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Creating a goal or vision board before weight-loss surgery

A goal or vision board is a visual representation of the milestones that a person wishes to accomplish in the future. The goal board may have pictures, words, or phrases on it and can be almost any size. This vision board can be made out of posterboard, a regular-sized piece of paper, or even a bulletin board if things will be added or replaced often.

To start a goal board, pull out some old magazines or newspapers and start perusing them for words, phrases, and images that represent future goals. For example, a swimsuit might represent one that you could wear after losing the first 50 pounds after weight loss surgery. A person laying on the beach may represent the ability to travel once you are able to fly safely when you are at a healthy weight. Other goals can also be unrelated to your weight, such as a newer car, a house, or a diploma to symbolize graduating from college. When choosing words and phrases, make them positive and inspirational.

After the goal board is completed, it's best to hang it in an area that is seen every day, such as an office wall, the bathroom mirror, or in the kitchen. If you are married and/or have children, it might be fun to make the creation of a goal or vision board into a family activity. However, don't force them to participate if they aren't interested- they are unlikely to push themselves to accomplish items on their vision board if they didn't want to create one in the first place.

Once the board is hung, many weight loss surgery patients may find it beneficial to create milestones and deadlines for each major goal. For example, the goal of fitting into a size 8 can be broken down by segments of weight loss. Creating a deadline for every 20 pound weight loss can help patients stay on track by continuing to be motivated. Once a goal is met, circling it with a bright marker or writing "DONE!" over the image on the goal board will remind you of what you've accomplished.

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