Below is an email to a client of mine. I changed or removed all the specific details, i.e. family names, job, etc. not pertinent to the email.
So we have our new numbers; over 30% body fat and the scale says only 138 ½ …… There are issues here.
We have talked a lot about setting goals and reaching them. I feel like it is really time to say enough is enough. You have been regressing in your goals for awhile now and I know that is a hard thing to watch happen and know that it is in your power. In your personal and professional life I know you have plenty of stressors and you feel like there a lot of things out of your control. The fact is you have a lot of control and a lot of support around you, just remember that. Let’s start a little list of all the positive things you have going for you:
- A husband who loves you and wants the best for you
- Two daughters who love you and want the best for you
- Friends and family who love you and want the best for you
- Coworkers who want to be you
I know that list can be a lot longer so I’ll let you add more things to it. Let’s start a second list consisting of past successes:
- Worked your way up in a major real estate company to become not only the number one in the business but in the entire Valley/State, doing more business than any of your peers and more than most of your peers combined. (you’re a big deal)
- Led a very successful professional life and between you and your husband, provide a very good life for your family.
- An excellent marriage and a husband who dotes on you
- Two daughters who aren’t insane and are apparently well adjusted.
Again, this list can be longer and I’m sure 39 other things can be added to it. What this all shows is that you have a history of experiencing success in anything you choose to be successful at. When it comes down to the whole fat loss thing, you have had mixed success so the big question is, “What’s holding you back from choosing to be successful here?” That is a big question that only you can answer.
Daniel Pink describes 3 kinds of motivation in his book “Drive”
Motivation 1.0 is the drive for food, shelter and reproduction (it worked great in the caveman days)
Motivation 2.0 is the drive for compensation (it worked great with the advent of industry)
Motivation 3.0 is the drive for a more internal based reward, i.e. giving time to Building Blocks, charity work, recognized for your work, etc. (when 1 & 2 are not pressing concerns, reward through a different means of motivation become needed)
We can use those categories as reward based systems for positive or negative outcomes. One of my favorite examples of a negative based goal was the story of the business man who set a goal of losing weight after years of failure. He set up a meeting with his lawyer and had him draft legal papers saying he would publicly donate $10,000 to the KKK should he fail to lose “X” amount of weight in 1 year. He had no beliefs in the KKK, in fact was strongly opposed to their ideals but it was his motivation to achieve his goals. Public, and likely national, shame is a strong influencer. He achieved his goal but that was not enough for him. During the 2nd year he again had his lawyer draw up papers saying that he must stay below “X” weight for the entirety of the year otherwise he would still donate the money to the KKK publicly. Again, he reached his goal.
So perhaps we can arrange a carrot on a stick in the spirit of our motivation 3.0. As we all know at the gym and joke about, you are a fan of vacations! I envy you. Perhaps we can set up a big summer vacation for you to plan, involve the kids and husband, then declare this is a conditional vacation. Meaning that if you do not reach your goals, the vacation is cancelled. Would that motivate you? It would certainly get the entire support of everybody you know behind you. I imagine it would certainly get your family and kids on board. In 6 months time it will be May, in 8 months it will be July which is prime vacation time right? We can base a goal off that time frame, establish markers along the way to see if we are on track and in the end you can be the hero or the heel of your own story.
In the end this is all a vehicle to reach your goals, so are you ready to let the rubber meet the road?
We all sometimes need a little extra push to help ourselves overcome certain obstacles and in this case intentionally putting yourself in the line of fire and making youself accountable to the people you care about most may be the answer. Personally, I am a big believer in taking big chances. Total failure vs. total reward. That’s something that’ll keep you honest with yourself!
I wouldn’t have it any other way.