How To Lose Fat For Good!
“we ware what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
In order to succeed in anything in life we must first understand ourselves. Socrates said it best when he said that we must “ know thy self”. Interestingly enough if you look further down the line to another great philosopher called Aristotle he also made a claim about excellence where he stated: “we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
These two statements are extremely powerful but unfortunately fail to be grasped to their full extent. The keys to achieving your goals in life are actually hidden deep inside yourself and must first be discovered before you can unlock your success. Reflection and self-analysis is what is required if you really want to excel. The reason it is important to be able to take a long, hard, objective look at yourself is because if you don’t understand why you do specific actions on a repetitive basis and without thinking, then you’ll never be able to improve yourself and achieve what is desired.
We like to think that we’re in control of our actions because it gives us the perception of control over our lives, but the truth of the matter is that the majority of the time we’re actually unconscious to the majority of the things that we do… Have you ever driven to work and arrived at your office with no recollection of the actual driving trip. In these situations you’re on auto-pilot. You’re responding to routines and habits that you’ve instilled in yourself which allow you to save energy. It takes away the need to waste psychic energy on a specific task because you now have the process ingrained in your brain. Habits allow you to wire your brain in a specific way that allows you to reduce the amount of energy that you expend. The problem is, what kind of habits do we actually have? There can be positive habits such as drinking two to three glasses of water first thing in the morning and negative habits such as smoking.
The point is, we end up doing a lot of our actions on a habitual basis which then makes us unaware to what could be causing our problems. Usually something triggers a behaviour in us that makes us take a specific action without truly being aware of it. For example a smoker may feel the need to light up a cigarette every time a stressful situation occurs. Now, during the day he may feel stressed out numerous times and so, feels the need to smoke at each time, but he or she may not be aware that stress is the actual stimulator. The focus will be on an event and the by-product of that stress will be smoking. Now imagine a jam-packed day with one hundred and one things going on, with your focus all over the place. You don’t really have time to think “Oh, I think it’s time for my cigarette now because I feel a slight increase in stress” That doesn’t usually happen, you just light up.
The same goes for any actions we do. They are triggered by external or internal factors. We are usually fulfilling a specific need that we have when we do something. The trick is to be aware of what it is that we’re fulfilling if we want to begin changing ourselves for the better. For instance, if you find yourself eating junk food on a regular basis, then maybe you can recognise if there are any patterns in the eating times of this food. Does it happen at particular times of day? Maybe at around 11AM you have an urge to eat something and the only food available is out of a vending machine. You could figure out if 1) it is actually hunger that you feel or could it be a need for pleasure and 2) what other action could you do to fulfil that desire (giving you a similar if not the same satisfaction)? You could maybe go for a short walk around the office, talk to a colleague for a few minutes, surf the internet, drink some water or anticipate these urges in advance and bring a healthy snack into work.
Our lives are made up of habits that we have created over the years because they save us energy. We no longer have to think about what it is that we’re doing which allows us to focus on the tasks at hand. We then automatically respond to situations in the way that we have programmed ourselves. You may look at a gym and see pain and unhappiness or you may see health, motivation and fitness that will make you a stronger and healthier person. It’s also possible that you sit down at your computer and the first website you type in is always the same one, a routine that leads you to a specific news outlet. This same outlet may be providing you with a daily dose of negativity that is tainting your day from the start, which then triggers a negative mood throughout the rest of your day.
We do many things without even thinking about the knock on consequences of those actions and because we’re so caught up in life, we never stop to think about what may be the actual cause of all our problems. We find it difficult to see through the fog. All it takes is a little bit of time to reflect and we can begin to see clearly what’s actually benefiting us and what isn’t. We can figure out what we do at specific times of day, why we do them and what precisely it is that triggers these actions. The key is to be willing to give ourselves the time to reflect.
Imagine a room that is a complete mess. It may seem like an impossible task to clean and restore order, which may lead to feelings of discouragement but interestingly enough, if you just focus on clearing up one piece at a time, eventually order begins to be restored until finally the task is completed and the room is back to being a clean area again. The same goes for you and your habits. By focusing on one specific action at a time and why it happens, you can begin to take control and rid yourself of the negative habits, shifting them to positive ones. The key is to first identify them.
You can create any habit that you wish if you choose to do so. Our brains are incredible organs and can be rewired and programmed to suit any lifestyle that we choose but it is up to you to consciously take the actions that will lead to the desired outcome on a repetitive basis until the habit has been created. Just think about tying your shoe laces, at first it was difficult when you were learning how to do it, but now you don’t even think about it. You cross the laces, shape the left loop first and…
The greatest gift you can give yourself is time. By investing the necessary time in yourself to form a desired habit that you know will bring you closer to your goals you will be programming yourself for success. You just have to decide if you’re worth the investment and if you truly want to achieve the goal that you’ve set yourself.
Write down your specific goal. Identify the negative actions that take you away from that goal. Figure out what triggers these actions and what need they are fulfilling. Replace the negative action with a beneficial one, which gives you the same satisfaction and repeat the process until you have rewired your brain towards the positive habit.