Do You Suffer From Shiny Object Syndrome? Here’s a Prescription.

Lori Boxer
Weight★No★More℠ Diet Center

“We wants it. We needs it. Must have the Precious.” – Gollum, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers


As happens quite often, I recently read a great article, Hey Sales Reps: Stop Chasing Shiny Objects and Get to Work! by Larry Levine, sales guru, trainer and coach. Anyway, his article was about how sales organizations are focusing too much on the “shiny new thing” — “social selling” (encouraging sales reps to establish their own brands on social media and to do “virtual” prospecting for sales) —instead of doing the harder and consistent work of training and re-training their sales people in the fundamentals of sales: actual human-to-human engagement.


In case you’ve never heard of it, Shiny Object Syndrome is common in business among those who have a lot of ideas and energy and, too often, too little patience. 


Larry’s article immediately got me to thinking about how Shiny Object Syndrome is also common among those who are perpetually trying to lose weight. With little to no patience for the work required in using the fundamental tools and resources required for long-term habit-forming change, chronic overweight and obese perpetual dieters are attracted to the light of every shiny new quick-trick.


In business, SOS can result in people feeling drained from taking on too many opportunities, and it can also leave them feeling like they’ve accomplished nothing at the end of the day because they didn’t make progress on their priorities. 


In weight loss, SOS results in overweight and obese people feeling exhausted and drained from jumping from one shiny “2:00 a.m. quick-trick weight loss infomercial” or “celebrity” diet to the next, looking back over the many months and years seeing they’ve accomplished nothing except losing time and money.


In business, when a new idea or thought pops into your head it’s a good idea to do a quick assessment to determine if you should deal with it at that moment, set it aside for later, or discard it completely. Here are seven questions you might ask yourself before grabbing onto that shiny object. 


  1. Does this new thing perpetuate my vision or my goal?
  2. Does it embrace my purpose, passion, or cause?
  3. If I pursue it, can I be the very best at doing it?
  4. Have I optimized my core business? Have I taken advantage of every opportunity available in my current business?
  5. Do I have the resources to pursue it?
  6. Do I have the ability to finish this new project, plus implement and maintain it?
  7. Do I have too many open projects sitting on my desk that need to be finished before I begin something new?


In weight loss, when a new shiny “everyone’s doing it” weight loss gimmick presents itself, it’s a good idea to do a quick assessment to determine if you should join the crowd and go all-in, set it aside for later when your current (next-to-latest) shiny gimmick doesn’t bring results, or discard it completely. Here are seven questions you might ask yourself.


  1. Does this new quick-trick perpetuate my weight loss goal?
  2. Does it align with my passion to lose weight in a healthy manner?
  3. If I do this, can I do it for the long-haul?
  4. Have I optimized (or even attempted) the “core” way of losing weight to gain health–namely, eating from each of the food groups every day, using portion control, initiating some exercise or fitness into my life?
  5. How much resources (both in dollars and time) have I already expended on yo-yo dieting and the perpetual pursuit of shiny objects?
  6. Do I have the ability to not only lose weight with this shiny object, but is it one I can use to maintain my weight loss, as well as healthy and safe enough to implement in my household and my children?
  7. How many half-finished or unopened packaged foods, potions, powders, and pills do I still have in the house, “shiny objects” that didn’t work and/or that I never completed?


In business, it’s tough not to feel pressure to implement every best practice and top tool known to your industry (or to business in general). We’re all affected by the shiny object syndrome in one way or another, but they can (and almost always do) distract us and pull us away from our focus, diluting our efforts, if we let them.


In weight loss, it’s emotionally tough not to feel the pressure and pull of every new and shiny passion, potion, powder, package or pill that comes along, each promising miraculous results in the quickest way possible with the least (if any) amount of effort required. But, they always distract you from the what should be the focus: there are no short cuts to any place worth going, and that includes going down the path of hard work of lifestyle/diet change.


If you’re in business, ask yourself those 7 questions above. Take a moment to ensure your focus is on reaching out to and connecting with the clients/customers you want to attract to your business and the outcome you need to ensure, and not just the shiny object. Then, it may be that that new shiny object is no longer a no-brainer.


If you’re over-fat, ask yourself those 7 questions above. Take a moment to ensure your focus is on long-term results, achieved in a healthy, slow and steady and consistent manner. Reach out to those (weight loss professionals, personal trainers, exercise instructors, etc., friends and colleagues whose healthy lives and habits you look up to) who can help you achieve the outcome you want and need. Because in weight loss, the shiny object is NEVER a no-brainer. 


Whether in your business, or in your weight loss/fitness attempts, shiny objects only lead to spurts of shiny short-term happiness when starting something new. Wouldn’t you prefer the long-term and sustained happiness that comes from achieving, maintaining and enjoying long-term success?


So, when it comes to the shiny object, don’t be like Gollum (aka Sméagol, if you’re a Lord of the Rings purist!). You may think you want it. You may think you need it. Chances are . . . you don’t.


Learn about who we are and what we do at the Services and Programs pages, with particular emphasis on The Client, The Fees and The FAQs. Be educated, motivated, informed and inspired on all weight loss, diet, lifestyle, and health issues by following me at Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.