I’m on my 12th Round of 12WBT. And as I said in my first blog post, what I’ve learnt in my 11 previous Rounds is that you get out what you put into them. For this Round, I’m really determined – I’ve got some major personal goals to reach. I want to have a good Round, and I have a few little things that I do to help me make this happen.
Reasons to be Grateful
An example of this is my new gratitude jar. I’ve seen friends put this into practice, and it seemed like a beautiful thing to do. Basically the idea is to write something you’re grateful for onto a little piece of paper, fold it up and put it into the jar – every day. So, aside from actively being more positive, at the end of the year you can read through all of your grateful moments.
I went out to buy my jar at the start of 2015. By the end of February, my jar looked like this: empty.
I had two options: I could let it go and end up with nothing in the jar, or if I started now, by the end of 2015 I’d have nearly 10 months of lovely grateful moments to read through.
So, to get me going, I sat down and wrote out a few things that I could remember being grateful for so far this year. And just something as simple as being able to see a few pieces of paper in the jar has helped me feel accomplished and that I’m finally in the swing of using it.
Rewards, rewards and more rewards
Here are other things that I’ve discovered through my 12WBT journey so far to help make this weight loss thing more fun, interesting and easy:
- I have a sticker rewards chart that I use to visually encourage me along. Sticker charts can be as elaborate or as simple as you wish them to be. For me, I have a ‘Magic 4’: Nutrition, Training, Sleep and Water, and I give myself one star sticker when I hit my personal daily goal for each of those.
I also give myself a bonus sticker if I manage to get all seven stickers in a category in a week. (This is hard to do!) I then pay myself $1 for each normal sticker, and $5 for each bonus sticker. It’s strangely motivating and satisfying to earn star stickers – so don’t knock it until you’ve at least tried using stickers as an adult!
- I have a rewards money jar that I use to save up to buy clothes and so on. This is where I put the money I earn from my star stickers.
- You’re going to really start to think I have a jar obsession, but I do the marble jar thing, too. This where one jar of marbles (or, in my case, stones) represents my kilograms to lose, and the other is kilograms lost.
I bought a packet of cheap blue stones from Bunnings, as well as some pretty jars. Each stone represents 500g, and every Weigh In Wednesday, I transfer however many stones worth that I have lost that week, from my ‘kilograms to lose’ jar, to my ‘kilograms lost’ jar.
- I use apps to keep me motivated and on track. For instance, my To Do app holds my entire list of things I need to do to help me achieve my 12WBT goals. I also use an app called Carrot, where I list what rewards I’ll give myself when I hit various weight loss milestones. And I use a few date countdown apps for different things – one of my favourites is Countdown+, where I can count down to all of my running events on the one screen.
- I often have my goals as screensavers on my iPhone. I don’t read my goals each time I use my phone, but it’s amazing how much just having them there reminds me of what I’m trying to achieve.
Keeping my goals at the forefront of my mind helps me stay focused. Sometimes I stick them around my house and sometimes I have them on my desk at work. I display my goals in different ways: in words, numbers or photos.
- I recently created mini goal gift bags for myself – these are my latest motivational project! I bought little gift bags from the two-dollar shop and have filled them with little presents or rewards for myself. They mainly contain active wear (clothes) which I’ll feel more justified in giving to myself if I’ve earned them. But I’ve added different things to the bags, including movie tickets, nail polish, vouchers and even money.
I’ve written on the front of each bag what goal I need to reach in order to earn it. I add to them when I can afford to, and then they’re ready to go.
- I also do what I call ‘Operation Yellow Dress’. This is where I take regular photos of me in a certain dress I want to wear – until it fits. It’s a really rewarding way to see my progress in a different way to the scales. I started with, you guessed it, a yellow dress. I’ve successfully achieved ‘Operation Yellow Dress’ and ‘Operation Blue Work Dress’, and I’m now working on ‘Operation Size 10 Red Dress’.
It’s truly exhilarating to finally wear a piece of clothing that you’ve worked so hard to fit into. But it’s just as exciting to see the changes week by week, or month by month, when the dress zipper finally does up, or when it finally sits the way it’s meant to: these moments in between are so rewarding.
- I have calendar reminders to watch the 12WBT Mindset Videos, to visit the Member Zone, to weigh in, to get my clothes and food ready for the next day, to prepare my food, and a dozen other little things that may seem insignificant but which all add up and help me out.
And Here’s Why I Do It
When you have a goal that you want to achieve so much, there’s no limit to the amount of effort you will put in to make it happen. This weight loss game can be difficult and long, and it’s always going to take good old-fashioned hard work to achieve our dreams. But I’m up for anything that that keeps things interesting and keep me motivated.
If something as simple as a few star stickers is going to make that hard work a little more interesting, then I’m all for it!