Strategies for Success

Like I said in my last post, creating goals using the SMART model can be a great way to help stick to those New Year’s resolutions. However, we are all human and know that slip up’s happen. My next 2 articles/writings will hopefully help people power through those struggles to continue on their successful journey! The first 2 strategies I would like to discuss are writing down your goals and visualization.

I’m a big believer in writing down your goals to help you succeed. Not only writing down those goals but also placing them somewhere that you will be constantly exposed to them. I think that writing down your goals is helpful is because it is a more physical manifestation of that goal. By that, I mean that a lot of people think of goals for themselves (and I do not mean to bash thinking about what your goals are, any time you are thinking of ways to improve yourself is time well spent in my book), but you took the time out of your day to actually write that goal down. That’s just one more step that you have taken to success. To me, it’s comparable to grocery shopping with and without a list. Without a list you might get most of the items you wanted, but you’re bound to forget at least something. On the other hand, if you have a list, you go in to the grocery store with a completely different mindset. You come in focused, determined, prepared and with a plan. You know what you want and you know how you plan to get what you want. It is the same thing between writing down a goal and keeping it in your mind. Written down what you want will make you clear, concise and focused. You are telling yourself what you want. By placing that goal somewhere that it will be frequently seen, you will help reinforce this goal or idea every time you see it. For example, every time you go to the bathroom, you will see “I want to be active at least 30 minutes every day.” It may not work the first time or the second time, it may be the 127th time, before you do some pushups during the commercial breaks of TV shows, but you know what, you will have done it. They say the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, well congratulations, you’ve taken that step.

The next little trick I would like to tell you all about is visualization. I first heard about this trick through the movie The Secret, and although I’m a believer in the law of attraction, this article is different from their usage of visualization, at least as I understood it. When I say visualization, I mean visualize yourself after you have achieved all of your resolutions, whatever they may be. Similar to how I just talked about writing down your goals and posting them where you can see them is a good reminder to stay on course, this is a visual reminder of what you are working towards. We all can lose sight at times and forget why we are doing what we’re doing. By visualizing your ideal self, you get a constant reminder of why you wake up early to hit the gym or meditate. A secondary little hint for those who want to get more muscular or increase their lean body mass, there is evidence out there that just visualizing your workout can lead to strength gains (I will post a link to the article at the end of this post).

As I’m talking about visualizing what your ideal end self looks like, I would like to stress the importance of not trying to rush the process. It has taken months, if not years to get to where you are now and change comes slowly. It is important not to get too down on yourself if things come along slower than expected or you slip up along the way. I will talk about this more in my next post. It may take longer than a month, unlike what all those fad diets promise. A little disclaimer about those fad diets, those are merely yoyo diets. They are not built to be sustainable; and sadly, a large percentage of those who lose weight put it all (and possibly more) back on again. Please do not try and rush the process, Rome is a beautiful city, and it wasn’t built in a day. Similarly, you’re all beautiful and the result, like Rome, will be worth the effort and the wait. Have faith in the journey, what you want in life will manifest itself soon. Be well my friends! Namaste

P.S. Here is the link I was talking about earlier http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/sportspsychology/a/thinkstrong.htm

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