Throughout life we are faced with making choices all the time. It’s those choices that lay the foundation of how our life turns out.
What makes the difference in the quality of people’s life. How come people turn out so differently? What is the difference between a person who is fulfilled, happy and successful in his/her life and a person who isn’t? Are we victims of diseases, obesity, unemployment and bad relationships and does our success depend on our background, education, intelligence or how much money we have?
What would you think of a baby girl born to a 13 year old mother, no father, no money and no support. Would you predict a bright future for that child? What if I would tell you that this girl was abused physically and sexually and that at age of 13 she became pregnant herself and gave birth to still born child, and then later at the age of 14 she was sent to juwenall hall(place for teenagers with problematic background) for bad behavior. What would you predict her future would look like? My guess is that most of you wouldn’t predict a very bright future would you? You wouldn’t think of this person as Oprah Winfrey? Because that is exactly who she is.
What would you say if I told you that you in fact are the creators of your own circumstances and that you, regardless where you are born or how you are raised up you still have lot of choices you might not be exercising. It is not what happens to you that shapes your life, it is what you choose to do with what happens to you that shapes your life. Your life has 2 worlds, the outside world which you can’t always control and then there is the inside world, an area you have full control over. If you choose to become the shaper of your mind and your emotions, what you believe, what you decide and what you do you have the power to shape your own destiny. No matter what happens in your life you have to a certain extend created it at some level. If it isn’t there because of your physical action, then it could be there as a result of your mental actions, your thoughts. With your thinking you become, you attract and you manifest in your life.
When you take responsibility for your life and all the bad and the good choices you made so far your life will change dramatically and here is why you want to hold this belief. If you belief you create your own happiness and that you have something to do with how your life will turn out, you have the power to change it. If you on the other hand belief you are the victim of your circumstances and that whether you become happy or not, successful or not has nothing to do with your actions or your way of thinking, there is not much you can do to change your life. When your life depends on luck you lose the control.
We might have our destiny written but when you feel that you always have a choice in all situations you enter you feel a sense of control that empowers you and fills you with positive energy. Holding this belief you will never feel forced into doing something you don’t want to do or forced into certain circumstances. You also know that whatever happens to you, you always have the choice to either change it or at least change your perspective of it.
If you had a disease like cancer you might feel victimized and helpless but if you think about it you still have choices to make. Firstly how do you look at your disease? Do you see yourself as a victim or are you willing to take on the responsibility for the disease and see it as a challenge you can overcome? Will you depend on others to help you or are you going to do something yourself, like changing your lifestyle and your thinking pattern? 80% of cancer that occurs in people can be either directly or indirectly linked to their lifestyle. That is something to think about. So even when you find yourself in a situation where you might not see any choices look again, you always have a choice.
By following simple steps and by having a positive mindset the possibilities of what you can achieve in your life are endless.
Identify what you want in your life and what you want to change?
Ask yourself: “What do I really want?” and be specific. Do I want to lose weight, become more energized, become healthier, reduce my stress level, become happier, improve your self esteem, your performance in something, earn more money, improve my relationships with people, travel etc……?
Identify what is holding you back
Think about what it is that is stopping you from achieving your goals. Is it money, willpower, time, intelligence, the color of your skin…………? It’s also important if you want to change some bad habits like your eating habits, your excess alcohol consumption or if you want to stop smoking that you really think about the future consequences of those bad habits. These may not show up tomorrow, the next day, or next year. The real impact could be years away. Example: if you have bad eating habits you are not only risking obesity but also increasing the risk of having to face serious illnesses and symptoms later on. So when you examine your own bad habits consider the long term implications. Give yourself time to reflect. Reflective thinking allows you to pause so you can consider all of your options. Why do you want to change your habits? What benefit will you gain from taking this course of action? What is the downside if it doesn’t work? How much time will it take? How will my life be different if I fulfill my dreams? How will I feel about myself and how will other people see me?
