Influencing your subconscious mind to achieve your fitness goals is the secret to success. You always start a new fitness program with the best of intentions, but easily and very quickly fall off the wagon. Life gets in the way or you lose that early rush of motivation, and slowly land back at square one. Achieving your goal becomes a hard and uncomfortable process and you decide to give up. Whatever fitness goals you have, you must undergo a mental makeover that would help break your old habits.
1. Setting goals and writing them down – The most effective tool to apply for attaining success in fitness – is to set your goals and write them down. This process gives you direction and helps you in knowing exactly what you want to achieve. It also helps you to stay focused telling your brain that it is important to you. Goals when written down, go high on your important list, thereby shift your attention, and change your behavior by creating energy, enthusiasm and the drive to get them done. Whether you want to lose weight, build muscle or just be more strong and energetic, your goals should be very clear, specific, measurable, attainable and time-bound having realistic deadline.
Be absolutely clear what you want to achieve with a definite end result, why it is important to you, how would it make you feel etc. Be very specific and narrow it down to smallest detail. It takes time to accomplish goals and sometimes it can feel that you are not making any progress therefore you need to have concrete criteria for measuring your progress. Create long-term goals as they give the ‘big picture’ in mind of what you wish to finally achieve. Break these bigger long-term goals into smaller, more manageable mini goals. By doing so, you will have more rapid feedback, monitor progress and modify accordingly. Since short-term goals are easily achievable in the near future, you will also be dealing with less negative experiences and increase your feeling of success. Make your goals time bound as this will establish to create a sense of urgency but it is important to set realistic deadlines. Usually, it is not the goal that’s unrealistic, but the deadline.
2. Creating a clear picture and visualizing yourself achieving them – Visualization refers to making mental pictures or movies – it’s thinking without words. The brain thinks in pictures. Visualize your goals that you wish to manifest, create images of your ideal body and make that picture as clear and detailed as possible. Picture yourself taking the daily action steps necessary for you to achieve the end result of your goals.
When you fall asleep at night visualizing about your goals as already achieved, your subconscious mind will continue to work on how to achieve them while you’re sleeping, and then adjusts your actions during the next day to move you closer to your goals.
3. Focusing on it often with positive energy – Think of your idea or mental picture often during quiet meditation periods and casually throughout the day. By doing so, it will be integrated into your life, making it more of a reality. Focus on it clearly, in a light and relaxed way. It is crucial to not feel like you are putting too much pressure on yourself while reaching that goal. This tends to hinder rather than help.
Sometimes people have perfectly good intentions, but they unwittingly allow their subconscious to work against themselves by thinking and focusing more on what they don't want. As famous writer Louise Hay says, “The more you dwell on what you don’t want, the more of it you create.” The instant you catch yourself focusing on a negative or self-defeating thought, interrupt it! Mentally imagine a big rubber stamp that says “CANCEL” and stamp it out. Soon you’ll find that your mind switches its polarity and the negative thoughts pop up less.
4. Having belief and faith - Faith, is simply having an unshakeable belief that you will reach your goalseven though you don’t see them. When you have faith, the possibility of failure never enters your mind and you see no other option possible then the vision you hold. Faith is not driven by the mind, it is driven by the subconscious, the gut instinct. It is something that is felt and believed with every inch of your body. In fact your body should be so full of faith, that there should not be even smallest room for doubt. You must believe in your heart that you are worth the dreams you chase of having a fit, healthy body. Believe that it is possible, you are capable and willing to do whatever it takes. The belief change can happen in an instant but you should know that the major physical changes will always take time and won't be instantaneous.
5. Creating habit of positive self-talk —Psychologists estimate that we think up to 60,000 thoughts a day and 98% of these thoughts are the sameones we had yesterday – most of them negative. Just imagine the impact that thousands of your own “thought commands” have on influencing your subconscious mind. That’s why it’s so important for you to take conscious control over your speech and mental dialogue and program your brain with positive instructions. If you want to be successful at getting leaner or any other endeavor in life, you must take charge, and literally re-program your brain for success by positive self-talk.It will take time to overwrite the old programming, but it can be done.
The first step is to become conscious of what you are thinking and saying. When you are struggling with your lifestyle change and find yourself saying, "I don't know if I can do this. I can't do this. I can't ..." Hit the stop button. Get your mind right. You'll be surprised at the difference in power, strength, and desire positive self-talk will make. Telling yourself, "I can" will help you feel empowered and mentally tough.
