If You Want To Change Your Body, Resolve To Change Your Mind
I have been coaching people for upwards of a decade and when I look at those who have created the success they are seeking, they all have one thing in common. They have a shift in mindset.
When the new year rolls around, people start scrambling. Searching for a new diet or the perfect program so you can finally lose weight. Maybe you’re seeking out a new workout program or gym because you are going to “hit it hard” and have a six pack by spring break! Some of you are probably evaluating your health and ways you can improve it in the coming year. Afterall, you aren’t going to live forever so you better start taking action.
The trouble is, without changing your mindset, changing behaviors will never work. Sure, you can change your behavior temporarily. But as humans, we have a much stronger drive to make decisions based on emotion rather than logic. Yes, even you accountants who think you make ONLY logical decisions. Sorry to break the news to you but you are driven by emotion just like the rest of us!
The evidence of this has never been stronger than in decisions regarding our health and fitness. We know logically what we “should” be doing but damn it! Emotions continually get the best of us and we end up right back where we started. The simple fact is we are emotional based decision makers and therefore, New Year’s Resolutions don’t work. We cannot change behavior because the calendar year has changed and expect permanent, life-altering change. It is humanly impossible.
So what can we do to create lasting change? We start by resolving to change our thoughts and mindset first.
Like most people, this time of year for me involves planning for the coming year. Rather than arbitrarily establishing the actions I will take, I start by looking closely at my mindset.
What are my current thoughts in terms of business? Am I engaging in positive self-talk and laying out realistic action steps to achieve my goals or am I just “hoping”? (As an important side note here, hope doesn’t work. You can hope for whatever you want but without the mindset and realistic, actionable steps in place, you will be hoping your life away.)
In my personal life, what are my most prevalent thoughts? What improvement would I like to create in my relationship with myself and others?
Intellectually, where do I spend my time? Is that aligned with my desire to further my ability to reach others through writing and speaking?
In my physical training, what do I say I want to accomplish? Is that confirmed by the time I dedicate to my training or do I need to adjust my expectations?
In the end, I came up with this list for what I will accomplish in 2020…
- I will complete my first book. I can and will inspire others to live to their purpose with a fulfilling life.
- I will not allow my confidence to slip out of fear. I will continue to wear my confidence with pride because if I want the world to find confidence in me, I need to be confident in myself.
- I will slow myself down from creating too much work by dedicating more time to my family each day.
- I will continue to nurture the authentic relationships I have created with others in my life.
- I will train less volume but do so with more intention and purpose.
After careful consideration, I am satisfied my mindset is aligned with the tasks I have set out for the coming year and therefore, there is no risk of failure. The tasks are solidly grounded in intentional work, not hope.
Failure only appears when we have unrealistic expectations and our goals aren’t aligned with our mindset.
Start the new year by asking yourself what your actions show about what you value most in life. Our actions don’t lie. Where we spend our time, our money and our mental energy are pretty darn good indicators of what really matters to us. Now ask yourself if your goals for your physical body and health are aligned with your actions. If not, why? Are your actions in opposition to you achieving your goals or are your goals unrealistic considering what you truly value?
Changing your mindset is the only way to achieve sustainable change. It requires us to accept the truth and be vulnerable enough, to be completely honest about what we want.
What is it you really want? Whatever it is, you can make it happen. Evaluate your thoughts and mindset first. Behaviors become simple to change once we have resolved to change our minds.
Here’s to making 2020 your year! A year of authenticity and a shift in mindset.