Applying business planning to personal goal planning

Frustrated with my lack of progress in losing the weight I’ve gained over the last 3 years, I decided I had to apply business planning to personal goal planning. And, I had to make it a game that I wanted to win. That would require a longed-for goal, a reward for achieving it, regular measurement, daily practice and small awards along the way.

In order to keep myself focused on winning, I had to make it fun and I had to really want the reward. Obviously, the reward of weighing less is feeling better, having more energy, being faster on the ski slope, and fewer aches and pains.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t motivating me to change my daily practice. So, on one of those annoying traffic filled drives to a 1-2-1, I came up with a game that was all about rewards. Shaming myself hadn’t worked in the past, so no shame allowed.


Here is the game I set up:

The goal: Lose 11 pounds.

Reward when I get there and keep it there for 2 months: A bracelet with a few diamonds and sapphires to match my wedding band. Cost to be determined.

Regular measurement: weigh in every morning. Record it on a chart.

Daily practice: No sweets or bread/wheat products. Value $10/day.

No alcohol. Value $10/day. Maximum daily award $20.

Each week, I must earn at least $100.



I went to the bank and took out a bunch of 10’s and 20’s.

I created a chart and posted it in the bathroom.

I taped up an envelope to collect the daily rewards.

I started the next day, even though it was mid-week.


So far, 10 days in, I’m enjoying the game. I’ve lost two pounds.  I know I have up to $40 I can blow off each week so I’m not feeling deprived. And, further, when I had a glass of wine, I didn’t have 2 just because I’d already forfeited $10. I confirmed with myself that I wanted both the weight loss and the bracelet. And, it was a lovely glass of wine.

I think when I get down 5 ½ pounds (1/2 way to the goal) I’ll go to the jeweler who made the ring and figure out the design of the bracelet. Maybe even place the order.

If you have a personal goal that keeps slipping because you can’t find a daily practice to get you there, perhaps breaking it down as I have may help you get there. I’ll keep you posted on how this is going.



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