The Harvard Business Review may not be your normal source for weight loss tips. I happen to subscribe to their daily management tips. There are times when these tidbits of knowledge cross from my business life into my personal life. Today’s tips on “3 Ways to Handle the Unexpected” really hit home for me. The tips were adapted from Peter Bregman’s Three Steps to Handling the Unexpected.
My weight loss journey is at times a trip through the unexpected. Early on my journey, I felt that I would learn the ropes and everything would just sort of work out in a repeatable pattern once I achieved that level of comfort and knowledge to keep my weight stable and myself healthy. That is a pretty accurate statement 80% of the time. It is the unexpected that accounts for the other 20% that offers the biggest challenge to keeping a healthy stable weight.
Since each of us share our life with others, there is bound to be times when the unexpected occurs. We are not in control of others’ lives and must deal with the unexpected that arises in our daily interactions. These awkward situations also arise in our life. It is pretty much impossible to control all aspects of your own life. Let’s look at the three ways the Harvard Business Review advises us to bring the unexpected under control.
Stop. If you feel pressured to make a decision, stop what you’re doing. Give yourself a chance to think before acting.
At a seminar the speaker advised us to stop and pause three seconds before reacting in a situation. I know that helps reduce the foot-in-the-mouth syndrome. Why wouldn’t it work for other situations? Before that plate of chicken wings get passed your way at happy hour or a coworker brings around her triple chocolate fudge brownies, take three seconds or more before responding and falling prey to some fattening food you that you really don’t want.
Assess your options. Don’t waste time wishing things were different. Think about the best outcome in the given situation, the information you have at hand, and the available resources. Then lay out your options.
You got on the scale this morning and you rolled craps on the digital demon. Your weight is up five pounds. You can beat yourself up over last night’s overindulgence or sneaking that oh so luscious looking cream stick at breakfast. The best course of action is to sort through the options to make sure this does not happen in the future. Mentally preparing yourself to be proactive in the future is a big helper in assuring many successful weigh-ins.
Move forward. Based on your new assessment, make a decision and commit. Even if the decision isn’t ideal, accept that it’s the best under the circumstances.
Something went wrong in your life. A typical reaction is to feel sorrow and defeat. You might not have met that weight loss goal, or did not keep up your exercise routine. Does either of these warrant such bad feelings? No. Making changes in your life is hard. There will be hills and valleys of success and defeat over the course of any weight loss journey. Accept the defeat and use this time as a time to replan. Making a concrete decision on how to proceed and firmly committing to that decision keeps you moving forward.