when getting where you want to go seems too hard (how about those 50 pounds?)

It's really interesting to me how my various clients' needs seem to dovetail a lot of the time. Reminds me of that thing about women in college dorms all getting on the same menstrual cycle.

These days, just about all of my clients have expressed the desire to lose 50 pounds.  They're all saying the same number.  In some cases, weight has always been an issue.  In others, it's the stress of the separation and divorce process, with food becoming the only real source of comfort.

Along with the desire to shed a large number of pounds comes the feeling that it's just too hard to even contemplate getting started.  They're feeling exhausted, and not in the mood to get off the couch after a long work week and family responsibilities.  The ex isn't really helping with the kids, or the help comes at the high price of his acting like he's doing the family a big favor rather than wanting to fulfill his role as a dad.

Is it that my clients are lazy?  Definitely not.  I carefully assess potential clients before I agree to work with them, and in our initial conversations I have tried-and-true ways of finding out whether a woman will experience great success with me.  If there's a question in my mind about whether she'll follow through and get the big results that I promise, I'll never suggest working together.

When it comes to weight loss, though, I think many women just can't stand the thought of getting started, the possibility of failing or of it being too hard, and then being disappointed all over again.  My clients have been disappointed waaaaay too much, in too many ways, and they're very smart about picking their battles.

I love helping them on this because, if you can identify a really strong desire and find a way to make progress toward that goal, you can use those skills toward

any

goal.  It opens up a whole new world of being able to reach out and grab what you want.  This is the kind of future I want for my ladies, and I know it's possible.

First thing is to be sure that weight loss is a goal that is really important.  More important than enjoying food in the way that you've been enjoying it so far.  That's a subject unto itself, as is finding other ways to comfort yourself that will be as easy and as enjoyable as eating comfort foods.  So, sometimes, we look for new ways that clients can feel the sense of calm and relaxation that food can provide, and then it's easier to tackle the diet and fitness piece a little bit later.

A fun thing to do, though, is to create a

Pinterest

board where you can park all kinds of exercise and diet ideas that you might like to try.

Very important:  You're not committing to doing any of these ideas now.  

You're just collecting things that appeal to you.  Especially food ideas that are quick and easy (and

include lots of vegetables that you already like

).  Don't like vegetables?  It's time for a fun exploration of expanding your food choices, and finding vegetables that you can enjoy.  Sometimes, a big part of that can be how they're prepared.  On Pinterest, you'll find all kinds of interesting ideas (with beautiful, colorful pictures that make you happy just looking at them).

And, look for quick and easy video workouts that you think you might actually do.  Make a list of physical activities that you like (or that you used to enjoy).  Think about how you might be able to fit them into your life (maybe, at first, just once a week, and then twice a week . . . and watch it become something you look forward to and maybe even do some of these activities with friends).

Remember, this is just information-gathering.  After you do this for a while, you'll reach a tipping point where you feel motivated to pick something from your list and try it.

If you don't feel motivated after a few weeks of collecting things to try, then losing weight has not come to the top of your desire list yet.  Meditate on what you really want most right now.  Maybe it's related to making more friends.  Maybe there's a hobby, class, or activity that you really want to do. 

Making yourself happier is a through-the-back-door way to change your relationship to food.

This really is magic.

Whatever goal you may be dreaming about (even though it may seem too hard and too far away), think of some deceptively simple and tiny ways to start on it.  Things you can do that are so small and harmless that you won't be tempted to avoid doing them.  Then, be consistent about fitting that tiny, baby step into your life and watch the magic happen.

When you observe some small, but perceptible results from that one little thing you're doing, you'll get excited about adding one more tiny little step.

This really is magic.  Try it, see what happens, and please comment with your successes!

Of course, if you'd like some help from me, just get in touch to ask a question or two, or to schedule a get-acquainted call with me.

There's still time to make big shifts in 2014. Here's how:

It's September, a time when many people give up on getting accomplished those life changes we hoped to set in motion at the beginning of the year. 

Pretty soon, it's the big wind-down (or mad dash, depending on how you see it) through the holiday season, and then the let-down of another year behind us. 

And, hmmm, are you stuck in the same place you were last year?  Or -- gasp -- has it gotten even worse?

Get some key life goals off your to-do list before harvest season! 
It's much much easier than you may think.  Baby steps.  Here's my suggestion for accomplishing something personally meaningful with what's left of the year:  Just focus on setting your infrastructure in place for 2015.

Let me give you a quick idea of how I did this (and am still putting on the final touches) in 2014.

It all started with a new virtual learning program that I rolled out at the end of 2013.  I'll be offering it again, soon, but here's the incredible offer that I made for the program last year in the last two days before Christmas.

The program is called 5 Surprising Cures for the Holiday Blues, and one of the cures involves using the holiday season to create a blueprint for your new life as you want to live it in the new year.

I had developed my program based on my own experiences in recovering from a terrible betrayal and healing from the total destruction of my life as I had known it.  Although my life was back on track, and I was happy again, I ended up loving my new blues-busting program so much that, just for fun, I decided to work my own program, step by step, during the holiday season.

The results have been amazing.
I created a theme for my year:  Most gain for least pain.  With that theme in mind, I kept testing ways to improve my life in five key areas important to me:  money, diet, exercise, leisure, and love.  Various practices and techniques received test periods of at least 28 days, and I assessed the results after each experiment.

The assessment for every practice or technique I tried?  Simple:
1.  How much work did it take?
2.  What results did I get?

So far:  Best year ever.  Here are a few of the things I'll have to look back on with pride from 2014:
  • Not only did I lose 15 pounds, but I documented exactly what worked for me best.  And the modified form of this diet -- my maintenance diet -- is completely livable and enjoyable for the long term.
  • My "new normal" diet feels great and I have lots of energy.
  • I've come up with the bedtime and sleep schedule that's the best compromise between my natural night-owl proclivities and my optimum productivity.
  • I've tested numerous techniques to look and feel ten years younger -- and, once again, I've documented what works.  I look terrific, which helps me feel incredible, too.
  • I'm holding myself accountable for getting at least two hours of leisure per day (that means leisure that is restorative and fun for me, not just watching what someone else wants to watch on tv).
  • I'm keeping my work week pretty close to 40 hours (rather than 60-80 hours per week) for the first time in years.
  • In the friendship and love arena, I feel more supported than ever, and although I'm still holding out for someone really special (settling just isn't fun), I have no lack of men in my life.
  • And the year's not over yet!
Spend the rest of 2014 finding out what works for you.
The key to all of this is that my life hacks are unique to me.  It's all about setting up an experiment in any given area of your life, trying a new technique, and assessing how it worked (or didn't).  I've been inspired by diets, exercise programs, and a host of techniques that others have developed, but the personal tweaking is the big secret.

You still have four months left in 2014!  Start experimenting so you'll have a great plan for how to achieve the goals most dear to you in 2015.
  1. Define four or five broad areas in which you'd like to see improvement or change  (eliciting help from your kids around the house, strengthening key friendships, improving the quality of your leisure time, finding ways to indulge yourself and feel more beautiful) -- just the process of coming up with your list can be very revealing.
  2. Look at each area, and see if you can spend 10 minutes a day exploring a way to improve that part of your life.  Start with one area and one experiment.  What can you do that will be easy, but has the potential to give you the biggest reward.
  3. Conduct your experiment for 7 days, 2 weeks, 28 days . . . and reassess.
  4. Write down your findings.  This is super-important.  You want to be able to remember, in January, what worked, and what didn't, as you put together your game plan for 2015.

And, if you'd like a little help, I'm always here.