Growing healthy habits your weight loss garden

Think of your weight loss journey as like a garden—in order for it to flourish, you need to plant the right seeds, and water them so they can grow.

Below is a table for you to record your ideas and reflections as you tend to your weight loss garden. Like any garden, it needs time to grow, but it also needs thought and attention. Considering each challenge, success, failure, and inspiration as it comes to you is a great way to let your garden flourish. Reflecting on your journey so far can help you realise not just what you’ve achieved up to now, but what else you’re capable of as you keep going.

Ask yourself:Record your thoughts and ideas:
What grew? What new strategies that you tried flourished the most? Why do you think that is?Of course, you may have had a few weeds grow, too—what bad habits are proving particularly difficult to root out? Why do you think that is, and can any of your positive new habits help defeat the weeds?
What died? What strategies haven’t worked, and why? Perhaps you tried a type of food or exercise that you really hated and just couldn’t see yourself sustaining. How have you responded to this? Have you found something else to put in its place? On the flipside, consider whether some things that died are actually better off dead! What negative feelings or habits do you feel you’ve overcome on your journey so far?
What would I plant again? What new foods or exercises would you like to try again, or do you find yourself returning to? Why did you find them so beneficial and worth repeating? Remember that just because something grows doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll plant it again. Exercise, in particular, is more effective—and more fun—when you keep trying different things.
What new things do I want to plant? What new exercises or foods do you want to try that you think might benefit your weight loss journey? Why do you think they’ll be worth trying? Remember to keep yourself informed—new developments in health and fitness happen all the time, and you don’t want to miss out on anything potentially worthwhile.
What needs to be moved? Particularly where exercise is concerned, doing the same thing again and again is soon going to stop having any benefits. Shock your body and beat your weight loss plateaus by trying new things as often as you can. What exercises, recipes, or habits are you tiring of that could be replaced with something different?
What needs a rest? Just as soil needs to rest and regenerate from time to time, so do some of your habits—even healthy ones. Don’t overdo anything to the point where you exhaust or injure yourself and have to take time off. Recognise when your body needs a break, and remember that taking a rest sometimes is healthy, too. What do you feel ready to take a break from?
What took place that I couldn’t control?Perhaps you have a medical condition that mean you have to avoid certain types of exercise or foods, or that affects the rate at which you can safely lose weight. Then consider what you can control, and how effectively you’re managing it. Are you taking full responsibility for what is in your control? How?
What’s changed since this time last year?Think of how you looked, felt, and acted this time last year. How have you changed? How has your outlook to healthy living shifted on a practical, physical, and physical level? What do you think is better or worse than it was this time last year?
What do I want to change by this time next year? Now imagine yourself in a year’s time. What further changes do you think you’ll have made as a result of your healthy life journey—practically, physically and psychologically? How do you think you’ll look, feel, and act?

Click here for a handy PDF version of this chart for you to print and complete