you re-read this tomorrow, that works also. Yet, per my previous comments, most of us like to feel we’re not alone in our quest; so ever the helper, by the power vested in me (which admittedly isn’t much), I proclaim February 15 as the first annual “This Time I Mean It Day.” (Please insert your own trumpets.) I am attempting to get as many people as possible to recommit to objectives delayed — and equally as important, to celebrate those things we have accomplished already, while supporting others as they reach upward also.

It might appear out of the norm to discuss resolutions when red roses, heart-adorned boxer shorts, and enough chocolate to give us a yearlong cocoa high surround us; but there’s method to my madness. The date was specifically chosen to coincide with the holiday most dedicated to commitment: Valentine’s Day.

When we care about someone and we value the relationship, we take those extra moments to engage in those additional activities that ease their burdens, lighten their load, and lift them up. If we care about ourselves, it seems we need no less. After all, if we don’t take care of us, who will take care of everyone we take care of? (I know; that sentence is horribly constructed but you get the point.)

So, onward self-improving soldiers, carpe diem! Make a commitment. Take a step. Share it with a friend. Don’t worry about joining late; we’ll still be marching on February 16th, June 17th, or any day thereafter. The road never ends.


About the author: Scott “Q” Marcus is a professional speaker and the CDO of www.ThisTimeIMeanIt.com, a website for people and organizations who are frustrated with making promises and are ready to make a change. He is also the founder of “This Time I Mean It Day,” a playful holiday celebrating our personal successes, every February 15. Join the celebration and download a free goal planner at the website or contact him at scottq@scottqmarcus.com, www.facebook.com/thistimeImeanit or on twitter @thistimeimeanit

Numbers loom large in our lives. We commemorate birthdays and anniversaries in numbers of years. We monitor wealth in number of dollars. We even categorize our state of being via numbers: IQ, BMI, HDL.

Certain numbers are more popular than others. Take the number “3.” We’re conditioned to “think in 3s,” which explains why we use expressions like “Top three reasons…” or “Three examples…” Angry parents rely on “3.” My father, when upset, never said, “I’m going to count to four;” I’m guessing yours didn’t either.

One is a “power number” too, so when I woke up New Year’s day and noted the date, 1.1.11, I thought, “How cool!” Only nine times per century is every numeral in a date identical. My first “matched set” was 5.5.55 - but I was too young to fully appreciate it. Should I get a second chance in these next 100 years, I assure you there will be extreme gratitude.

However, 1.1.11 caused me to ponder, “Is there special significance from four “1”s? Might there be a cosmic sign in the only year that truly begins at the beginning? I’m not superstitious; but what about lucky numbers? What could “1.1.11” be trying to communicate?

In binary “1111” is “15.” Maybe this year’s providential number is 15? However, with the exception of the Fiesta Quinceañera, “15” doesn’t show up much in our society.

So, I turned to numerology. In full disclosure, numerology is a topic about which I know zero (an unfortunate “power number). I could not tell my Soul Urge Number from my street address. But, I believe there is a lot of adding numerals together (or maybe there isn’t; like I said I really know nothing about it). Either way, that's what I did. I added 1+5 from “15” to get “6” which seemed more probable than “15.” After all, it’s literally in the top ten of numbers. (Why don’t we say “Top Nine” or “Top 11?” See… there we go again…)

Yet, if I'm adding, why not use the sum of all the ones? Wouldn’t that make more sense? So, “4” must be the positive omen we need for the next 365 days.

Oy! Now I’m confused. We have three promising numbers: 15, 6, 4. Add those and the result is “25.” Two+5=7. Seven could work; that feels right. But “7” is so commonplace and run of the mill; everybody and their brother uses “lucky 7.”

