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MIND: THE KEY FOR REAL LONG-LASTING CHANGE



The mental side of losing weight is often more difficult than the physical side, and during your workout and diet times, you might struggle more with your mental roadblocks than with anything else including working out and eating healthy.


Whether you've tried a diet and failed like many of us have, these cerebral hang-ups and habits can be overcome. Practice identifying your mental barriers and dedicate some time to breaking them down one by one.


The more barriers you break down the better you'll feel about yourself and the whole weight loss process and the more likely you'll be to succeed.


YOUR MIND


It is easy to stay in a familiar place, to maintain the same routine day after day, to do what you've been doing for months and even years, to stay within your comfort zone, immune to uncertainty and potential failure. We are designed to be safe, not to thrive. This is why 95% of the things we do are unconscious, yep, you read it right, you are only awake of just 5% of the things you are doing during your day.


Every day is a mental struggle, especially in the beginning and some days it will be all you can do to talk yourself into doing a workout or convince yourself to eat carrot sticks instead of a fast-food burger. Often, the physical work becomes the easy part while the mental part becomes more challenging.


However, I have good news for you, the more you practice something, the easier it gets! Implement a new healthy lifestyle as your habit, and you will begin to see the results of your hard work paying off, things that at some point seemed impossible to you but now they have become a routine.


HABITS: MAKE 'EM AND BREAK 'EM


A habit is a regular tendency or addictive practice that is difficult to give up. Some habits are good, such as exercising every morning at 6 a.m. But, there are other habits that are bad, such as having fast-food take out every night for dinner.


The trick is to identify the bad habits that are keeping you from achieving a healthy lifestyle and eliminate them while nurturing the good habits you've already established. But breaking a habit is not something easy nor something that happens overnight. It takes work and conscious attention, but it can and will happen if you want it to.


HOW TO BREAK HABITS

Recognition

Some people every time they are mad, happy, depressed, annoyed, elated, or sad, tend to find themselves in the kitchen rooting around for something to eat. It is important to recognize that this is a habit, so you can note your mood every time you go to the refrigerator, especially when it is emotionally driven.


Question Your Motives

Before you open a bag of chips, stop yourself and question your motive. Are you really hungry? Or is something else driving you to eat a box of cookies?


Divert Your Attention

Once you stop yourself from eating, you will then do something completely different and unrelated to food to break your pattern. Go outside, listen to music, organize your room, go for a walk, play with your kids, etc.


Confide In Others

Once you recognize your pattern of unhealthy habits, confide your habit to a friend, or partner. Ask them to help you break the patterns and call you out when they notice you falling back into your old ways. This support system will help you stick to your intention, and will be able to successfully break your patterns of unhealthy living.


ESTABLISHING A HABIT

Breaking bad habits is only half of the story, creating a new one is the other half. Experts say that if you can maintain a behavior for twenty-one to thirty consecutive days, it will then become a habit.


This might not sound like a long time, but if there's anything I have learned on breaking old habits and starting new ones, is that it is harder than it sounds, and you can see yourself getting out by day fourteen or so.


But if you can just stick with it and follow through with your plan of action, you'll feel better physically and emotionally. And the best part? When you repeat the behavior consistently, it really gets easier.


Choose A Habit

Choose what habit you want to start, formulate an intention to do that, by being specific. Example: Workout four days a week at 7 a.m. Write this intention down, repeat out loud and make it real (feel it).


Focus On One Habit At A Time

The number one mistake people make is to try to break all of their habits at once. This is simply overwhelming and chances are that you will end up failing to establish any habits at all. Give your full attention to just one habit, and then you can move to another one.


Take Actual Steps To Make That Habit A Concrete Reality

No more theorizing about "wanting" or "planning" to work out, now it's time to do it! Set your alarm for 6:30 a.m. get up, get ready, and go! You can make this easier by preparing your workout clothes, water bottle, and anything else that makes the mornings as smooth as possible the night before.


Tell Someone Your Intentions

Tell that friend or partner about your plans to wake up earlier to workout and ask them to check up on you. The more support you can get from friends, family, and colleagues, the more likely you'll succeed.


Stick To It No Matter What!

Some days you'll be tired, and staying up too late will be extra-tempting, but in less than a month you could make working out at 7 a.m. a habit. Isn't that worth the effort?


NEGATIVE SELF-TALK


One bad habit I notice in a lot of clients is negative self-talk. Many times they don't realize how they sound, but when they speak about themselves like they are defeated before they even begin.


It is important that you learn to speak positively and actively, speech is a very powerful tool and the words that come out of your mouth can actually shape your intentions. Learn how to speak in the present, and say "I am" and "I do" instead of "I want" or "I will". Tell yourself that you can do it, and it's more than likely you will!


MANTRAS


A mantra is a saying you repeat to yourself to encourage a positive response. your mantra can be whatever floats your boat. It doesn't have to be some sort of weird medieval chanting noise or a crazy breathing exercise. it can be anything you want that empowers and motivates you to push through the pain and achieve your goal.



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