The other day I had a thought appear like a cartoon bubble over my head - Who put me in charge of my life? I realized in an eye-popping moment, that I was really in charge of my life. Not my mother, not my boss, not my daughter, not my husband. ME.
Looked at objectively, we are the leaders of our lives. Maybe you have compartmentalized your various roles; I am mother, sister, team player, native of NY, citizen of the earth. But if you look at the whole of it, we are the designers and leaders and decision makers over the course of our lifetime.
The most important step a leader can take is to actually say YES to the job. Yes, I accept responsibility. I don’t need permission. I don’t need to fool or manipulate myself or you into accepting me. I accept this responsibility.
I am the leader in charge. The CEO, CIO, CFO, CTO – all of it.
As I am, right now.
But do you think of your life that way? Do you like being in charge of yourself?
It is at the same time very cool and terrifying.
I propose you accept the job of being a leader in your health; the feeding and maintenance of your body, mind and spirit.
Leader in chief. Decider in chief.
If you haven’t had the title of Director, Manager, Owner, CFO, or other leadership role in your professional career, you may never consider yourself a leader.
The first question you might ask yourself is, “Am I well trained for this job?
You have been making decisions about what to eat, what to wear, where to go, what to buy, where to live, and what to drive.
I bet you have been managing your weight with different diets all your life. It is likely you have experienced some success and some failure over the years.
Where have you been a leader in your life? It could be with a billion-dollar company or a home daycare business. Maybe you were a stay at home mom and managed to launch a bunch of kids.
We are used to expecting leadership as a quality to be used by the boss at work or in a perfect world, by our elected politicians.
What if we applied leadership skills to your personal world? What if you took conscious charge – became the leader of your weight loss and wellness journey?
What if you took those same skills that overcame the obstacles of producing at your job, purchasing a home for your family, or nursing your partner or child through sickness and life difficulties and applied them to your weight loss journey/struggle?
I am going to focus on 8 leadership qualities I bet you have already applied to many areas of your life.
- Life-Long Learning
- Recognize Influence, not Control
- Desire & Vision
- Recognize Tradeoffs
- Overcome Obstacles
- Get Resources
- Stick to it Until it is Done
- Celebrate & Evaluate
How do you apply these qualities to weight loss and well-being? Let’s go through them.
1. Leaders understand there will be learning.
The best leaders are committed to the process of learning. Nothing that hasn’t been done before is achieved without lots of learning. As individuals and teams learn new skills, the accumulation or integration of the next level of skill will apply to the team.
If you have not learned the skills of emotional and mind management in addition to learning what to eat, learning them will make you victorious in reaching your weight loss and wellness goals. When you are a good leader, you seek the learning and don’t make it mean anything less about yourself.
2. Successful Leaders Recognize Influence, Not Control.
Leaders understand they can influence and educate and guide, but everyone has willpower to do what it is they want to do.
Raised any teenagers? Managed any volunteers or workers? If you have, you know this from experience. If emotional eating is your issue and you believe people make you over eat, I have good news for you. You can learn the skill of having control of your reactions and responses. You can learn to react differently so food is not a strategy to feel better.
3. Leaders have desire and vision.
If there is a goal to be achieved, a leader will have a great desire to see it accomplished. Leaders see what is not there yet and create it from their minds! Desire is a wonderful quality because it is an emotion that motivates to action. It can guide us to our purpose. Vision is the ability to imagine what does not yet exist.
When you understand the WHY of your desire to lose weight and create a healthy lifestyle, then you create a goal (Goal Weight – LDL Numbers – Ability to run a 10K, etc.) that is desire and vision. Good leadership requires desire and vision.
4. Leaders Accept Trade Offs.
A good leader knows that to achieve a goal, a variety of actions will be required. Every endeavor will have a variety of requirements. Some rewarding and fun and some boring. Leaders get it all done. Good leaders know constraint will be required. Doing something means not doing something else.
If you want to lose weight, you have to look at what you are eating. You may have to make adjustments to quantities, timing and quality of food. If you accept tradeoffs as a choice you are making, you will be willing to feel discomfort as you shift from one habit to another.
5. Leaders Anticipate Obstacles.
Obstacles are the inherent challenges in everything important goal we want to achieve. Leaders assess what is required to achieve their goal and seek their blind spots and obstacles that will prevent success. Good leaders measure the resources on hand and design a way forward.
As a woman in her 60s, you have experienced obstacles. Those obstacles you overcame were necessary to get to the goal. If you look back, you may see you are stronger and wiser because of those obstacles.
Maybe you live for challenges in your profession, but you haven’t put your health and weight in a category of worthwhile pursuit. There are many obstacles to plan for when you want to change your eating habits. You may not want to choose healthy food if you are HANGRY (Hungry, angry and tired with nothing prepared). Expect this to be a learning curve. Learn what food works for your body. Learn how to change your childhood thoughts and habits around junk food. List your own particular obstacles.
6. Leaders find the resources to get the job done.
Leaders know they will need support, and the seek it.
Notice where your skill is lacking and either learn it or hire it out. You know that getting the right resources for your project, your child, your sick parent, will make all the difference to success. Hire a coach. Learn how to cook or use a food delivery service if shopping and cooking healthy meals is an obstacle.
7. Leaders stick to it until it is done.
Grit is required to accomplish big goals. That being said, I bet you are not afraid of hard work. I bet your success in life depended on that commitment and dedication and willingness to work overtime. Revise or redo a report until your project was ready for prime time.
I bet you didn’t throw in the towel when your kids were 13 and say, “This is too hard. I don’t like it. I’m out of here.” Most of us stick to it. We sometimes have the payoff of the smile, the thank you. But we may not experience any positive feedback for years. Leading your family keeps you committed to getting the job done.
Plan for leading yourself through learning new habits of eating and responding to perceived emotional triggers. Sticking to it until you reach your goal will give you a different kind of reward. Long-term health and wellness. That is a gift you can give yourself.
8. Leaders Celebrate and Evaluate.
Good leaders do not underestimate the value of celebrating their achievements – Recognizing the vision was made into reality and feeling the accomplishment is a self-fulfilling and sustaining cycle. Good leaders take time to review the process, analyze the allocation of resources and what was successful or slowed the process down. Good leaders apply this learning to everything they do in the future.
If you accept the job of being a good leader for your weight loss and well-being, you too will celebrate your goals; not with ice cream and cake, but with true respect because you will become someone different in the process of applying all these qualities to the task. You will become a woman who no longer struggles to take care of herself; a woman who takes herself seriously and knows her own power.
When you accept you are the leader of your life and take the job of weight-loss and wellness to heart, you can apply the skills you have within you and have used successfully in the past. You won’t fear the need for new skills required. You might be surprised at the form the obstacle takes, but you are counting on obstacles. Leaders expect them, plan for them and learn from them.
For more information on leading your weight loss and wellness plan, listen to Episode 28 of It’s Never Too Late to Lose Weight, a podcast for women approaching 60 who have been successful at everything but reaching their weight-loss goals.
Using the latest in neuroscience, and obesity and health research, your host, Certified Weight and Life Coach, Pat Beaupre Becker, teaches you about the properties of food and how they affect your appetite, your desire, your mood and your brain. Tune in each week for tools and strategies to free yourself from constantly thinking about your weight and create an amazing life.
Visit https://Never2late.info/guide to download your Quick Start Guide to sustainable weight loss.