Resolution time is here again. The time when most of us just naturally seem to have a little more drive to better ourselves in some way. I’ve often written about ways to achieve the goals we set for ourselves.
Last fall, when I started researching mental techniques to improve my golf game, it dawned on me that I could apply the methods I learned to other goals as well. The following approaches can be used to keep the fire burning under your New Years resolutions for health and fitness.
- To achieve a personal goal, take some quiet time to close your eyes and visualize yourself looking, feeling, or acting in the way you would like. Deep breaths, relaxation, and a detailed visual image will begin to reprogram your mental picture of the way things should be. This technique is a common tool used by some of the most successful professional athletes.
- Your subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between what is imagined and what is real. Regular time spent in positive visualization can lead to powerful changes.
- Be careful what you say when you talk to yourself. Again, your subconscious mind takes the information you provide and goes with that program. If you say “I’m so fat,” your subconscious mind simply tries to provide you with those results. It also lacks a sense of humor. If you thump your head and murmur, “what an idiot,” your subconscious mind believes you. When you catch yourself thinking or saying something negative about yourself and your progress toward your goal, stop. Rewrite the thought and express the positive image to replace the negative one.
- Regular use of affirmations can also shore up your determination and increase your progress. Affirmations are statements, thoughts, or feelings that affirm what you are doing, have done, or wish to do. Two types of affirmations are helpful. I am: A statement about you. (I am competent, brave, calm, strong, energetic, enthusiastic, etc.) I will: A statement that expresses positive change in your life. (I will like myself better, lose weight, treat myself better, stop smoking, etc.) You can easily fit your affirmations into your lifestyle. Try adding some to your morning shower, daily commute, or to the time before you fall asleep.
Once you get started, it’s easy to reprogram the negative thoughts that hold you back. With a minor switch to a positive approach, your payoff can be major improvements in your health and fitness.