Fourth Age Communiqué - Leadership for the rest of us

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Things we can all learn from Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers has been in the business of helping people live a healthier life for over 40 years. In that time it has produced numerous testimonials and noteworthy innovations in the field of weight loss, dieting and healthy eating.

But even if you are fit, healthy, eating well or even apathetic, several axioms hold true across any endeavor:

  • Start with a goal or target

    In Weight Watchers, you start with a target weight loss (e.g., 30 pounds). To achieve this (without specific regard to a timeline) you are given a daily "budget": x points per day that represent a target calorie intake. If you meet (but do not exceed) the intake level over the course of a week, you are poised to burn more calories than you consumed.

    In life, you need to know where you're going to be successful (you define your own success). Dreams are important, but you need a tangible result in mind to move forward. Goals are your vehicle to getting where you want to go.

    Your first goal is strategic: where do I want to be in a year? What you must do to accomplish that goal is tactical: how will I get there?

  • Write things down

    "If you don't write it down, it never happened."

    You learn about yourself when you journal. Knowing your "budget" or "plan" limits helps to hold yourself accountable to your goals.

  • If you work the system, the system works

    Success is in the details, and the details are in the plan of action. When you stick to the script, you stay on target. Diligence brings focus.
  • Learn, and share, the art of failure

    The writer of the book of James says we all stumble in many ways. In any group environment such as Weight Watchers, the safety and accountability is in knowing people have similar stories.

  • Creativity abounds in safe company

    When you have a group of people you can be open and honest with, you can explore challenges in a more meaningful way. And you open yourself to more creative thought than you might otherwise.

  • Confession is good for the soul

    Sometimes we just need to vent our spleen. To share what's on our mind and know we're safe doing it.

  • Three simple words: "So do I."

    Best of all is when we know the people we're being vulnerable with can identify with our circumstances.



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