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The real reason you aren't reaching your goals.

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The real reason you aren't reaching your goals.

Here's a hint: it has nothing to do with motivation.

Most people think they aren't reaching their goals because they just don't have the motivation or discipline to do it. There's actually a much more simple (or complex, depending on how you look at it) reason behind why you aren't able to reach your goals.

Have you ever thought to yourself:

"I'm never going to lose weight."

"I can't commit to healthy habits."

"I'm a quitter."

"I'm not disciplined enough."

"Life is too busy."

"I don't have time."

"My health doesn't really matter."

If you answered "yes, that's me" to any of those statements, or if you've ever said or thought those statements, you're not alone. Researchers estimate that we think about 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts a day--and that 80% of those thoughts are negative.

The challenge with this is that our lives are always moving in the direction of our strongest thoughts.

Think about it: you've probably met some super enthusiastic person who is always positive...and good things just seem to happen to them. How about the opposite: we all know that person who is always complaining and bad things always seem to happen to them.

The reason why this is, is something called the cognitive behavior theory: people's perceptions of, or spontaneous thougths about, situation influence their emotional, behavioral (and often physiological reactions).

Essentially: your brain is a powerful thing and the thoughts you think and the words you speak have a direct correlation with the direction your life goals. 

So, if your life (and in this case your health) is always moving in the direction of your strongest thoughts, are you excited about the direction your thoughts are taking you?

If you answered no, that's okay.

The beautiful thing about the brain is that it can change!

It's called neuroplasticity: the ability of the brain to adapt to changes in an individual's environment by forming new neural connections over time. Neuroplasticity explains how the human brain is able to adapt, master new skills, mature and grow, store memories and information, and even recover after a traumatic brain injury!

Because of neuroplasticity, you can essentially rewire your brain. 

Think of your brain like the poem "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost. There's the path that’s worn and often taken, that's the thoughts you currently speak to yourself. Since you think and speak them frequently (perhaps so frequently you don’t even realize you’re doing it) your brain naturally goes in the same direction so many thoughts have already taken...which then leads to the same outcomes you’ve experienced in the past: not reaching your goals, quitting because it “got too hard,” lack of commitment. 

The other path, the road not taken, has all the potential and possibility to create a new outcome, all you have to do is start down the path and repeat until it becomes just as worn as the original path.

So how do you do it?

Affirmations

Your brain cannot hold two thoughts at the same time, so when you do find yourself speaking negatively like “I’m a quitter,” immediately replace it with the opposite or with an affirmation. For example: “When times are challenging I don’t quit, I persevere.”

Creating a list of affirmations to say every day can help rewire your brain towards positivity. Create affirmations using this exercise:

Think about who the best version of yourself is and write: “I am ___________.” and repeat this process for at least 15 minutes.

Examples: “I am worthy of receiving the best in life.” "I am not my past experiences with food, I am confident that the choices I make will move me towards my goals.”

 

Create a plan for road #2

Usually in the wake of our negative thoughts, comes actions that move us farther away from our goals. The best way to combat that is to have a contingency plan to help you rewire your neuropathways down road #2.

For example, if you’ve had a stressful day maybe the action that you’re used to doing is going to the freezer and eating ice cream. Instead of going to the freezer, create an alternative plan that you can do instead, like going for a walk. Now instead of saying to yourself, “well, it’s been a stressful day, I deserve some ice cream” pause and think about the alternative plan. Say to yourself, “well, it’s been a stressful day, I deserve to unwind by taking a walk.”

Create alternative plans by using this exercise:

List out your usual coping mechanisms that move you away from your goals. Now, next to that list create a list of things you could do instead that are more inline with your goals.

Find a coach to support you

Rewiring your brain can be challenging to do on your own because you’re so used to following the same path and perhaps you don’t believe you can change. Finding a coach, someone who is invested in your journey and can help guide you through the process is the best way to get the support you need. 

Not sure where to start? Give us a call at 302-689-3489 and we’ll match you up with a 1:1 coach who can give you the support, accountability, and knowledge you need to change your thoughts, change your habits, and reach your goals.  

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference." -Robert Frost

 


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