When making a new resolution for 2011, begin with the end in mind. This is my all-time favorite tip. By focusing on the end result, you are training your mind to think like someone who has already reached the top. You are visualizing your success. Remember: What we think about directs our behavior. It’s a trick the pros use to maintain their edge.
Here’s how this works
If your goal is to lose 20 pounds by June 1, begin your weight loss journey by visualizing yourself already 20 pounds lighter. Imagine yourself at a better fitness level. How does it feel? How do you look? Visualize yourself with less back pain, being more flexible, and waking up well-rested. Imagine the role model you will be for your children. Imagine how proud you will feel about yourself when the scale drops a solid 20. Every time you think about the end result, you train your mind to associate positive feelings and a successful outcome with your weight loss goal. If you focus on the finish line, you will be less likely to abandon your goal when the going gets tough.
Many of us make the mistake of focusing on ‘how’ we are going to lose 20 pounds. By focusing on each little step along the way, we get bogged down in the details and lose sight of the bigger picture. We think about the inconvenience of going to the grocery store and cooking at home, the cost of eating healthier foods, or how fatigued we feel going to the gym. We train our mind to associate negative thoughts with weight loss, which impacts our attitude and behavior—making it more likely to give up.
The best example of ‘beginning with the end in mind’ is when we plan a vacation. We stay inspired because we visualize being on the beach or lounging by the fire at our favorite ski resort. If we focused on the details of getting there: packing our luggage, standing at the airport, and waiting for a rental car, many of us would probably just stay home.
Visualizing the end keeps us moving in the right direction.
A few tips to keep you on track:
- Create a vision board. Take a bulletin board and fill it with inspiring items, such as photos and favorite quotes. Keep it visible to help you stay motivated.
- Create your own support group—your own cheering squad. Tell your family and friends about your 2011 resolutions. They can keep you accountable and offer support along the way.
- Stay connected to Anytime Health—the ultimate work-out buddy. Log on whenever you need some extra encouragement and guidance.
Step into 2011 with a brave spirit. Set your goals and make them happen. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish by beginning at the end.
Rebecca DeRossett is owner of Stillwater Psychological Associates and has been in private practice for the past 16 years. She works with couples, families, and adolescents. She specializes in trauma and the impact it has on personality development. When not working, she loves to be outdoors, especially in the mountains. She loves skiing, mountain-biking, and anything high altitude.
1/4/2011 at 10:19 PM