Change your neuro-associations or what you link to achieving your goals and what you link to NOT achieving them
Everything we do in our lives is driven by our fundamental need to avoid pain and our desire to gain pleasure. To get what you want in your life, you have to figure out what is stopping you. Whenever you procrastinate, it is because you think that taking action will be more painful than doing nothing or not taking action. Conversely, sometimes if you procrastinate for too long, it reverses on you. You must learn to control the motivating forces of pain and pleasure. For example, if you have been jo jo dieting all your life the reason is simple. When you start a diet it is because at that moment you are fed up of being overweight and feel that you must do anything to lose weight. You start your diet and after some time you stop, why? Because staying on that diet becomes in your mind more painful than being overweight so you stop. Your focus changes, from feeling pain because you are overweight to feeling pain because you are dieting. The instant pleasure you get from food becomes more real to you than the pleasure of future success.
In the same way you might want to change your job but you don’t do anything about it because your focus is more on how you will feel if you get rejected rather than the pleasure associated with getting that job. Your focus could also be on how time consuming it is to look for a job rather than how much that effort will pay off.
At any moment in time, you must realize that your reality is based upon whatever you focus on. In other words, whatever you focus your attention on is what is most real to you. Therefore, if you want to change your behavior or achieve some goals, you must focus your attention on:
- How not changing your behaviour or how not achieving your goal will be more painful than it will be to achieve your goal. Your focus needs to be on the pain associated with eating junk food and the result of that behavior or how not finding a new job has a greater negative impact on your life than taking action towards finding that job.
- How changing your behavior or how working towards a certain goal will bring you measurable and immediate pleasure. You need to shift your focus and create positive feelings to eating healthy and exercising or in the other example link massive pleasure and satisfaction to the new job.
Keep in mind moving away from and moving toward are both useful motivation strategies for you to get things done. However, if you are constantly moving away from pain and that is the ONLY way you motivate yourself, then you are likely to be suffering from an abundance of anxiety and stress. It is true that you might get things done but you will never really experience the pleasure that accompanies achieving your dreams.
Find a strong reason to achieve your goal
If your reason to change your habits or to achieve your goal is cloudy, think again. Without a good reason you will never achieve your goal. Ask yourself how important it is for you to achieve this goal. How will your life change? How will you feel when you achieve this goal. How important is it for your future and how important is it to you family or your spouse?
Visualize yourself as if you already have achieved your goal
If your goal is to lose weight and feel energized you should create a picture of yourself exactly as you want to be and create a feeling as if you have already achieved your goal. It is the feeling that affects the chemistry of your body so not only can you with visualization influence your physiology in a positive way but you also feel more motivated when you have a clear picture of what you want. If you cant imagine yourself as you want to become you can hang a picture of yourself in your dream shape or find a magazine cut out a body you like, glue on top of it your face and stick it on your fridge. Every time you are about to open the fridge you will notice the picture and it will motivate you to resist the temptations in front of you.
If you want to change your self esteem,improve your relationship, earn more money, travel, improve your performance in something etc.. do the same. Always see yourself in your imagination the way you want to be, the way you want to do things, the way you want to feel and in the situation you want to be in. It is important to visualize your goal every day and many times a day. It is especially effective to visualize your goal when you are in a deep relaxed state, it has a more profound impact on you and creates in your mind certainty that you will achieve it.
Change your limiting beliefs.
A belief is a feeling of absolute certainty. When you feel certain about something you are more likely to follow through. Beliefs and values always influence your behaviour. If you truly belief that you can’t succeed, that is lose weight or to achieve whatever goal you have, you instantly lose your motivation to do anything to change your behavior or take action towards your goal. If you on the other hand have complete faith that whatever you want is going to happen, you resist and you persist, simply you won’t give up before you succeed.
The best way to change old and distorted beliefs and values is by using visualization in a deep relaxed state. When you fully relax you are better equipped to enter and change old distorted values and beliefs you keep in your subconscious mind. Repetition is the key, visualizing yourself achieving desirable results over and over again will dramatically influence your behaviour over time.
Another way to change your beliefs is using incantations. Incantations mean that you repeat messages to yourself over and over again. By talking out load to yourself with a tone of certainty you create an emotion that empowers you to belief in your success.
Weather people have been told by others or by themselves that they have a slow metabolism, that they don’t have enough money or that they don’t have the background or the abilities to achieve certain goals it means that they don’t have the control of how their life turns out. If you accept any of those conditions as applicable to you and you believe it, it will become your experience, and you will continue to be overweight, unhappy in your old job, poor etc.
Believing is achieving
Create an action plan
This is where the rubber meets the road. Make a plan step by step how you want to achieve your goal and how you plan to change any habits that are standing in your way of achieving that dream. Here are few tips.
