Flip Your Focus for Lasting Change
The quote "what the mind believes the body achieves" is a popular internet meme. It's a great motivator, but what's missing is the path to healthy beliefs.
The path does NOT start with these negative beliefs:
- I can't watch TV because I have to walk after dinner.
- I can't have soda because I have to drink more water.
- I can't go with you because I have to work out tonight.
No. No. No. Not. Not. Not.
Little wonder we abandon our plans and good intentions. The changes that last are the changes we make because we want to live them, because we choose to make them, and because we believe that those changes can make a difference in our lives.
The Path Starts with Goals that are SoSMART!
Any behavior change starts by setting a goal, but make your goals SoSMART or SMART to get the full benefit. Just a reminder, don't try to change a lot of behaviors all at once. One at a time is plenty. Here are some tips to help you find a positive mindset that will lead to permanent lifestyle changes.
First, Flip Your Focus
Instead of focusing on what you're giving up, remind yourself why you're making a change by adding one of the phrases "in order to" or "because I know" after the action, and fill in a reason that's meaningful to you. Examples:
- I'm walking after dinner because I know it will help me be able to climb stairs without running out of breath.
- I'm drinking a big glass of water because I know my body wants to be properly hydrated.
- I'm working out this evening because I know it will help me become strong enough to lift groceries out of the car.
Second, Add a Positive Spin
Once you're in the habit of reminding yourself why you are pursuing a healthy behavior change, take it up a notch by adding a few positive words before the action:
- I'm looking forward to walking after dinner because I know it will help me to climb stairs without running out of breath.
- I'm enjoying drinking this big glass of water because I know my body wants to be properly hydrated.
- I'm really excited about working out this evening because I know it will help me become strong enough to lift groceries out of the car.
Finally, Reward Yourself
Take a moment to give yourself a high five when you make a positive change!
- I'm really proud of myself for walking after dinner.
- I'm so glad I drank this big glass of water.
- I feel so good about working out this evening.
Believe in Yourself
The body achieves what the mind comes to believe. Add these beliefs to your SoSMART goals and see for yourself what a difference they can make in achieving better health.