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Your Health & Wellness, Iss #94 -- A New Mindset - Not A New Resolution
January 09, 2012

(Guide to a Healthy Lifestyle)

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A New Mindset - Not A New Resolution

Another year has arrived, and millions of well-meaning people have made what are widely known as New Year's resolutions.

Let's say you are one of them. You start with all the best intentions of losing weight, starting an exercise program, saving money, or whatever it is.

Unfortunately, statistics show that resolutions don't work! By the end of January, one-third of those who made a resolution trip and fall, i.e., their resolution fizzles out. And by July, more than one-half lose sight of their objective.

Resolutions are by and large not sustainable. They are inherently flawed.

Why do they fail? Because they are built on the wrong foundation.

It has become a tradition to make a resolution for New Year's Day. And you know traditions - they become a habit and compel you to do something for the wrong reason. This is a resolution's fatal flaw - and why they are almost guaranteed to fail.

Making a permanent change in your life requires something more than the "I need to do this" mindset.

Why make a resolution to lose weight? Is it because you saw Janet Jackson or Jennifer Hudson pitching weight loss by using Nutrisystem?

That is not a compelling enough reason for anyone to stick to any weight loss system (whether it be Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, or the dozens of other diets on the market.)

Let me give you an illustration for a compelling and sustainable reason to commit to anything. I made up my mind to lift weights in order to put weight on.

I had the opposite problem of most people. Rather than having too much weight, I had too little.

Being underweight made me a target for bullying and ridicule.

I hated being called 'skinny', and I didn't like the way I looked. I wanted to gain weight and I knew that lifting weights would not only add weight to my frame - but lean, muscle weight.

I wanted to gain quality weight in the worst way. The point is, the desire to accomplish anything MUST come from deep within yourself. And the process must be enjoyable.

In addition, when YOU desire to accomplish a task - not because it happens to be today's fad, or everyone else is doing it - you will begin immediately.

This can be an acid test of how bad you want to reach your goal. You will begin immediately and not wait for a certain time of year.

When I decided to stop jogging for general health, and begin lifting weights, I didn't wait for January 1. I purchased a weight set for home then and there.

I wanted to start building muscle so bad that I didn't wait to get a gym membership either. I began lifting in my living room.

My desire for weight lifting didn't fizzle out in a month or two. I have been bodybuilding now for well over 30 years!

I took on a new mindset instead of making a New Year's resolution. A mindset results in a way of life. It becomes automatic without you consciously thinking about it.

When I finally outgrew my living room in terms of poundage (I lived on the 7th floor), I joined a gym. And it was no struggle to get up early in the morning before going to work to get my workout in.

Back in the early days of bodybuilding, I would tell people that consistency came from discipline. I still believe that. The mindset, way of life, and discipline are all intertwined.

You can't lose with that combination.

Don't follow the crowd by trying to accomplish something by making resolutions. The chances are great that you won't make it.

Instead, get a brand new mindset. Find a compelling reason to do it like I did with bodybuilding. Finally, make up your mind to DO IT!

Like with almost anything else, there is a caveat. Don't try to use a bad consequence of inaction to generate a motive for action.

For instance, if weight loss is your issue, don't try to force yourself into going on a program because being overweight will increase your risk of developing cancer, heart disease, or diabetes (which it certainly will).

Negative consequences are not sustainable. It'll work for awhile. But like New Year's resolutions, will eventually fizzle out.

Build that mindset by imagining the lifelong results of taking action. I didn't continue to life weights for 30 years by thinking of a lifetime of bullying and insults. I pictured how I would look, and how that would impact my self-esteem.

Now that you are armed with a doable plan, you can deep six those resolutions you made (toss them away.) Focus on the benefits of starting to do something, and make it something that YOU want to do!

Do that and I guarantee you will be as successful as I was.

living a healthy lifestyle

Living A God-Glorifying Life Through Good Health.
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When I was growing up in the '50s and '60s, there was no obesity epidemic, and children were not developing old-age maladies such as heart disease. Cancer, Alzheimer's, and autism were virtually unheard of. Living a healthy lifestyle was a lot easier. More...

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