Were you a diligent student at school? If so, you may be familiar with the technique of writing to remember. Well, it may come as a surprise but writing down your intentions to lose weight can reinforce your decision and actually make it easier to stick to your program. There is something powerful about New Year's Resolutions that are written down!
Write this down: I will lose 1 kilo this week. Whether you post this note within easy view or scribble it on a scrap of paper and toss it, chances are you'll be a pound lighter by week's end, says Henriette Anne Klauser, PhD, author of Write It Down, Make It Happen (Simon & Schuster, 2001).
Writing switches on the part of your brain (called the reticular activating system, or RAS) that keeps important messages in mind, ready for you to act on them when prompted. Just as it was when you studied for your school exams, writing things down reinforces your retention and helps shapes your behaviors. If you're aware, even subconsciously, of a weight loss intention, you're more likely to pass up the left over Christmas pudding, and walk the dog instead, for example.
Whether you like to journal and keep your notes beside your bed or post something on your refrigerator, it doesn't matter. What is important is the act of writing. What should you write to help you lose weight?
Your reasons to lose weight ("to gain energy and self-confidence"), which are good motivators and doable even if you don't trim down.
Your concerns ("Will exercise take time away from my family?"), which force you to confront and resolve them before they sabotage your efforts.
Your goals How much weight you want to lose and by when. Be realistic and realize that steady, consistent weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week is a healthy rate of weight loss.