6. Repeating positive affirmations - Affirmations are sentences aimed to affect the conscious and subconscious mind. Repeating affirmations automatically brings up related mental images into the mind, affecting the subconscious mind. This influences your behavior, habits, actions and reactions. Psychologists have proven that repetition is an effective way to penetrate and program the subconscious mind. Companies spend billions of dollars on advertisements every year based on this fact. Why is it that people reach for Coke, Pepsi, Colgate, Marlboro, Palmolive and other brand-name items? It’s because the repetition of the advertising has penetrated their subconscious minds and moved them to action.
Likewise you can use the power of repetition to influence your own subconscious of your fitness goals.It is a simple yet powerful technique. There are many ways to do affirmations. They can be done silently, spoken aloud, written down or even sung or chanted. A simple 10 minute a day of repetitive effective, positive affirmations is needed. Always phrase the affirmations in the present tense as if it has already happened.The ultimate purpose of using positive affirmations is to help you permanently change the negative “tape” that runs over and over in your mind every day. When you reach the point where your positive affirmations become your new habitual way of thinking and speaking, the results will astound you and what you’ve been imagining about your fitness goals will start to materialize in your life.
Sleep is a divine law and you spend one third of your entire life in sleep. Your subconscious mind never rests or sleeps. It is always active, controlling all your vital forces. Your heart, lungs, and all your vital organs function while you are asleep, they do not rest. The reason why your healing process takes place more rapidly while you are asleep is there is no interference from your conscious mind.
Getting into the habit of setting aside a few minutes every night, right before sleep, to repeat your affirmations is the fastest way to convince the subconscious of almost anything and maximizing your results. You can read them out loud or repeat them in your mind when you are in bed, just on the verge of falling asleep. As soon as you lay down to sleep, your body relaxes and your brain shifts its frequencies from the busy beta to the relaxed alpha. This means the information is absorbed directly by the subconscious mind, without any resistance or effort on your side. The thinking mind with all the “buts” and “ifs” gets out of the way, making room for the assimilation of any idea. If you integrate this habit into your life, not only will you accelerate your results, but you will also improve your sleep since repeating affirmations right before sleep will enhance your mood, keep you from worrying over what will happen the next day helping you to fall asleep much faster. You will most likely wake up with a positive feeling too.
The 3 D's of fitness success are having Discipline, Dedication and Determination. The 3 D’s work in synergy and are inter-connected therefore if you take out one, the other two won’t work.
As anyone who has achieved weight loss goal knows, that it requires a lot of discipline. You have to go into a different state of mind. You have to do ‘it’ day-in and day-out. You can’t do it for few days and then stop. This means that you must be willing to sacrifice many things in order to accomplish your goals. You need to control your impulses, emotions, desires and behaviour and also able to turn down immediate pleasures and instant gratification in favour of gaining the long term satisfaction and fulfilment from achieving higher and more meaningful goals. If you want something bad enough, you will take any necessary measures to get into a discipline. Discipline is achieved by practising honesty, integrity and sincerity. It is a habit that can be learned if not possessed naturally and it takes practice. It grows over time with consistency and progressive practice. Discipline is what gives you power to transform and maintain the changes that you want to see while also giving you the freedom to live on your own terms.
It is a quality that you must possess in order to see your goal through. To achieve anything, takes time. Dedication is hard work and NEVER giving up. Exercise is actually a long-term dedication. From the moment you set your mind on losing weight, until you step on that scale and see the number you have been waiting for, you have to be dedicated to the process of achieving that goal. Dedication is to devote completely with heart and mind both. So many people set a goal on January 1 and by January 31 it’s out the window. There is always a temptation to stay in bed and hit the snooze button, but you need to be driven, you need to be dedicated, and you need to be consistent. When it comes to health and fitness, it can’t just be a fad or passing thing. Your body isn’t going to change overnight. You have to be dedicated to the daily grind and make it a lifestyle change.
It is often described as the quality that makes you continue to try or achieve something that is difficult and you are determined to never give up. No matter what it takes, you will be successful. It takes courage to try again and again and again, no matter how many times. It is that power/will in one to say YES even when all the words in his life’s dictionary have turned to NO. Truly believing that you are 110% determined to accomplish your set goals. If you do not believe this, you have defeated yourself mentally. Losing weight is the number one resolution made each year and only 8% of people are successful in achieving their resolution. You have to be serious and determined if you are going to succeed. Determination comes about by being specific. It’s not enough to say, ‘I want to lose weight”. Be more specific and say “I want to lose ten pounds in three months”. If you are not determined, you will not accomplish it.