1. Stop jumping on the latest diet bandwagon. This puts a lot of stress and pressure on you to conform to a diet with rules, that you will never continue. It also will bring on guilt, frustration, and eventually the weight, once the diet stops. Instead, start by making a simple change, such as cutting back (not necessarily cutting out) on alcohol or sweet drinks.
2. Stop "shoulding" yourself. Yes, there are a lot of things in life that we "should" be doing, but life is chaotic and you need to cut yourself some slack. All this "shoulding" causes stress, which we know is not helpful for weight loss. Instead, consider allowing yourself an occasional treat and actually ENJOY it, rather than feel guilty about it.
3. Stop doing exercise that you don't enjoy. Staring at a blank wall while you walk on a treadmill can't be anyone's idea of fun. Find an activity that you think you might enjoy or is interesting to you. Don't worry about how many calories you are going to burn, just do something that requires your body to move (martial arts, dancing, yoga, cycling, swimming, weights). Got nothing? Then find an activity that is tolerable and pair it with something fun like a friend, a good book or show, or some amazing music. Finally, don't spend hours in the gym, if you are just starting out, see if you can do some activity for 15 or 20 minutes a day, to start. Spoiler: Exercise is not the end all be all to weight loss, what and how much you eat is. Exercise can help with weight loss, but it's strength is weight maintenance and all the other fantastic benefits that you get such as improved heart health, stress reduction, better skin, improved mobility and strength, etc.
4. Stop eating like your in college with no money (unless you are in college with no money). Ramen noodles and cup o noodles are not the ideal foods for your pantry. Aim for 2 vegetables at dinner with a source of protein and a source of whole grain or starch, found close to nature. Need an example? Try a salad, broiled parmesan asparagus, brown rice or quinoa and grilled fish.
5. Stop eating like you are a college football player. You are a busy person, but your body is not moving as much as it used to. Likely you are sitting at a desk most of the day, then sitting in a car, then sitting while you eat dinner or help with homework - don't confuse busy with active. Your body does not need a lot of energy going in when you sit a lot. If you have gained 5 pounds or more in the last year or two, then you need to re evaluate how much is going in. Even if you are eating healthy, there is such a thing as "too much of a good thing".
My specialty is helping busy professionals to organize their life and their pantry to see increased energy and easy weight loss. If you have been struggling, check out my free ebook to learn about the 7 steps to transforming you body inside and out.