If you’ve ever had a problem managing your weight, there is one consistent thing you’ll notice across most diets. Each one tells you that you have to visualize what and how much you eat. The theory is that you eat more than you realize. By visualizing what and how much you eat, you can begin to see what you’re doing wrong and then begin to make better choices to cut back. This theory can be directly applied to your work in progress.

We all have a tendency to start things and often fall prey to not following through. By visualizing what you are working on, you can begin to identify patterns that occur when you are generally not as successful as you would like to be. Once you identify those patterns, you can begin to plot changes that can begin to affect your success. Usually, this will consist of reduction of an intake amount — be it food or work.

Additionally, you may find you’re filling up on all starches and never eating your vegetables. Ensure that you’re working on the right work. Know what is most important and valuable at any given time and ensure you work on that. Realize that you can’t survive on new features alone nor on only maintenance. You have to have a well-balanced intake of WIP over time.

So, as you think about the new year and are still trying to make resolutions, don’t just focus on reducing how much you eat. Understand the underlying principle and apply it to more than just food. Put your WIP on a diet as well!