Diabesity Challenge Tip: Make a Commitment to Health

by Dr. Julian Whitaker
Filed Under: Diabetes, Weight Loss, Blood Sugar
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

Each year, I remind you of the importance of choosing New Year’s resolutions that will improve Diabesity Challengeyour health. And while making these resolutions is easy, sticking to them can be anything but.

If you have resolved to lose weight and reverse diabetes, you need to focus on how you are going to attain these goals. This year, I want to give you a surefire way to get started and stay on track. I call it “instant discipline.”

Let’s face it…nobody likes change. It’s painful. That’s why so few people succeed at weight loss. You mean well, you really do want things to be different this time. But after a while, you give up—and no one cares or even notices that, once again, you’ve failed to follow through. I’ve found that the only way to guarantee success is this: Make the pain of not following through greater than the pain of actually changing.

Make a Public Commitment


First, don’t commit to losing X number of pounds. Pledge instead to follow the mini-fast, to eat low-glycemic foods, and to take a 30-minute morning walk at least five days a week for the next three weeks. Of course you’ll be aiming at a target weight, but if you focus on your behavior—what you eat and how much you exercise—weight loss will naturally follow.

Second, pledge a significant sum of money to your least favorite charity, payable if you renege on your commitment. I’ve seen some great contracts over the years. Mike, an avid hunter, pledged to stop eating desserts for three weeks and, if he failed, he agreed to give $1,000 to PETA, an anti-hunting organization.

Third, write the details of your commitment down, sign it, date it, have it witnessed, and then—and this step is very important—make it public. Tell everybody, family, friends, and co-workers about your commitment and its consequences, and keep them abreast of your progress.

I believe that any human behavior can be changed with this system, because it makes you accountable. Accountability is your responsibility to someone for some action. You’re accountable for many things in your life, and if you don’t act responsibly, there are consequences.

If you’re supposed to arrive at work at 8:00 every day, but you show up at 9:30 or 10:00, there are consequences. You don’t park in the red zone or refuse to pay taxes because you don’t want to deal with the consequences.

But when we make promises to ourselves, there are no consequences if we break them. This is why so few people adhere to their New Year’s resolutions. So what if you don’t follow through?

But now you know how to make a real change. Create significant consequences for your personal behavior. Go public with your plans so you’ll risk losing face. Let humiliation be your taskmaster. Become accountable by pledging money to your least favorite charity, payable if you skirt personal responsibility, and be sure to make it a large enough sum to hurt if you have to pay up.

In short, up the ante for failure, hold yourself accountable, and I promise that you will succeed.

I hope this information helps you as you continue your weight loss journey. Have another great week and keep up with the program…it works!
 

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