My main goal for 2012 is to lose weight. I’m guessing right about this time of the year, it’s about half the population’s goal, too. I’ve tried a lot of different diets, programs, regimens, hypnosises. But this year, I’m organizing a five-pronged attack.

Exercise, diet, motivation, reward, and support.

Exercise – self explanatory, but here’s what I figured out. I have an exercise DVD that I just don’t like. I’m going to sell it on E-bay and buy one I do like. Something like belly dancing, or hip hop, or maybe…would hubby let me put in a pole??? I’m much more likely to exercise if I enjoy it.

Diet – I have a sweet tooth. I’ve purchased mass quantities of gum, hard candy, and dried fruit. I’ll use them in that order to curb the sugar monster. Fresh fruit works, too, but for some reason, it never cures the crave for me.

Motivation – have you heard of The Secret? If not, check out the book from your library. I’m using a positive mantra which I repeat constantly during the day. “I am losing two pounds a week.” Keeping that reinforcement running through my head reminds me to eat only what I need and in appropriate portions. It also reminds me to be active. Walk up the stairs a couple extra times each day, walk to the neighbors instead of driving. Do leg lifts while I’m watching television. Turn on the radio and dance around the kitchen.

The positive reinforcement of this type of mantra solidifies my willpower and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

And now to my favorite – reward. There’s nothing I like more than to surf the web for a good deal, buy it, and enjoy the anticipation of a package heading my way via UPS. Every week that I achieve my goal of two pounds lost, I will buy something inexpensive. A new bead for my bracelet, a new face cream, and when the pounds are really dropping – along with my dress size – new clothes. I’m truly lookng forward to shopping as an instant reward for reaching the tiny goal of two pounds.

I’ve never tried the reward approach before, and I have a good feeling that celebrating tiny goals, instead of waiting to reward myself once I reach that final, huge goal, will bring me more success.

The other side of the reward prong is consolation. If I don’t reach my goal of two pounds that week, I will not be shopping, and instead will choose a slip of paper from the To Do jar. On these slips, I’ve written chores that need to be done around the house. Big, ugly chores, like Clean Out Credenza, and Straighten Pantry. Clean Refrigerator, and Reorganize File Cabinet.

This will not only give me an extra dose of exercise toward reaching my goal that week, it will set up good habits for me as I feel the pride of a clean closet, or organized drawer… (I just rolled my eyes at that pride hoo-haw. Gosh, I hate cleaning!)

Support – I’ve just joined the Facebook page Romance Biggest Winner. Starting in February, this group of romance lovers will organize to support one another under the leadership of Helen Seely, a really great person who has more dedication and energy than anyone I know. Published authors and readers will be competing. Participation is not free, but spending a little money makes it motivational, as well.

To find out more, Like the FB page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Romance-Biggest-winners-part-2/128300167287718, then check out the rules (these are last year’s rules, and I’m told they’re changing a bit this time – more to come soon!) http://romancebiggestwinner.blogspot.com/2011/06/romance-biggest-winner-competition-is.html

While this site is very supportive and motivational, it’s also rewarding. The author and reader who lose the most weight will each receive $1,000 at the end of the event. And each week, the winning team gets free books!

I hope you’ll join me on the Biggest Winner challenge, and if you’re one of those lucky people who are hoping to lose weight this year, tell me how you’re doing it. What is working for you?

Have a great day,
Laura

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