It’s not a detox. It’s not a Miracle Cleanse. The JUST10 Weightloss Challenge is a set of 7 rules that are going to work for you this time around.
At the beginning of every year, millions of people make the decision to lose weight. If you make this promise to yourself year after year, or even month after month and haven’t gotten your routine to stick— the JUST10 Weightloss Challenge is designed for you.
With the JUSTt10 Weightloss Challenge, we are confident in telling you that this will be the year that you are going to succeed, and you are going to figure out what works for you. This time, you are going to find that one thing that got in the way of your success, that one thing that stands between you and your goals, and you are going to master it.
But first, let’s go over what went wrong last time you tried a new weight loss routine, and why most diet and fitness routines don’t work in the long run.
Every diet and exercise routine can offer weight loss results— as long as you maintain motivation. We all know that motivation is the driving factor behind meeting our goals, our deadlines, and seeing results. But unfortunately, motivation and willpower are like muscles, and can become fatigued. At first, you were ready to take the plunge full-steam-ahead on your new weight loss routine, and a few weeks into the new routine you realized that your little engine wasn’t running as hot as it was before. To be fair to you, this is real life and you are not the only one!
You have a stressful job, perhaps a boss and a co-worker that you don’t get along with, and after all day with them you get off work and spend hours getting to the gym and working out only to come home and take care of your family. Your “motivation muscle” fatigued and you sputtered out. Is it really any wonder why you said “Forget about it!” and reached for that plate of brownies or decided not to go to the gym after things got a little too stressful?
What happened is you overworked your motivation muscle, and you lost your mojo. You probably felt pretty awful about it but remember the words of the great Ryan Holiday: The Obstacle Is The Way.
After all, if motivation is that one thing that you need to meet your goals, of course focusing on the motivational aspect is what must be done to make this work. But when was the last time you read a fitness or diet plan that involved taking motivational fatigue into account? Put it this way, if motivational fatigue is the number one reason so many fail, why isn’t it the number one priority in diet and exercise plans?
It should be, and that’s why the JUST10 Weightloss Challenge is different. Keeping your motivation is the primary focus of the weight loss plan. That is why this time, you are going to get that mojo back, and use scientifically-proven steps to make your motivation muscle stronger. Which brings us to the JUST10 Weightloss Challenge Rule #1.
Some will make the attempt to bypass motivation fatigue by buying the latest diet books, joining the coolest gyms, or buying the latest in wearable fitness technology. While these can increase motivational strength, it’s not a sustainable plan of action. Sometimes it ends up being a waste of money, and can make you feel worse.
The ultimate, scientifically-proven way to find your motivation and get your mojo back for good is through writing down your goals, and setting intentions. You will want to write your intentions in the following structure:
During the next [day, or week] I will eat [insert healthy food choices] and will allow myself to eat just enough of [insert favorite food] as long as I feel happy about my food choices.
During the next [day, or week], I will go to [insert favorite place to work out] and do at least 10 minutes of vigorous exercise at [ a time you can commit to ].
Yes, you want to start there. It’s also helpful to write your intentions on a calendar, and keep it in a place that is highly visible, like on your desk, your refrigerator, or on your bedside table.
Why does Rule #1 Work? Taking a step-by-step, realistic approach to achieving your goals helps you maintain your focus. You want to keep your goals within reach. In a matter of weeks, you will find yourself forming new habits, and you may feel like taking bigger steps is possible. This will make it easier for you to strengthen your motivation muscle, and experience progress.
When you make commitments and set intentions that are too large for your lifestyle, you may experience motivational fatigue, which ultimately results in abandoning your goals.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. One single, solitary step. A step you can do. If you set out to journey too far, you will feel that your goal is out of reach. So your entry will appear in the following structure:
My goal [Today’s Date] is to lose 10 pounds.
That’s it. Do not write more, and do not write an expiration date. This is a small goal, once you have found your groove and achieved your first set of goals you can add a new entry, but the goal should never exceed 10 pounds at a time. This goal of yours is possible.
Write down your weight every day, and weigh yourself first thing in the morning for consistency. If you weigh yourself at different hours of the day, it will be harder to see your progress on your calendar.
You may feel like the scale is your enemy, but it is your friend. It can tell you if your daily/weekly goals from JUST10 Rule #1 are working for you. If you are seeing the results you want, great! If you aren’t, you can adjust your diet and exercise habits until you see that number move in the right direction. Sometimes you need to adjust your macros and your exercise, and even the amount of your favorite food that you allow to reach your goals. But the scale will help you figure out the routine that is right for you.
