Weight Loss and Self-Improvement 2017 Goals



Weight Loss and Self Improvement Thoughts for 2017

I’m not a big fan of self-improvement style goals for myself personally, but I do find most self-improvement material to have an implicit (sometimes explicit) theme that “If it doesn’t work for you, then there’s something wrong with you.”

One of the more aha moments came when I was reading Neil Fiore”s “The Now Habit,” about overcoming procrastination. He explains how most people with procrastination issues tend to be perfectionists, and that typical self-improvement advice is counterproductive because it increases underlying stress.

The idea/theory that not everyone functions the same has become one of my key tenets of understanding the world. It seems as if generalized apathy and toxic negativity are more prevalent problems than an abundance of the opposite, so if motivational and positive thinking work for you, that’s great! Ignore my advice and go with whatever works. It’s better to immerse yourself in pollyanna postivity than toxic negativity.

I get the best results when I keep goal-setting and accountability to a minimum, but that seems to be a solution for a minority of the population. However, with a potentially longer life, higher energy levels, and more free time, there are some areas I’d like to work on. I plan to create several resource-type blog posts as I do research on the following areas.

I really like yellow ducks. These are chatty ducks.

Small talk and related social skills: I have always tried to make progress with these valuable interpersonal tools, and actually got to the point where I was becoming adept with them. Unfortunately, my skill level atrophied over the years. I found I was fully competent in a professional context, but never made much progress otherwise.

Now that I’m losing weight, I’m finding that small-talk skills and techniques have started “magically” improving with every 10-day period of fasting. One technique that I found works really well comes from Olivia Fox Cabane. She notes the importance of making sure to take compliments well.

I used to start hedging whenever someone complimented me on weight loss. I’d point out that fasting was easy compared to all the other diets I had tried. Taking Cabane’s advice to heart, I now just say “Thanks, it was a lot work,” or something to that effect. This is still true, but the reaction I get from others is much better.

Clothing style: I’ve improved a lot over the years with regard to fashion and style, but there’s always room for betterment. Being overweight makes it very hard to dress well. One significant improvement came when I got down to a 44 pant size and no longer had to deal with overturn around the belt loop or having to wear suspenders.

I’m putting off really working on the apparel/fashion component until I get down to goal weight, but this is something that I’m looking forward to working on. One problem area of note is shoes. My selection has become increasingly restrictive because of foot problems, but with weight loss, I’m hoping I can at least start wearing New Balance’s snazzy Dunham line of slightly dressy loafers.

Professional and work goals: Faced with a dismal health outlook, I lost motivation to work at money-making opportunities. Between selling domain names and some passive income, I expected to be financially okay, by myself, indefinitely. Now that an early death due to a heart attack or something seems like a somewhat remote possibility, I find myself, more and more, becoming a workaholic.

I’m attending to three core projects currently: brokering brandable domain names, creating a DVD for bankruptcy lawyers, and maintaining this blog. If these don’t pan out within a reasonable time period, I could either get a more traditional job or return to law practice.

When the economy was decent, I got a legal practice up and running relatively quickly until the 2008 great recession hit. Now, with the economy back to about where it was and the increased ease of pretty much any interpersonal interaction, I expect it wouldn’t be hard to get started again.

My ideal backup plan would be retail management. My favorite jobs ever were a summer position at Publix during college, and working part-time, for a year, at Barnes and Noble. Not staying with Barnes and Noble in hopes of a management position was one of my more sub-optimal life decisions.

In 2012, I experienced significant foot problems that still recur occasionally, but with the weight loss I think I can handle a significant amount of standing if a career demands it.

I could purchase some kind of a business. A restaurant would be fun and I think I’d enjoy owning one, but even though dining out with friends (while fasting) is not a problem, constant exposure to food aromas might be a bad idea in the long haul.

Dating and relationships: Before the weight loss, I had gone a significant time period without trying to date and was basically resigned to “perpetual single” status.

One piece of advice for men is to not try online dating until you are at your goal weight. Online dating for men can be extremely appearance driven. Compared to in-person socializing, the effort expended tends to slow weight loss. Reality also seem to “out-perform” photos by about 50 pounds or so. I expect photos will start to catch up with in-person appearance as body fat approaches the 12 percent range. Plus, being new on the sites seems to attract more profile views and member responses, so you really only get so many first impressions.

Also I find that thinking about dating consumes a significant amount of “emotional energy” that could best be expended on weight loss and professional issues.

Moving: Once I get things more stabilized professionally (and I already seem to be making progress), I plan to move to another city. I’ve noticed that when people change cities, there seems to be an initial period where they get a sort of “new-person bonus” in terms of socializing. In order to maximize this benefit, I want to be at goal weight before I move.

I currently reside in Memphis, Tenn., which is, in many ways, a small town. It seems like everyone here knows everyone else, but on the bright side, Memphis is not an expensive place to live.

Ideally, I want to relocate to a low cost of living area that has a vibrant blogging and startup community, and that is accessible to the Southeast. My current shortlist includes Nashville, Dallas, Austin, and Washington, DC.