I read David Allen's book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity on the plane on the way here. I like the philosophy behind the book a lot. He explains stress in a way that I've never heard before. Stress, he says, is the result of us not keeping the commitments we've made to ourselves:
as soon as you tell yourself that you need to be doing something...there's a part of yourself that thinks you need to be doing that something all the time. Everything you've told yourself you ought to do, it thinks you should be doing right now.The way to manage this stress, he says, is to have a system in place to remind us of the actions we need to be taking outside of our brains, and to check it regularly. Only then will our brains stop bugging us, because we'll be keeping our commitments. The trick is to ask ourselves what the next concrete action we should take toward a goal, and then to make ourselves accountable for doing that action. If we keep taking the next action toward our goal, we'll reach it without stress.
For me, those next actions in the weight loss game are to commit to a reasonable fitness plan and food plan. I need to plan out the workouts I want to do next week, and then do them. I think having some concrete steps, rather than a vague idea that "I should be eating better," or "I should exercise more," will make me both less likely to obsess about it and more likely to take appropriate actions.
So what's your next action?