Anybody who has set any form of weight loss goal will know that it isn’t easy to stick with it.
There are days when your body will want to do the exact opposite of what your weight loss goals are.
For instance, when I was trying to get rid of my annoying belly fat, there were times when my brain would discount the benefits of building six-packs.
It would also make the reward of eating a doughnut late in the night so compelling that it would be hard for me to resist.
This is where vision boards for weight loss goals often come in.
Vision boards are very effective reminders to help you remember why you are doing this in the first place.
It helps you to remember what you stand to gain if you achieve your weight loss goals.
And sometimes, it might serve as a reminder of what you might lose if you fail to achieve your weight loss goals.
The difficulties involved in sticking to your weight loss goals
There are two selves in you when you set any weight loss goals (or any type of goal for that matter).
There’s the part of you that wants to lose weight (the human/rational/logical part), and there’s also a part of you that don’t want to go through the pain of rigorous exercise, eating unappetizing diets and would rather eat a high trans-fat rich doughnut (the primitive/emotional/impulsive part).
So, when you set any weight loss goal, there’s a constant psychological war going on between these two selves.
As you well know, it’s the doughnut-eating part that wins most of the time.
The self that wants to eat doughnut is much more powerful than the rational and logical part. And it’s this part of you that first to react to any external stimuli.
The self that wants to lose weight and be fit can try to restrain this other self, but it’s mostly for a short period of time.
After a little bit of back and forth battle between the two selves, after the impulsive side has thrown some cravings, secreted a little bit of dopamine in your brain, the battle is over before you know it.
The rational self has been beaten to submission (it’s gone to sleep) and you are sitting in front of your TV set eating that doughnut.
The WHYs and the Oversight make Vision Boards effective for weight loss goals
The rational part of your brain is very lazy. It gives up at the slightest hint of resistance from the impulsive side.
This rational part needs a constant reminder of why you NEED (not want) to lose weight. And this is where vision boards come in.
Vision boards that are created properly will be a CONSTANT reminder staring at you all day.
This will often prompt you to take action on your weight loss goals.
Another weapon that your rational self can wield against your impulsive over-eating self is something I like to call oversight (which I learned from Vision in Captain America).
In a popular experiment known as the “watching-eye effect”, researchers found that participants were more likely to make the logical and rational decision when they felt as if they were being watched.
The researchers utilized the pictures of different people’s eyes to produce a sort of oversight on the participants.
Oversight is so effective that Governments of the World are using this phenomenon to reduce their crime rate by 16% through the systematic use of CCTVs to create oversight.
We act better (rational and logical) when we are being watched. Vision boards create a sort of oversight.
A vision board created to provide a sort of oversight by putting what you stand to gain (and what you stand to lose), prompting affirmations, and reminders of the WHYs will be very effective for your weight loss goals.
6 Things to do to make sure that your weight loss vision boards work for you
The best forms of vision boards are the ones based on SMART weight loss goals
According to the weight loss registry, and according to the data gotten from over 10,000 weight loss successful participants, the best form of weight loss goals are the goals that are SMART.
The best way to design a weight loss vision board is to base it on weight loss SMART goals.
This helps to turn the vision boards into feasible expectations rather than fantasies.
We’ve discussed the effects of fantasies on our abilities to achieve our goals.
SMART weight loss goals are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
Make your WHYs very obvious on your vision board
So, before you start creating your vision boards, you should make sure that you really think about WHY you want to lose weight in the first place.
Your WHY must be deep, meaningful, and relevant to you. People that have been able to achieve their weight loss goals have a much meaningful and relevant reason for losing weight than having a bikini body—conclusion of NWCR (National Weight Control Registry) researchers when they polled over 10,000 successful weight losers
Your vision board should be an ideal visual reminder of the reasons why you want to lose weight.
This will motivate you to do the needful even on days when you don’t feel like taking that walk.
You can find pictures or items that’ll remind you of why you are trying to lose weight and get them on your board.
Examples are the pictures of your family, pictures of what you want to do or where you want to go when you grow old, and so on.
You are allowed to DREAM BIG when it comes to your weight loss vision boards
In 2012, a study conducted by Linde et al. on 302 overweight adult women found that setting unrealistic weight loss goals have no statistical significance on the results gotten by these women after 18 months of undergoing weight loss treatment.
When it comes to weight loss, setting unrealistic and far-fetched goals are allowed.
As long as you keep doing exercises and watching your diet; no matter how long it takes, you’ll achieve that weight loss goal.
So, you can slap a picture of the supermodel’s body you’ve always wanted to have on your vision board.
Manage the expectations that your vision board will project
Although it’s allowed to DREAM BIG when it comes to weight loss goals, I want you to have it at the back of your mind that no two people are the same.
Our body’s metabolic rates are different. Anatomical composition is different from person to person.
