Show me a successful person and I will show you a person who began with their goals in mind. Success and failure both begin in the mind.
Successful people aren’t born successful, they make themselves successful by engaging in thought processes that result in positive actions being taken towards their goals.
Success Begins with the Goal in Mind
To be successful, you have to begin with the goal in mind, and then work backwards to identify the steps necessary to take you to your destination.
The same goes for success in the development of your physique. You must begin by picturing the end results which you desire. Then, you must think through, and write down the sequence of steps necessary for you to take, ranging from simple changes in habit to wholescale lifestyle changes. You must live the training program necessary for you to achieve your desired outcome.
Write Down Your Goals
In a previous tip, I covered this method: you write down the desired goals that you have for your physique and keep them nearby, where you can access them, look at them, and reconfirm them every day. If you have not already done so, I strongly encourage you to set aside a little time to determine what it is that you want out of your training and nutrition program. Don’t rely on vague descriptions like “get into shape.” Instead, be more specific. An example of a more specific goal would be to “lose 10 lbs. of body fat and gain 5 lbs. of lean muscle tissue by April 30.”
Writing out your goal is critical. Your goal should be written out on an index card and posted where you will see it every day. I recommend writing out three index cards. Post one index card on your bathroom mirror where you will see it every morning when you wake and every night before you retire. Post another index card in your work area where you can see it throughout the day. And post yet another index card on your refrigerator, as a reminder of your goals every time you reach for something to eat.
Get Visual Reinforcement of Your Goals
To further reinforce your written goals, I highly recommend that you skim through fitness and muscle magazines and clip out pictures of individuals having the type of physique that you so desire. Once you have clipped the pictures, keep them next to your index cards as a visual reinforcement of what you want.
Make Yourself Believe That Your Goal is Possible
The next step is to make yourself believe that your goal is possible. This is where developing a set of “positive self affirmations” comes into play. Positive self-affirmations are nothing more or less than short strings of words which specifically describe your desired positive outcomes (goals). Your positive self-affirmation phrases become a mantra which you repeat to yourself at key times during the day. Through repetition , your subconscious mind assimilates up on these positive self-affirmations and internalizes them. They work even when you are not consciously thinking of them, guiding your every move towards your goals. Call it positive “self talk” if you like. Don’t dismiss this as “self-help garbage,” because it works. You must be careful to guard your thoughts, because they are constantly being monitored and absorbed by your subconscious. What you think is eventually what you will believe, to the very core of your being, and this will in turn determine what you become and what you achieve.
Push Negative Thoughts of Insecurity and Disbelief Out of Your Mind
It’s important to keep thoughts positive and to push negative thoughts of insecurity and disbelief out of your mind whenever they occur, replacing them instead with positive, reinforcing thoughts. Here are some examples of positive self-affirmations: “I weigh 180 lbs and have 7% body fat.” This could be a positive self-affirmation for an individual weighing 200 lbs. and desiring to lose 20 lbs. of fat.
Notice that the positive self-affirmation is stated in a manner in which the goal is considered “already achieved.” Belief is key. If you believe that you have already achieved your goal, your mind will lead your body to ellicit the desired results. Here are some other examples of positive self-affirmations:
“My arms measure 18″ cold”
“I weigh 120 lbs and wear a size 6 dress” (female)
“I benchpress 250 lbs for 8 repetitions.”
Avoid Negatives When Establishing Positive Self-Affirmations
As I mentioned before, it is vital that you avoid negatives. It is even more vital that you avoid negatives when establishing your positive self-affirmations. For instance, instead of saying, “I will not eat junk foods,” you should say, “I eat only lean foods.” See the difference? Now let’s move on to the subject of when you should use these positive self-affirmations.
The most effective times to use your positive self-affirmations are, without a doubt, upon awakening in the morning and before retiring in the evening.
Upon awakening in the morning, your mind is still in a sort of “twilight zone” between consciousness and sub-consciousness, and until it is fully awake, is very receptive to thoughts.
It is at this time that you should repeat your positive self-affirmations at least 10-15 times. By the way, this is one of the reasons that I refuse to read a newspaper or turn on the news first thing in the morning. I realize that my mind is like a sponge at this time of day, ready to absorb and internalize thoughts, and I won’t have any part of allowing negative material into my mind.
Before retiring in the evening is the next best time to repeat your positive self-affirmations. Repeating your positive self-affirmations and visualizing what you want as you fall asleep is a powerful way to program your subconscious mind to work throughout the night. To borrow from biblical scripture, “As you sow, so shall you reap.” In other words, as you think, so shall you be.By : Usman Awan