Because each of our bodies and lifestyles are different, experimentation is an important piece of the puzzle to figuring out what is going to work for you for a lifetime. You will need to write one more thing down in your entry. It should appear in the following structure:
I am learning to recognize the signs from my body that tell me I am doing what is right for me. This is an important part of figuring out how to achieve my goals now, and in the future.
Below that, jot down what may have been the cause for the scale to have moved the way it did, either in the direction you wanted, or not. If you experienced a day that was in the direction you wanted, add a happy face or a star or sticker to the entry. This will also benefit your motivation.
Getting enough sleep is an important piece to reaching your goals. Not having enough sleep can cause you extra stress, rob you of your prized progress, and both can also be a huge factor in motivational fatigue. Who wants to eat clean and exercise when they are tired? That’s right, crazy people. So what you are going to do is set an alarm that reminds you to get your butt to bed so you can be ready to make good on your set of intentions, and tackle your goals in the morning.
One strong piece of advice: block out all of the light in your room and turn off your devices an hour before bedtime. Additionally, tucking your kids into bed and kissing them goodnight works magic for reducing stress and strengthening that motivation muscle!
This is one of the most important parts of the JUST10 Weightloss Challenge. Take 10 uninterrupted minutes to reflect on your entries. This will help you refresh, renew, and strengthen that motivational muscle from seeing your progress. This progress may be in weight loss, it may be progress in learning exactly what diet and fitness routine is right for you, and it may give you ideas on what goals you are ready to accomplish next.
Be sure to keep your calendar entries so you can come back to them at any time. Dry erase boards are not recommended.
“Prizes” are highly individual, but they are there to reward you positively for a job well done. So while food reward is not ideal, this is your journey and you must decide what you can give to yourself that feels supportive, that you think will make you happy. You must also decide at what point you will award yourself. For some, this may be daily, and that’s OK too.
Long bubblebaths, massages, and vacations are fantastic prizes. For some, feeling good in their own skin may be reward enough. But the reason you will need a full 10 minutes to decide on your prize is because your prize does come with another rule.
Your prize must be experienced in the most positive fashion possible, which requires some planning.
This may mean you have to schedule your bubblebath so no barking dogs disturb your enjoyment. You may have to call a friend who knows the best massage parlor in town. You may have to check the weather and plan your vacation to ensure that the weather is exactly to your liking. Your prize must be an overall positive experience.
Write your prize down on your calendar where you see fit. Say whatever you want about its awesomeness. No structure is necessary.
I won’t ask if you have what it takes, because you know that you already do. I will only ask if you are ready to try something new. And while the Just10 Weightloss Challenge rules and intention-setting may seem like this is just too easy to be true, you will find relief in knowing that they are heavily rooted in psychological sciences, and are proven methods to achieving weight loss success.
So if you are ready to train your motivation muscle, develop new habits, and keep your mojo for a lifetime, grab a pen and paper and follow these 6 simple rules.
You can start reaching your goals now. Suggested Supplies below.
Coloring book Calendar with extra note space
Colorful, Fine-Point Sharpie Pens for personalization
Happy Stickers for boosting motivation
Star Stickers for banner days
Why the coloring book? Why the Happy Stickers? Why the Star stickers? For some, turning the Just10 Weightloss Challenge into a highly-personalized piece has additional psychological and motivational benefits. As with kindergarteners, coloring relieves stress, while happy stickers can motivate improved behavior. For stellar days, adding stars will make you feel more accomplished. And over time, you will be far more intimate with your own personal accomplishments, which further strengthens the motivation muscle. Added bonus: stickers are just fun, and you can solicit help from children.
Please note, if you purchase stickers with sad or angry faces, get rid of them now. They are contraband in the JUST10 Weightloss Challenge and should be disposed of or removed from sight and forgotten immediately.
We want to know how your #JUST10 Weightloss Challenge is going, what unexpected benefits you have discovered, and what sort of prizes you came up with along the way. Did you reach your goals and take that bubblebath? Pop that champagne? Go to Fiji?!? Did you use the Just10 Challenge for something other than weight loss or fitness goals?
Send us an email and pictures so we can celebrate with you!
Karen Pendergrass is an ENTP who is an enthusiast in a myriad of areas including Agricultural Sustainability, Applications of Bacteriotherapy, Autoimmunity, Color Theory, Hard Determinism, Social Technologies, and Social Engineering. She is the Founder of the Paleo Foundation, the International Paleo Movement Group (IPMG), author of the not-yet-published Sustainability Diet, and Founder of DinnerCrasher.com.
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