Why making time for yourself is crucial for losing weight

July 23, 2013 - Psychology

schoolsout600x812During the summer, many parents feel they’re being pulled in a million directions – juggling work and childcare, and trying to find ways to keep everyone, from offspring to bosses, happy over the long school holidays. Faced with these challenges, it’s easy to lose yourself in the role of mum/dad or colleague, and forget about your own needs, including the need to give yourself time to focus on your weight-loss goals.

But it’s important to remember that your time belongs to you – it’s your choice how you give it away, and to whom. Ultimately, the choice to focus on your goal remains with you.

Making an appointment with yourself each week to go to your LighterLife group meeting is your way of investing in yourself, and progressing towards your goals. Taking time to think about your reasons for losing and maintaining and healthier weight can help you boost your motivation to succeed.

Whether you realise it or not, you’re skilled at prioritising your time. You’re likely to have a set of priorities that influences what you decide to do and what you decide you won’t do, even if you’re not aware of this. Making more constructive choices about your time can help to improve your weight management and your lifestyle in general.

Start by setting your priorities
Think about how you spend your time. What are the most important priorities for you? Label them from one to ten, with one being your top priority. Think about which of these priorities make the most and least difference to your quality of life, and in what way. This will help you to re-order your activities, focusing attention on the things that really make a difference.

For example:

Changing your priorities
From the list you’ve created, think about how you want to reorganise the time you give to doing things that are important to you.

For example:

Now imagine you’re managing your time differently and think about the following questions.

What specifically would you be doing differently?

How much time would you spend doing this each day or each week?

What would you be spending less time doing?

How would you then feel (think) about yourself?

Using your time for your benefit is something you’ll learn about in your LighterLife group sessions. Taking a little time each week to review your thoughts and feelings, note your achievements and think about where you want to go next will be invaluable for your success on your weight-loss journey – and, crucially, it will help you set up the good habits and more effective mindset that are key to keeping the weight off for good.