in which Kitteh shrinks away oodles of fluff

Wildflowerz commented on yesterday’s post with something rather thought provoking. Basically, she suggested she finds it helpful to focus on one or two things at a time rather than the entire list. Is that true for other folks?

choices skinney

Here’s what I have found. The first time I had weight to lose (and lost it quite successfully) I realized I was falling into all or nothing perfectionism mentality and giving Babeh kitteh ammunition: “you already messed up by not getting enough sleep, so you might as well blow off today and start tomorrow.”

I figured, if I pick 10 healthy habits and track them, then even if I only hit 8 out of 10, I am still at 80% and eventually, I should still lose. I counted my daily points and gave myself one point for each thing I did and I liked watching the points mount up so much that I never did figure out any kind of extra reward (as I had planned to do) – and sure enough, the weight came off. And it came off as it felt like it–I would sometimes lose more on a week with a lot of 7 and 8s (busy at work) than I did on several perfect 10s in a row. It taught me that (1) I can control my behavior and ONLY my behavior–not my results; and (2) it is well worth doing the other 8 things, even if you blew it at breakfast and didn’t get enough rest.  (Actually, rest was NEVER on my list before, but as much muscle as I am missing, I think it is IMPERATIVE at this point!)

So that was not really even in my mind when I listed out my behavior goals yesterday. Instead, I was just focused on “what can I control” and tracking to see if it actually works.

But now? Hey, it seems like a really good idea!

choices

I think it definitely takes more focus to try to hold all of them in mind, and I think it is a great idea, as Wildflowerz suggested, to FOCUS on a few at at time. In my case, I am most likely to choke at the finish line and either have a drink or stay up too late, at least right now, so that is going to be my first focus. But I am going to list my goals for All.The.Things–just as (I assume?) WW can focus on breakfast or exercise but still expect you stay within your points all day?

I have also revised my daily goals slightly and am putting them on a page. I will be holding myself accountable here for Daily Reports (at least on weekdays!) so wishes me teh lucks!

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Comments on: "One at a time? Choices, choices" (1)

  1. WW’s is certainly, first and foremost, staying within your Points+ every day, use the weekly if you need to, use Activity Points you earn if you need to, and track your food. The routines they do are less..obvious?…things. Actually, there are only 16 of them, so I can list them for you in case you want ideas or just want to know. 🙂 Here they are: eat breakfast every day, eat a fruit or vegetable with every meal or snack, get 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night, ask yourself if it’s worth the Points Plus value, put your fork down and sip water between bites, know what you’re having for lunch, know how you’re going to be active tomorrow, always have a healthy snack on hand, wait a bit before reaching for seconds, wear an activity monitor all day, every day, walk at least 5 minutes each hour, plan the Points Plus value of your next meal, eat all your meals at a table, always have comfortable shoes with you, eat all your meals free of distraction, and try standing up for your usual sit-down activities. WW focuses on one each month. Online, you can pick three to focus on yourself and check them off when you do them each day. You can also feel free to come up with your own, which is especially easy if you track by hand. That doesn’t mean you can’t do all of them at once, but they want you to focus on just a few at a time.

    I know you like the books about this kind of stuff, so I’ll recommend one my leader just suggested: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. I’m not much of one for those types of books, but the library had this one, so I gave it a shot. It’s really interesting. It’s not so much a “how to change your habits” type of book, but more of a study on habits, though in clear language. Interesting reading. 🙂

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