- Get organized:
Start by setting goals for each month, then break those to smaller goals for each week and then finally plan your days accordingly. If you want to change your lifestyle or lose weight
- Make a shopping list of everything you need for the next week.
- Throw everything out of the cupboard you have decided not to include in your daily diet.
- Think of a substitute food instead of the food you plan to exclude from your diet.
- Include in your diet your favourite food so you wont feel deprived. One way is to decide to have a free day once a week where you eat what you want.
- Don’t start on a very strict detox plan for various reasons. One is that it will put you into a “diet” mood.
- Sit down in the evening and write down what time you are going to have your meals and what you are going to eat. It is important that you concentrate on obtaining your goals for the week. For example if you are working on implementing snacks in your diet, be sure to try out different alternatives. The more varied your meals the better.
- Prepare your food for the day and take it with you if you are not staying home. If you plan to eat out make sure that you will find something suitable for you in that restaurant.
- Most commonly people fall back into their old habits because they are not organized. Planning ahead is crucial or you will frequently find yourself in situations where you have no other option than eating unhealthy food or having nothing at all, and neither is good.
If your goal is to change your job, to travel, to earn more money, to improve your relationship with your spouse etc. you need to write down step by step which actions you need to take each day and each week in order to achieve your dream. You start by putting goals down for each month, then each week and then finally each day.
Sometimes achieving your goal requires you to change your habits. Remember that you don’t have to change all your bad habits at once. It has taken you many years to create these habits and you have repeated them so many times that they are now integrated into your whole system (your sub-consciousness). Sometimes changing too many habits at once take too much of your energy and you are more likely to give up. Decide ahead what you are ready to change and what you think is realistic for you. It is important that you stick to your plan and that you actually put an effort into following through and achieve your goals for each week. As you keep repeating the same behaviour over and over again it will soon become automatic and easy to maintain.
Don’t worry if you are not perfect all the time
Nobody is. You will always have your ups and your downs, especially in the beginning. Be patient and don’t give up, stick to your plan and get back on track. Winners never quit, Quitters never win.
What is your excuse story?
The only thing keeping you from whatever you want is the story you keep telling yourself why you can’t have it. What is your story?
When you think you don’t have time it means that you are not prioritizing that particular project. In fact this is the only thing equal in humanity. No matter what race, colour or education we have, we all have the same amount of time. How you choose to spend the 1440 minutes a day, 168 hours a week and 365 days of the year has everything to do with prioritization. If you were going to get million dollars for the successful achievement, what would you do differently to go about getting it? Or if today was your last chance to achieve a particular goal how would that change the effort you put into it?
Take action NOW
Do something today that will move you towards your goals. NOW you are in the right state so doing something right now will create a momentum for you that will keep you moving into the right direction towards your goals
Set up the game to win
Create a plan that you know you can follow through and that you can achieve. Set realistic goals. Create a plan that is enjoyable. Ask yourself what you can do to enjoy the process towards your goal.
Use NET time (no extra time)
Do several things at once to get the most of it. For example if you want to learn a new language you can do so while driving or even better you can do so while exercising. In this way you can achieve two goals at the same time.
Every day ask yourself what have I achieved today that is going to bring me closer to my goal?
We all tend to focus more of what we haven’t achieved instead of what we have achieved. If you constantly focus on your mistakes or what you didn’t do it will slowly affect your motivation and fill you with frustration and negativity. If you on the other hand focus on what you have achieved you feel more motivated to continue the process towards your goal.
Make your goal fun to achieve
The way to your goal is more important than the goal itself. If you don’t have fun achieving your goal not only are you more likely to give up but you also wont feel the satisfaction of achieving it. Working towards your goal should be fun and each step you take should feel well under control. If you want to lose weight and do so by going on a very strict boring diet and do a form of exercise you hate, you probably will never achieve your goal and if you dob despite the pain you have gone through, It is not likely that you want to eat boring food and feel hungry for the rest of your life. Make changes in your diet and find an exercise regime that you enjoy and you are willing to do for the rest of your life.
Reward yourself every week for achieved goals.
By rewarding yourself every week for achieved goals you have something to look forward to. It can only increase your motivation to know that something great is waiting for you in the end of each week. You can either reward yourself or ask somebody else to do so.
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