Defining your goals
From knowing what you don't want came a desire for something new! It's time to give your undivided attention toward what you want.
In the space provided below, write down your goals in regard to your body and when you want to accomplish those goals, then click save. Before you click save and move on review your goals to make sure your goal(s) are end-result oriented (watch video below for examples). If when you think about your goal it feels a bit big, then make a short term goal. You can revisit this process as often as you need as it might appeal to you to set a series of small goals and continue to revise as you accomplish each one. Once finished, click save.
Reviewing and defining your goal
In this process you are not only defining what you want but you are committing to them by writing them here. It has been shown that by committing goals to writing makes achieving those goals much easier and much more likelier. A Harvard Business School study showed that people who wrote down their goals were 10 times more successful at achieving their goal and a Yale study showed that students who wrote down their goals at graduation, which was only 3% of the graduating class, all were financially worth more than the entire 97% who didn't write their goals down just twenty years later. Writing your goals down will help not only make them more real to you but you are, in a way, committing to them on a deeper level.
As you know, this goal (and everything you add to it through this process) will be visible for you in your Personal Resource Center anytime you want to review it. This will also serve as the basis of your visualization process that will help you to reprogram your mind for success (the visualization process will be taught at the end of the next section)--the more clear you are on where you are going the easier it is for you to get there.
Most people know very clearly what they don't want. It is from this point of dislike that most desires are born but if you don't turn your attention to what it is you DO WANT then you may never get anywhere. How will you know if you are successful if you don't know where you are going?
I like to equate this to going to a travel agent. Let's say you live in Chicago and it's been a brutally cold winter and you walk into a travel agent's office and they ask you where you would like to go, in which you answer: "not here--anywhere but here!" Not knowing where you wanted to go the travel agent couldn't really send you anywhere specific so they sent you home. You end up staying in Chicago.
Knowing where you want to go specifically helps you to get there. Even knowing you want to be "leaner" or "healthier" is not a specific destination. That would be like saying you want to go some place warmer (see next link for further explanation on this).
The major reason wanting to be something like leaner or healthier is not an end goal is because it is a comparison to where you are now--you can't know what leaner is unless you are thinking about where you are now? And unless you are in love with where you are, you don't want to create a comparision to it. Just ask yourself "leaner than what" or "healthier than what" and you'll see that in order to focus on being leaner you have to focus on where you are as well. And you can't get too far from where you are if your goal includes observation of where you are. Your subconscious thinks in pictures so if you include a picture of where you are in your goal, your subconscious will follow that as well. And which ever point of focus--where you are or where you want to be--is stronger will be the dominant programming. I find it helpful to imagine that you are trying to tell someone that doesn't know what you look like now how you would look at your goal.
Every thought in our brain is basically two neurons connecting through a synapse. The brain builds up all its concepts based on associative memory--similar thoughts and ideas get wired together to form a concept about every subject. The more thoughts we have about our body, the more connections we create in our brain, in our neural network, thus the more thoughts we have connected through associative memory, creating a concept of our body. With that, consider that since our body is one of the main ways we identify with our self in the world, we have many relationships between our body and other things in our experience--we have a relationship between our body and clothes, our body and work, our body and food, our body and other people, our body and our lovers, our body and just about everything. The concept of our body is connected with so many aspects of our life. Our body is also the way the world relates to and identifies with us. Not to mention, your body is the main way you experience the world. It is the center of your worldly experience.
You can imagine that since we have so many things that we consciously and unconsciously relate to our body, we might be having thoughts about our body all day long. Furthermore, since we have anywhere between two thousand and ten thousand thoughts a day, it would be impossible to be present to all the thoughts we have. How many thoughts do people have a day about their body that they are not even conscious of--especially if their body is something they spend a lot of time dwelling on? How many thoughts do you think you have about your body in any given day?
If you have a negative perspective about your body, you could be creating a stressed environment just by relating to your body in a secondary way by doing something like talking with a coworker or standing in line at the grocery store. In the back of your mind you could be thinking about how this person you are talking to or the people around you might be judging your body. This then would stimulate a stressed environment, and you wouldn't even be consciously aware of what caused it.
