Have you ever promised yourself you were going to: start an exercise campaign, stop smoking, eat healthier or maybe learn a foreign language? You may have started off with good intentions only to beat yourself up cause you quit a few weeks after trying to follow through on your New Years resolutions.
This is because the mind, which creates these thoughts or intentions of changing behavior operates just like a computer. Garbage in-Garbage out is how your mind operates. If you program your mind with self defeating, self-sabotaging thoughts & intentions, (garbage), all you will get is garbage results. Unfortunately, most of us have not been taught how to use our brains to their fullest potential, much in the same way we minimally learn or refuse to completely learn the wonderfully time saving and productive things that the software programs installed on our computer can do. And just like a computer software program, the end result is only as good as your proficiency in knowing how to use the program.
Humans are creatures of habit. Most behavior is habitual. Habitual thoughts are for the most part unconscious. Do you remember what it was like learning how to drive a car when you were a teenager? At first, you were probably very conscious and also very nervous of all the things you had to do and not do in order to prevent your car from crashing into a tree. But over time, you learned these new driving skills, became confident you could do them so much so, they became automatic and basically an unconscious activity (literally speaking for some horrible drivers out there, this is all too true!).
Some unconscious activities however, can manifest into physical results that can leave you feeling very unsatisfied about the way you look and feel about your life. For example, for the past couple of days around 4 pm, you experience low energy levels and hunger pains and think it would be a good idea to have a candy bar and coffee to get you through the rest of the day. You repeat this afternoon ritual (which is really a mental habit since youve convinced yourself the coffee and candy bar really work) day after day, unconsciously grabbing that coffee and candy bar, week after week, until after one year, you step on the scale and suddenly realize youve gained 20 pounds! Once you decide you are a fat slob, you beat yourself up over not having more self-control. So you start exercising and put yourself on a diet. But then you miss a few days of exercise and slack off the diet and once again beat yourself up for not having more self control. Garbage-in/Garbage-out.
If your goal is to lose weight, being specific helps you stay stay the course. Saying you want to lose 50 lbs is not specific enough for your brain to comprehend. Rather, focus on what clothes size you want to be. This should be a clothes size you have been before because your brain remembers what it is to be this size. Imagine how you will look in the mirror, how your new clothes feel around your body, how your mental focus and energy levels are increased as a result of losing that extra weight! Feel yourself lighter, more energetic, sexier and happier because of it. Think this often and believe its absolutely true (even if it might not be at the moment) every single day until these thoughts become automatic habits. You will find yourself going to the gym and practicing other weight-reducing healthy habits every day without even realizing it!
In order to reach your larger goal, you must make and follow through on smaller goals first. Eating well-balanced smaller meals throughout the day, chewing your food slowly, drinking lots of purified water, lowering your daily caloric intake and getting daily fat-burning exercise in like weight-lifting are all smaller goals that lead up to your one big goal of becoming fifty pounds less heavy.
When you engage in a repetitive thought or physical activity, for better or worse, certain synaptic pathways in the brain are activated over and over, literally carving neural grooves in your brain. If you repeat the same old negative thoughts, those habits literally become ingrained in your brain, but they are just as easily reversed with healthier habits of thought and activity set forth by conscious goal-making and active doing. Remember what the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve!
Christine Lynn Harvey is a certified clinical hypnotherapist who has clinical training in mind/body medicine from the Mind/Body Institute of Harvard Medical School. She also has clinical training in guided imagery from the Academy of Guided Imagery. She is publisher/editor of New Living Magazine and director of the New Living Life Empowerment Center in Stony Brook, NY where she offers private hypnosis sessions and healer certification courses. For more info, please call (631) 751-8819.