Another New Year has gone by, and, as usual, have you made some resolutions?
Did you start off with enthusiasm, only to discover all sorts of obstacles and hurdles, and before you know it several days and week have passed and the resolve is slowly dissolving?
Changing is not easy. Understanding a little about your brain and why that is, plus even more importantly what to do about it, is what you can discover here.
First, you are not alone! Less than 20% of New Year’s Resolutions make it through February! You can blame your basal ganglia, hippocampus and cerebellum! Or you can learn how to rein them in and build your willpower and volition.
Here is the bad news:
- Over your life, you create habits. These become like superhighways, you follow the route without any forethought – it is easy!
- You can’t NOT! When you focus on what you don’t want to do, you are focussing on IT! For example: ‘I won’t eat chocolate’ causes your brain to be filled with… chocolate!
- Using your willpower takes a lot of energy and effort.
And here is the good news:
- You can’t ‘change’ a habit, so don’t try to! Just make a new one.
- Always tell your brain what it is you WANT – that is what to focus on.
- Give yourself small step goals with rewards as you go along.
Using an example of the most often selected, and then ditched, resolution of ‘Losing weight’ will allow you to discover a working formula for change.
This year – 2020 is different! This year you have the opportunity to make a life change for the better and save yourself from wasting all that time and money with futile actions. This year you have discovered Mind Chi.
Mind Chi is an 8-minute-a-day routine that can give you the reins of self control; allowing you to overcome problem areas or achieve goals for greater overall success and fulfilment in business and life.
Your Mind Chi Basic 8-minute programme takes 28 days to create the cornerstone of your New You, after this you can advance to Mind Chi in Action where you address a specific topic or issue, such as ‘Achieving Your Perfect Weight & Size!
Mind Chi in Action
A map of the Mind Chi Plan to ‘Achieve your perfect weight and size’
Mind Chi Goal – To be my perfect weight and size
Mind Chi Meme – ‘I choose to be my perfect weight and size’ or ‘I choose my size’
Please note that we very carefully did NOT call this strategy ‘Become Slimmer’ or ‘Lose Weight’ because those may have an unfortunate end result of anorexia, where does ‘Lose weight’ end? That is not what you (or we) want.
Numerous things can affect your ‘perfect’ size. It does not stay constant throughout your life. Only a very small proportion of people are overweight because of disease or the side-effects of medicines. Recent research (although this science is still very young) has NOT been able to prove a ‘fat gene’ only that the reason people are overweight is because of their lifestyle.
There are three main factors to consider:
- What you put into your body;
- What you do with your body and
- Your Mind Chi direction.
Let’s look at each of those.
What you put into your body
- The more sugars, carbohydrates, ‘empty’ calories and fatty or preserved foods you eat, the more weight you will put on. If your diet has fresh fruits, vegetables and lean meat or fish you are less likely to put on weight.
- How often and how much you eat? Many people tend to ‘graze’, losing the delight of the feeling of being ‘hungry’. Try three meals a day (or better still, two); eating them when you feel hungry.
- Develop ‘delayed gratification’. If you keep busy, or do something physical, you will often find that your ‘hunger’ disappears!
- Help yourself by using a small plate (especially at ‘all you can eat’ restaurants!) A simple rule is eat 20 per cent less for every 20s of your life – as long as you are maintaining the original level of activity.
- Most importantly, eat SLOWLY. Your appetite is a bit slow at informing you of sufficiency! If you eat very fast you are unlikely to give your body time to tell you when it has had enough and you end up saying ‘Gosh, I am STUFFED!’ Put your knife and fork down and talk (with your mouth empty, please) to your table companion (pet, teddy bear).
What you do with your body
- Just as longer car journeys use more petrol, so too the more active you are, the more calories you burn. If you want to eat that doughnut, you must walk fast for 1 hour to burn it off! (Now THAT may make you think twice!)
- The ONLY way to lose weight is to burn MORE calories than you eat. That is it!
Your Mind Chi direction
- Your motivation to overeat is complex, as ‘hunger’ is often a ruse feeling for missing love, attention, satisfaction or confidence. The ‘hunger’ is momentarily satiated by food, (drugs, nicotine or alcohol) but the subsequent ‘low’ afterwards, requires you to crave MORE the next time. That causes a very negative downward spiral. Becoming aware of what is really happening is already a big step in the right direction.
- Enroll your ‘Chi’ to assist you. (This is your inner voice, the same one that talked you into eating, can be encouraged to assist you to make good decisions). Make a commitment to your new size, with a new outfit as the reward. Your volition (willpower) will take you there. Tell those closest to you of your goal, so they are your supporters.
- What are your habitual triggers? The phone ringing triggers the need for a chocolate? The end of a day requires several glasses of wine? It is 1:00 and time for lunch? Use delaying and distracting activities until your triggers melt away.
- It is very important that you use moderation and still enjoy life! So if it is your birthday, have that piece of cake and plan to run a bit further the following evening. Keep flexible and at the same time, steadfast in your direction.
- This will be a habit that you will want to review to make permanent.
- You are changing your whole lifestyle and many traps wait to pull you back. You may wish to do another 28 days or certainly to hit the ‘spaced repetition’ reminders.
- If you have achieved your goal of your perfect size, then have a celebration, take a good friend as you go to purchase your new outfit.
- ‘Achieving your Perfect Size’ is one of the more difficult of the strategies. You may have been on a diet ‘rollercoaster’ for years. The difference with Mind Chi is that it provides you with brain-friendly tools to succeed. You logically understand that what you put in must be burned off and you have the mental constructs (with the aid of your ‘Chi’) to shift your thinking and way of being. Be gentle with yourself, but as long as the goal remains the same, keep working and you WILL achieve.
- When (notice the use of ‘when’ not ‘if’) you have achieved this strategy, you will know that you have the volition to succeed and that you can achieve any goal you wish. This is one of the best feelings you can experience.
Knowing you can trust your volition to serve you well is a heady experience.
An example mindmap of the actions you will take towards achieving your perfect weight and size.
Vanda North can be contacted at [email protected]