Maybe I’m working this too hard. It’s obvious. Staring me right in the kisser is the solution; it’s a great big honkin’ "ONE." And if we’re looking at a new year as an opportunity to change, “1” squares perfectly with it. Most people do not achieve their goals (or “resolutions” if you insist) not because they’re too small, but for the opposite reason: they make too many of them and they’re ridiculously complicated. With great intention, but poor planning, they devise 46-step action plans, with options, timetables, flow-charts, and alternatives. Who has time to keep track of all that? The result? We get overwhelmed and intimidated. We feel bad and when that happens, we give up, feeling it’s more trouble than it’s worth, which is usually true. So, nothing happens. It's a horrible vicious cycle we repeat year after year.

To counter that, what’s simpler than “1”?

If “1.1.11” is an omen, it’s telling us “simplify.” Pick ONE thing each day. Do it until completion. Repeat as necessary. After all, ONE goal here and ONE goal there done well can really add up to ONE happy life.

There was a cosmic event last week. For the first time in 400 years, one could view a full lunar eclipse on the Winter Solstice. If you were crazy enough (like me), you even went outside in the cold and stared up at a reddish, glowing moon. (What was really a cosmic event was that it was clear enough on the normally foggy Northcoast to actually view it!)

At precisely 12:01AM January 2, another cosmic event shall occur, although it happens annually. Step outside at that moment and you will hear a giant clunking sound rumbling across this wide land as the consciousness of the population shifts from “how much can I indulge?” to “how can I undo what I’ve done to myself for the last two months?”

To capture this public consciousness, you will be inundated with experts telling you how to stick to resolutions and providing all sorts of tools to assist you in that noble quest. Advertisements for in-home gym equipment will converge on you. Infomercials will scream (falsely): “LOSE WEIGHT WITHOUT CHANGING YOUR HABITS.” The back page of periodicals will sport a full-page banners proclaiming: “SECRETS THE WEIGHT LOSS INDUSTRY DOESN’T WANT YOU TO KNOW.”

Simply put, these are gimmicks. Remember the adage, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

Reality is that we are where we are because of what we have done so far. Period. If we wish to be somewhere else, we must do something else. No matter how loud the scam artists scream from the rafters, nothing changes if nothing changes.

If one were to look at the construction of our lives in the same way a contractor might plan to build a barricade, things make sense. Each brick is carefully chosen, sized, and cemented in its space. Over time, an entire, structurally sound wall is formed and the structure evolves into a fine fortress, secure in it’s ability to prevent intruders. However, it can also hold us prisoner.

Although our bricks are made neither of quartz nor clay, we are architects; our building blocks are the actions and thoughts we have used and reused over the decades. As illustration, the block entitled “celebrate” is often located next to the one labeled “eat.” The unit holding down “take a walk” is entitled “stay comfortable.”

Resolutions fail because we try and remove too many of bricks at once. “This is the year I’m going to lose 20 pounds, stop smoking, exercise daily, stress less, and spend more time with my family,” we proclaim. It’s not that these are unworthy or unachievable goals; it’s that they are so interwoven into the wall of our life that we have to demolish the whole entity simply to move forward. To drop some weight, I must re-learn how to celebrate, shop, and handle my emotions. If ceasing smoking is the objective, I must find a substitute when the habit calls, develop support, and learn rearrange my life so a new option is always at the ready. Every change requires a series of others to support it, a cascading effect. Stated else wise, I cannot demolish my wall, I must substitute each brick with a fresh one or my entire existence feels like it has literally fallen apart and I rush quickly to rebuild it.

To get past this Catch 22, think smaller. Resolve to pick the ONE thing that matters most and agree to repeat this action every day NO MATTER WHAT. Once you have cemented that in place, add on to it.

Success is built in small steps; failure collapses all at once.

About the author: In 1994, after a lifetime of obesity, Scott “Q” Marcus lost 70 pounds and assists people and organizations who are tired of making promises they have continually broken but are ready to change. He can be reached for coaching, consulting or presentations at www.ThisTimeIMeanIt.com or you can find him at www.facebook.com/scottqmarcus or @iMeanItThisTime