Let’s do this my way (with some help from Lord Kelvin)

I have a plan!

1. First off, I am going to start taking action now. It won’t be perfect, it may not be the successful approach, but I am going to start today and I am not going to stop.

2. I am an operations guy to my very core. That is just how I think. So, I am going to build my strategy around a quote from Lord Kelvin (later restated by Peter Drucker) that has worked for me in the past. “If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.” Or, stated differently, if I can measure it, I can manage it. That is what I am going to do. I will measure everything! Plus, I will hopefully mix in bit of another scientific principle, the act of measuring something changes its outcome.

3. I am going to embrace technology to aide in measurement. There are thousands of apps for my iPhone that can help. The first app is Apple Health which is built into the iPhone. Plus Apple Health is already tracking steps, stairs climbed, etc. I supplemented with Lose It to track food and drink consumption and My Water to track water intake. I will also start researching fitness trackers like Fitbit. Plus, I am going to look for a wifi-enabled smart scale to track weight.

4. I am going to focus on a few areas that will have the biggest impact. My goal is to have calories in be less than calories burned.

  • I will ensure that I am consuming sufficient water for hydration based on my weight and activity level.
  • I will ensure that I am reducing calories to a level where I am losing weight but not starving myself.
  • I will increase exercise through walking to try to get to the recommended 10,000 steps per day. Hopefully I can find a way to convert to calories burned

5. I am not going to give up anything I like. I am going to keep drinking and going to bars. I am going to keep eating the things I like (pizza stays, juicy steaks stay, etc.). I a, not going to deprive myself and am not going to let this suck. It has to be a good experience not horrible or it won’t last.

6. I am going to reduce my alcohol intake. I plan to shoot for 2 days per week without alcohol intake at all. Then, the other 5 days will include a reduction. The calorie monitoring will help with this.

7. I am going to embrace an important life hack I have learned about myself to make this work. In the mornings, when I complete my shower, my brain switches into work mode. I am in a rush to get out the door and anything that stands between showered Tony and work is going to get removed. I don’t know why, but that is just how my brain works. So, anything I want to accomplish in the morning has to be before I take my shower. Plus, pre-work morning activities are way more reliably in my control and likely to be completed than any other time of the day. This is something I learned over the years and proved when I started daily journaling in November of 2016. So, in the morning, pre-shower, I will start going for walks as long as weather supports.

8. I am going to share my goal and progress along the way with people around me (Liz, family, friends, coworkers, social media) so the can help hold me accountable. This reduces the likelihood that it will just be a flash in the pan because failure will be very visible.

9. I am going to reduce my work hours by coming in later in the morning. I can reinvest this time for exercise and begin managing stress. I will target arriving 8:30-9 in the morning instead of 7-7:30.

10. I will make this my priority. This is what my mission is right now and other things (like work) are secondary. The good news about that is that this is a project where success in in my control. This will make it a lot better than the perpetual daily failures in my other projects.

So, I have a strategy/plan for how I am going to accomplish my goal. But, I don’t really have a S.M.A.R.T. goal yet. I need to quantify my target – long and short term. Since weight loss is my focus, I will use weight targets as my metrics.

At my height, the BMI chart defines me as obese. I will move from obese to overweight from a BMI perspective at the 225 mark. So, that is my long term goal, to get out of the obese BMI range. So, I guess my long term goal is to lose 100 pounds and get to 225. An average of 2 pounds per week is considered the most aggressive weight loss rate that is considered healthy based on my research. At 2 pounds per week, factoring in some setbacks along the way, I am pretty much looking at a 1 year timeline.

So, my long term goal is… Lose 100 pounds and reach the 225 pound mark by June 18, 2018.

Now, to set some short term goals so I can stay motivated – the bigger you are, the easier it is to lose weight quickly. So, I am going to be more aggressive in the beginning.

  1. Lose 5 pounds by July 4th
  2. Lose 10 pounds before vacation, by 7/21
  3. Lose 25 pounds by Oktoberfest (9/23)
  4. Lose 50 pounds by Christmas 2017
  5. Lose 75 pounds by St. Patrick’s day 2018

I will see as I go if those goals are realistic or not. Now, time to get started putting my plan to work!

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