Also, think about how many times we see our reflection every day. Every time we pass a mirror, a window, or anything shiny, it is natural for us to take a look at ourselves. If you do not like the way your body looks, you could very well be reactivating that negative stress every time you see your reflection. Just pay attention to how many times a day you think about your body or notice your reflection somewhere. I bet it would be too many times to count. Since our body is the center of our physical experience, it is not inconceivable to think that of the thoughts we have in a given day (say five thousand thoughts) that at least 1 percent of those thoughts (fifty thoughts) would be related to our body. Considering how important our body is to our daily experience I think one percent is actually a small number.
Now consider that every time you see yourself in a stressful way you are releasing the hormone cortisol, which mobilizes blood sugar that doesn't get used. That blood sugar gets stored as fat, and your body now thinks it used up energy from storage (in the muscle and liver) to deal with your stress, so it wants to replace that energy and thus creates craving so you will refuel. Every time you think of your body you could be releasing anywhere from a few calories to maybe fifty or a hundred (depending on how much time you spend thinking about your body situation or how hard you are being on yourself at the time).
This could add up very quickly. Especially if more than 1 percent of your thoughts are about your body. What is your percentage? Ten percent? Twenty? Again, assume the average number of thoughts we have per day is about five thousand. Ten percent is about five hundred thoughts a day. Remember, most of these you are not even conscious of. Multiply that by ten calories each time you think of your body in a negative way (the result of about thirty seconds of stressful thought) and that makes about five thousand calories your body produced because of stress each day. It is also five thousand calories that your body wants to replace. Combine that with the idea that your body may think it is starving and you have a real problem on your hands.
You must also understand that the more you think about your body in a certain way, the stronger your neural network becomes. The stronger your neural network becomes, the more your brain will look for and filter negative things about your body thus recreating the whole stress component. The more you focus on what you don't like, the more you are training your brain and your body to behave that way. The great thing about knowing this is that you can easily change the responses your body is experiencing by simply changing your point of focus, which will be addressed in questions two and three.
Neuroplasticity is the changing of neurons, the organization of their networks, and their function via new experiences. By establishing the mental image of what you want and then adding the emotional reasoning as to why you want it, new neural pathways are created that recondition the brain and old neurons that aren't used die off (by a process called apoptosis). This in turn helps change what the RAS filters.
When you think of success, you will look for success, and when you see evidence of success, you anchor in more thoughts that build the neural network for success. The more success you experience, the higher your emotional state. And the higher your emotional state, the more productive your body is (the higher your metabolism is) because higher emotions generate greater calorie expenditures. Also, being in a higher emotional state reduces the amount of time the body is in a negative state, thus causing a positive calorie swing (causing your body to be more efficient with its energy usage and storage).
In the space provided you wrote down your goals in regard to your body as well as when you want to accomplish those goals. Here's an example of what you could have written:
Now look back at what you have written and ask yourself if it is your absolute end result. Since you wrote something you want to get rid of, then you want to ask yourself where you would be if you got rid of that. Where would you be if you lost twenty pounds, or what would you look like if you got rid of fat from your stomach area? (Losing weight is not an end result--where you would be after you lost the weight is an end result.) What would you look like, what would your body feel like, how would you move, and so on, if you accomplished your goal? (See travel agent example link below.)
I want to be a lean 135 pounds with a defined ab section and I want to fit into my favorite jeans and I want to move with a sense of freedom and lightness.
Since you answered with a positive end result, you don't need to do much at this point. If anything, you just need to identify as many things as possible that would be present when you achieve your goal so you have many markers to help you identify your success--not only for when you get there but things to help you know you are on the right path. In the space provided below, take a moment to write down your specific end result goals and when you want to accomplish those goals.
More often than not people will say what they don't want--like they want to get rid of fat, lose weight, get rid of pain, etc. Asking to get rid of what you don't want is like going to a travel agent to plan a trip and after they ask you where you would like to go you answer "not here." You know you don't want to be here but if you don't know where you would rather be you could end of anywhere. It's like being in Chicago in the winter and saying "it's cold here, I don't want to be here." Even if you said you want to go somewhere warmer you aren't being specific. What does warmer mean? St. Louis is warmer? Do you want beach or desert? Hotel or remote hut? In the United States or in the Caribbean or in the Mediterranean? Sporty resort or leisure? Point is if you don't know the specifics there is no way you are going to get anywhere. How will you know you have arrived if you don't know where you are going? Also consider if you didn't really have a destination in mind you would eventually end up where you were most comfortable, which is where you are now.