Do you ever get discouraged about your weight-loss progress?
Do you worry your efforts aren’t good enough?
When you don’t see the results you want, do you give up hope?
If you sometimes lose sight of the steps you’re actually taking—especially easy to do facing the end of the year—this simple and powerful tool can help bolster your confidence:
Keep track of your progress with a success journal so you remain committed and positive when self-doubt gets in the way.
What is a Success Journal?
A success journal is a daily recording of all the steps you’ve taken to treat yourself with love and respect. Permanent weight loss isn’t just the result of the food you eat. It’s about how you treat yourself on all levels. Recording every positive step helps you stay connected with your overall progress. And it’s so easy: You simply take a moment at the end of the day to reflect as you answer this question:
“What did I do today to take good care of my mind, body and spirit?
Your entry might look like one of these:
“I took the stairs instead of the elevator at work. I’m happy I did that.”
“I ate way too many cookies after lunch but I didn’t beat myself up. I let it go.”
“I took “me” time and read passages from an inspirational book. It relaxed me.”
Every positive step you take brings you closer to reaching your goal weight. Recording even seemingly small steps, like parking away from the store entrance so you walk farther, helps you appreciate all your efforts, validates your progress and gives your motivation a real boost. Ultimately, those small steps become new habits and create permanent lifestyle change.
Support Your Weight Release Journey in Four Ways
Positive psychology research emphasizes the value of acknowledging steps you take toward reaching a goal. When you routinely make a point of noticing, and appreciating, the positive changes you’re making, you begin to re-program your mind. Your attention shifts away from looking only at what’s “not working” to more easily notice what’s going well.
You see what you look for. If you doubt you’ll reach your weight loss goal, you’ll find evidence that you’re not making progress. You may undervalue the positive steps you’re actually making. Recording daily successes helps you notice those steps.
Keeping a success journal isn’t just a “feel good” exercise, although it will help you feel good. It works because you’re training your mind and brain to scan your experiences and find the healthy choices you’re making. Your memory becomes imprinted with images of taking care of yourself. This gives you confidence and strength.
Here are four ways using a success journal can support your weight loss journey:
1. Build Confidence
When you record your successes, you honor their importance and you honor you. It’s great to hear positive feedback from others, but the greatest confidence builder is being your own best cheerleader. Keeping a success journal helps you do that.
2. Feel Inspired
Recording your successes keeps you emotionally connected to them and helps you stay in touch with the reasons you’re wanting to lose weight. As you write each entry in your success journal, take a moment to praise yourself. (Praise is transformative self-talk!) This is important because the good feelings you have about your actions inspire you to keep taking more positive steps.
3. Stay on Track
When you feel discouraged, a success journal can lift your spirits. For instance, reading past entries reminds you of what you’re capable of, even when the going gets tough. This helps you renew your commitment to living a healthy lifestyle. Or, simply writing an affirmation such as, “I am patient and gentle with myself as I release weight with confidence and love” may be all you need to soothe your spirit and get back on track after a difficult day.
4. Support Your Inner Child
A success journal isn’t only for the adult you. It’s also for the little girl or boy inside of you. If you were abused or neglected as a child, perhaps you never had anyone root for you (“You’re a great runner. You can do this!“), acknowledge your talents (“That’s a beautiful picture you drew. I love it!”), or validate your successes, (“I’m so proud of how hard you worked on this project. You did a fantastic job!”).
If you can relate, this early lack of acknowledgement is probably one of the reasons you easily feel discouraged today. It’s time to give yourself the validation and support you didn’t receive from others. Supporting your success supports your inner child and boosts your self-worth.
January is the Perfect Time to Begin
Buy a beautiful notebook. Set aside a few moments each day to record at least three positive steps you took to nourish your mind, body and spirit. If this feels daunting, remember this includes even those small but important things you tend to overlook. Did you walk past the candy bowl at the office? Did you exercise after work? Jot it down. You can write in your success journal any time of day, but doing it right before bedtime helps you go to sleep in a positive frame of mind.
Recording your successes builds your self-worth and strengthens your determination. Your improved mindset supports you to keep moving forward as you release weight with pride and confidence.
Keep a success journal and let me know how it goes, okay?