No two people can do the same thing to lose weight.
The last time a friend of mine and I did a 30-day push-up challenge—doing the same number of push-ups every day for thirty days, the rate with which I gained muscle was rapid compared to my friend (who ended up with literally no muscle after 30 days).
I had another friend of mine who was also inflicted with a ‘pot belly’. Whenever he does sit-ups consistently for three weeks, he starts seeing changes.
And I, on the other hand, could do sit-ups for a year without noticing any difference in my belly.
These scenarios were evident in the research the NWCR (National Weight Control Registry) has been conducting for the past 23 years.
And the conclusion they came to was that of all the over 10,000 participants they’ve been tracking, no two people did the same thing to lose weight.
So, what does this mean for your weight loss vision boards?
Your weight loss vision boards should be personal to you alone.
The road to losing weight is hard and it takes time to achieve (even after you’ve achieved the goal, you still have to work harder to keep your new weight).
So, when you look at your vision board and you are not getting the results, or you are regaining the weight you’ve already lost, don’t be discouraged.
Your body is different from the body of the supermodel you have his/her picture up on the vision board.
Creative affirmations and command prompts are very effective on vision boards
Affirmations and commands are very good motivating prompters that can gear you to action.
After all, the aim of your weight loss vision board is to motivate you and create a form of oversight.
So, stick some command prompts on your vision boards.
And don’t forget to get creative with your commands and affirmations when designing your vision boards.
Also, if you wish, you can personalize it as much as you want as long as it motivates you.
Examples of prompts, commands, and affirmations for weight loss vision boards are;
- Sacrifice a few minutes now. So you don’t sacrifice your well-being later in life.
- Get up and go for a walk you lazy brat!!
- The hesitation you are feeling towards doing your exercise plan is the “FAT Frank” in you that wants to remain FAT FOREVER! He’d probably drop dead in the Mall one day!
- No PAIN, No Muscle GAIN!!!!!
- Some people want to lose weight, some people wish to lose weight, I make it happen!!
To get more weight loss motivational prompts and affirmations that aren’t as dark and messed-up as the ones you just read, check out this space.
Don’t limit your vision boards to pictures only
The mistake that a lot of people make when they are creating their vision boards for their weight loss goals is that they don’t explore using personal items for their boards enough.
They mostly limit their boards to pictures.
Personal items like tokens, marked calendars, flight tickets, or any item you can think of that have a profound meaning to your weight loss goals can go up on your boards.
I’ve seen people put some weird stuff (like their children’s hair) on their vision boards.
And I’ve seen some other kinds of stuff I can’t mention in this post without making you feel uncomfortable.
But if it works for you, put it on it.
It’s a personal thing!!
4 STEPS ON HOW TO CREATE A WEIGHT LOSS VISION BOARD THAT WORKS
What is your ideal body shape? Remember to think SMARTLY!!
Which body shape do you see yourself having?
Which body weight will you be comfortable with?
This imaginative exercise will give you an idea of what you are working towards.
Now, after you have your ideal picture of weight in your head, it’s time to make the picture SMART.
That is, how many pounds do you need to lose EXACTLY?
Note it down!
What kind of diet and exercise regimen do you need to be doing to achieve your weight loss goal?
What time of day will you be doing these activities?
Note them all down!!
Which days will you be resting?
Record it all and draw a concrete plan from all these data.
Get your Vision board supplies
The materials needed for the weight loss vision boards are basically the board (which can be a cardboard or a wooden plank), glue/pins/cellotapes, magazine pictures or pictures printed out from the internet, and a pair of scissors.
Find the pictures and items that will go on your vision board
So, gather magazine pictures that speak to you. Go on Pinterest, and search the internet for the perfect pictures.
Find personal items you can use that will motivate you to constantly take action on your weight loss goals as we discussed earlier.
You can type the affirmations and motivational prompts that will go on the board on your computer. Or use a pen and paper to write it and put on the board.
Get your scissors, get your glue, and get to work!
Check this post on how to create a powerful vision board using MS-Word and affordable supplies. There is also a template there which you can use to design your vision boards easily.
Put the board where you’ll see it constantly!!
This is that all-important last step that you should put in mind.
Your weight loss vision boards are quite useless if they are not being seen constantly.
This will defeat their purpose altogether.
Putting it in a strategic place where you get to stare at it constantly will facilitate its work.
Over to you
Whether it’s getting rid of a protruding stomach, shaving off a few pounds, or a total weight loss revamp of an obese body, whatever your weight loss goals might be, having a vision board for that goal will make you more motivated.
And this will make the journey easier.
If you agree or disagree, let’s know in the comment section below.
If you’d like to share your weight loss vision board with others, use the comment section below or send it to us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Till we speak again, remember to STAY FIT and STAY WEALTHY.