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OK, we’ve overindulged during the festive season, so whilst we feel rested, we feel flabby. Time to lose those holiday pounds! We may not have a magic formula for losing the weight, but we have come up with a light-hearted look at how PRINCE2 could be part of an overall plan to help you. One serious note to begin with though: remember to seek expert medical advice before embarking on any weight loss programme and to check out our ‘Useful Links’ section for somewhere to begin your researches. Now, pounds away!

Project-manage your Diet. Before you start thinking that we’re taking weight loss way too seriously, it’s worth remembering that one of the reasons diets (and projects) fail is because they’re not controlled properly. Since it’s your own weight you’re trying to lose – this is an opportunity for you to take responsibility and manage it. Be your own boss.

Learn from Past Failed Diets. If you haven’t already tried – and failed – to lose weight before now, you’re one of the lucky ones. Most people are less fortunate. The trick is to learn from past mistakes. Consider the strengths and weaknesses of diets you’ve tried and those you haven’t. A chat with friends (helpful ones!), a glance at magazine articles, internet research and, most importantly, a conversation with your own medical practitioner, will help you capture lessons you should learn.

Prepare the Business Case. We said that one of the reasons diets fail is because they’re not managed properly. They also fail because dieters don’t think through why they’re trying to lose weight. First, ask yourself if you are trying to comply with medical advice, to generally get fit or squeeze into that special dress or suit for Valentines. Then establish how the diet and its results will contribute to your overall life objectives. Take this psychological step and, you never know, those pounds could be history.

Determine your Weight-loss Approach. When you diet there are so many approaches you can take. Will you cook at home following a plan or will you buy in calorie-controlled meals? Will you cycle to work to or join a gym? These are some of the many options and questions that you’ll need to consider.

Plan your Project. Anyone who’s been on a failed diet will tell you that without a plan you won’t lose a pound. Think about what you need to do, how you’re going to do it, who’s going to help you, the resources you’ll require, the schedule you’ll need to follow and how much it’s all going to cost.

Manage the Project in Stages. Your medical practitioner will tell you the best way to shed those holiday pounds but you might consider taking everything in stages. This will allow you to evaluate what you’ve done in one stage of your weight-loss project and plan what you’re going to do at the next stage.

Consider the Risk Management Strategy. Knowing how important it is to follow a safe diet and how easily plans can be derailed it makes sense to manage likely risks (remember, risks can be opportunities as well as threats). Assess the medical risks with your health practitioner. The social ones you could try doing yourself – we don’t know about you, but walking past cake shops and attending parties where the skinny host and hostess pile calories on the plate count as risks in our book. Whatever the risks, you need to work out how you’re going to manage them. And, at the risk of repeating ourselves, be sure to seek expert medical advice before you do anything; our useful links at the end could be a good place to begin your researches.

Manage your Stakeholders. We love them dearly, but family and friends can be supremely unhelpful when it comes to losing weight. As in any project, ignoring them doesn’t work so you need to manage them and their expectations – tactfully does it!

Finally, here’s to a flab-free 2013 for you!

Useful Links:

  • Before you start your diet always get expert advice. Organisations like the American Medical Association in the USA and the NHS website in the UK are two places to start. Wherever you are, make sure you go to your own expert medical practitioner.
  • Great learning results only come from great learning partners and facilitators. Our award winning learning collaboration with Virgin Media will explain why we can help you achieve your ambitions.
  • PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner qualifications are your ticket to more than weight loss; they’re a great way to improve your job prospects and career chances. And don’t forget our guaranteed pass for PRINCE2 Foundation!
  • PRINCE2 gives you the project management methodology and APMP gives you the tools. Find out what we mean at our APMP webinar.
  • Want to know more about PRINCE2? The Forum and its active members will help you.