Habits are stronger than goals #dontbreakthechain

by Volker Weber

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As I was looking at my collection of photos in BLACK I could not help noticing the difference a few years make. So I put these two photos together in a collage and posted them to Twitter and Instagram. Lots of encouragement and some funny remarks. And no, there was no Photoshop involved, just BLACK. Ute shot the fat vowe photo with a serious camera while I was in a TV studio and I shot the other one with the iPhone 7 Plus just yesterday.

The difference in appearance is not caused by setting myself a weight loss goal. It has a very simple cause: I changed one habit. Exactly one. I started walking, daily. Over time, these walks got longer as I was getting stronger. There were setbacks, but when I got back on my feet I started walking again.

And with all the walking I became more mindful of my body. I started questioning other habits. What do I drink, what do I eat? How is what I eat and drink helping my body? Eating and drinking are also habits, and sometimes they are really bad habits. Maybe you don't really need a pasta or a pizza for lunch, at least not five times a week. So I started forming new habits, like eating one apple each day, or never eating more than two slices of bread per meal.

Since my knee currently does not respond well to lots of walking, I have reduced my daily calorie burn from 600 to 360. But I am keeping my habits. And my body weight continues to trend towards "normal".


Don't set yourself a goal. You may fall back to your old habits once you reach it. I would advise you to change one or two key habits. It takes something like two months to form them. Stop smoking, eat less every day, exercise more, quit fizzy drinks, just pick what you like. And then do not break the chain.

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" or literally "A journey of a thousand li starts beneath one's feet" is a famous Chinese proverb. A year from now you will wish you started today.


Ich freue mich für Dich! Du scheinst Dich sehr wohl zu fühlen.
Ich habe nicht die Möglichkeiten, Dein "Set Up" nachzumachen.
Ich versuche mein "Set Up" zu halten ;-)

Heiko Müller, 2017-06-23

Der eine ist zu moppelig, ja, schon, doch der andere sieht nicht gesund aus, sondern wie nach einer schweren Krankheit oder einem Hungerstreik. Gibts da denn keinen gesunden Mittelweg? ;-)

Dieter Schmidt, 2017-06-24

Ach Schmarrn, der guckt nur so ernst ...

Respekt, Volker! Auch wenn's bei mir nie so nach oben ging, kann ich nur voll zustimmen. Bewegung ist das A&O, bewusste und gesunde Ernährung, ohne dogmatisch zu werden und den Genuss zu verlernen, das andere. Dann kommt der Spaß von alleine. Viel Glück weiterhin!

Jochen Kattoll, 2017-06-24

Heiko, Du musst das nicht nachmachen. Es geht nur darum, das Angewohnheiten stärker sind als Vorsätze. Das zeigt langfristig immer Erfolg.

Dieter, das sieht nur auf diesem Bild so aus.

Danke, Jochen. Ich hatte einfach sehr schlechte Angewohnheiten.

Volker Weber, 2017-06-24

Kudos, sir! I've started reminding myself that what I do today is a gift not only to myself and family in the present, but also one small piece of what I build for my future self. I very much like your statement about focusing on habit, rather than obsessing about a goal. Thank you.

Joe Litton, 2017-06-24

In private conversation somebody told me just yesterday that habits are at least ten times stronger than goals.

Volker Weber, 2017-06-24

Once again, you have boiled down a complex problem to a simple truth.

Richard Schwartz, 2017-06-25

Das ist eine wirklich tolle Leistung und das wirklich wichtigste daran ist das du dich dabei gut fühlst.

Christian Ott, 2017-06-26

Good for you Vowe. Congrats!

Ken Bisconti, 2017-06-28

I came up with the same thought Richard did. I'm two stone lighter essentially using the idea you've expressed here. I have further to go and it seems to be a slow road I'm on. The bit I take from you is to keep going and I will prevail.

Jason Hook, 2017-06-28

I had to look it up. Two stone is more than 12 kg. That is already a great achievement. Just carry on and you will add pebble by pebble.

Volker Weber, 2017-06-28

"A year from now you will wish you started today." Sehr schoen gesagt.

Juergen Heinrich, 2017-06-29

Wow, I would not have recognized you. Awesome! ... Good thing, that the body can change while the brain stays about the same - or gets better ;-)

Stefan Heinz, 2017-07-13

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