The hardest place of all to start is at the beginning. Whether this be a new job, a project or a weight loss routine collecting yourself and taking the first tentative steps on a new path in life is always difficult. The main reason for this for many people is down to habit. As creatures of habit we like nothing more than dealing with life in a set way. After all any other way would just lead to chaos right? Besides surely it is too much effort to change better just to stick with what I have, better the devil you know right?
Well no actually. Habitual behaviour is what leads to addictive behaviours and unhealthy decision making. Habit is essentially a form of mental programming. Think about it this way, our minds are bombarded daily with a constant stream of information. Somewhere along the line we need to take stock and make sense of what is happening around us. Our brains help to filter out this information and do this thorough a series of processes. One of these processes is through conditioning. This happens where certain behaviours become automatic when faced with something in the outside world. For instance, the smell of a Pizza hut when we walk past causes us to react physically even if we are not hungry. Food chains are well aware of this which is why the average high street is a gauntlet of smells. Just walk past a Subway sandwich bar if you don’t believe me! Basically, conditioning is a short cut that the brain takes in order to not have to think as much.
Of course habit can be more than just your worst enemy when it comes to weight loss, it can be your best friend. Your mind is not hard wired, it is an adaptive sophisticated instrument that can be made to work for you as much as it can work against you. It is a bit of a cliché but the power of the mind is over that of the body. Our minds can be disciplined into making our bodies a well oiled machine, and the great thing is that you can do this for yourself and reap a whole host of extra benefits.
Imagine having the confidence to walk into any job interview with your head held high. Imagine the look of pride you will have in yourself as you see that new physique staring back at you in the mirror. Think of the joy on your childrens faces as you are able to keep up with playing in the park. Think about the new you, more confident, self aware, an unstoppable force that knows no limitations.
If you are able to do this then congratulations you have just used one of the most powerful mental techniques known to man Visualisation, a very simple sounding technique that can take months to master fully. This process is like a form of mediation but one that manages to avoid hours of patient transcending into another spiritual realm. All you need is an arm chair, some peace and quiet and 15 minutes of your time a day. Picture where you want to be, place yourself within your dream and set your own destiny.
Once you have established your dream, now visualise yourself attaining it. Think of the changes to your diet, the exercise , the goals being realised. Do this in the same way a professional Tennis player imagines every aspect of their technique prior to making a serve. Prepare your mind for the changes that you are going to make. Do this, and notice how when you begin your routine it has become like riding a bike, second nature. Why, because in your mind you have been there and done that.
With regards to self discipline and maintaining your routine over a longer time span the rules are very similar, if you want to develop self discipline in your life you need to start thinking in a longer term perspective. What you do today, will affect your life in one way or another in the future.
You are quite literally paving the road you will travel upon with the actions you take today.
So next time you find yourself wanting to satisfy an immediate need, stop, and think about the long term consequences of what you are doing. Without meaning to sound preachy what I mean here is this self discipline as the ability to do what you know you should do, whether you feel like it or not.
Andrew has been helping people around the world combat weight loss and fitness problems. His newly launched website offers a free report on the best kept weightloss secrets that most people will never know. To get hold of this report go now to http://www.hotweightlossdieting.com