This website usually provides readers with tips and tools on business issues, challenges, or interests.
However, allow me to share a story with you about how the business practices in my world as a Results Consultant helped me on a more personal level.
It involves a lifelong struggle I have had with weight, particularly keeping it off and finding the right balance through diet and exercise.
It was a moment of enlightenment that took years to realize.
One day something clicked, and I realized that my efforts at weight loss and sustaining it were so similar to the behavior changes I was expecting of my clients. I took a step back and changed my approach.
As a company, we speak ‘against’ flavor-of-the-month training and teach and instill behavioral embedding techniques to sustain behavior change.
We talk about viewing behavior change as a gradual, long-term process rather than a one-off training event.
Yet in my personal life, I was following fads, one-off dieting fads… one after another… I remained frustrated to find myself losing motivation, reverting to old unhealthy habits, never finding a balance or making a change that I could sustain.
I had a wakeup call. If I am going to practice and preach ‘behavior change’ with organizations made up of different individuals, personalities, roles and a spectrum of motivation levels, I need to tackle my Challenge with Weight using the SAME APPROACH!
Let me see how I can apply the business principles to my own life.
- Do I have a structured approach? Yes
- Is it easy to manage and easy to apply? Yes
- Is it a process, rather than a one-off event? Yes
- Is the Objective in Place? Yes
The Goal/Change: Adapt my personal eating habits to impact positive weight loss & sustain the weight loss
So my approach used Cohen Brown’s The Success TriangleSM.
Success is the outcome of consistently utilizing the three sides of the triangle: Clarity, Capability, and Motivation.
Losing weight for me meant changing what I ate, why I ate, and how much I ate.
I lost 35 kilos (75 lbs.) in the first 8 months. The part I’m really proud of is that in the last 4 months I have found my balance and the weight has remained off.
I wasn’t sure how I felt about sharing such a personal story, but if it can be of benefit in any aspect of your life, then consider it a gift.
Here is my approach:
- Clarity: Be honest about why you’re trying to lose weight. Make the change for yourself. Relying on others for motivation is a fickle thing. If you are doing this for yourself, the likelihood of success is much higher. Take responsibility for the change. Track what you are eating each week, why you are eating, and how much. Acknowledge and face the fears you have, not only about starting your diet, but what you expect might happen during the diet and afterwards. Ask for support to handle your fears when needed.
- Clarity: Set yourself a goal you would like to achieve and be clear about what that goal means and what you expect from yourself. The goal should be realistic. Including several small steps (mini-goals) in your overall goal is advisable as well.
- Motivation: Make a daily plan of what you would like to eat and how much. Failure to plan is planning to fail. And that’s no cliché! Include healthy snacks during the day to keep you motivated and avoid being hungry. If necessary, including incentives throughout the day or week can also help keep you motivated.
- Capability: Keep tracking your goal and activities and evaluate what worked and what didn’t work. Change what didn’t work and keep on doing what worked. Ask for support/ideas/input from family and friends (or experts) when needed.
- Motivation: Compliment and reward yourself when achieving the small steps in your goal (in my case, new clothes, a healthy dinner at a restaurant, etc.). Of course, compliments from others help a lot as well. Identify the people and places or activities that keep you motivated not only during the weight-loss period but also afterwards.
If you have any questions about my approach, please let me know.
If you want to learn more about Cohen Brown’s behavioral change processes for any challenge you may have, please contact me.
Good luck to all of you who want to make a long-lasting, positive change!
Brenda Schäfer is a Results Consultant with the Cohen Brown Management Group, Inc. covering the territory of Europe, the Middle East and Africa.