April 15, 2009
A Simple Procedure You Must Complete Before You Begin Any Diet or Exercise Program
This might be the most important post in this blog, even though it has nothing to do with calories, protein, carbohydrates, fats, cardio, weights or anything else related to nutrition or training.
You see, there is a simple, but critical procedure you must complete before you lift a weight, job a mile, start a nutrition program or even set foot in the gym.
If you successfully complete this procedure, the nutrition and training will come easy and a lean body will soon follow.
If you ignore this step- like most people do- you are destined to fail no matter what you do or how hard you try.
This crucial first step is goal setting.
A lot has been said and written about goal setting- entire books have been devoted to the subject- but the truth is, most people never decide exactly what they want.
Some people give their goals a fleeting thought , but most never get specific and commit their dreams and desires to writing. “Most people,” says Denis Waitley, author of The Psychology of Winning, “spend more time planning a party, studying the newspaper or making a Christmas list than they do planning their lives.”
According to Zig Ziglar, an expert on goal setting and one of the nation’s most respected motivational speakers, only 3% of Americans have actually taken the time and effort necessary to put their goals to paper.
This is unfortunate because the number one reason for failure tin losing body fat- and in life- is the lack of clearly defined, written goals.
Ziglar compares not having goals to shooting at a target with a blindfold on.
“How could you possibly hit a target you can’t even see?” says Zig.
If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re probably not going to end up anywhere!
Action without planning is the number cause of failure.
The Difference Between Knowing What To Do and Doing What You Know
Nutrition and exercise can be confusing subjects, so when you first get started, the initial challenge is that you don’t know what to do.
Now that you have this program in your hands, knowing what to do will no longer be a problem.
However, gaining knowledge is only half the battle.
The far greater challenge for most people is applying that knowledge and taking action.
There is a big difference between knowing what to do and doing what you know.
Goals are the bridges that span this gap.
Goals, when properly planted in the subconscious mind, produce action.
Goals create energy and motivation.
Goals get you out of bed early in the morning and into the gym.
The secret the staying motivated all the time is to set emotionally charged goals- in writing- and to stay totally focused on those goals day and night, without taking your eyes off them.
A goal with a purpose is the fuel that propels you forward.
The behaviors that are produced by subconscious conditioning are more commonly referred to as habits.
Fortunately, you can re-program your subconscious mind with positive instructions and become a creature of positive habit, just as easily as you have become a victim of negative habits.
It all begins with a conscious decision and written goals.
The Power of the Thought
After competing in dozens of bodybuilding competitions and helping thousands of people with training and nutrition programs, I have become firmly convinced that the most important part of getting in great shape is simply making up your mind to do so. You get in shape by setting goals and thinking about them all day long. I know that sounds a little strange, but stay with me for a minute and I’ll explain.
I’m not saying you can simply “think yourself thin.” No amount of positive thinking will work without action. Obviously you have to exercise and eat the right foods. What I’m suggesting is that if you don’t channel your mental energies properly, even the best diet and training program won’t help because you will always “sabotage” yourself. Did you ever wonder why you have lapses and breakdowns in “willpower?” Or why some days you just can’t drag yourself to the gym? Or why you “fall off the wagon” completely? Or why you can’t say “no” to those chocolate chip cookies? It’s because negative programming in your subconscious mind is controlling your behavior.
This is not a “new age,” “Pollyanna” or “pie-in-the-sky” mentality- there’s a valid scientific reason why goal setting works. It works because it harnesses the awesome power of your subconscious mind, and your subconscious mind guides your behavior.
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