How to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle for a Better, Happier You

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The thing about “actually” attaining a healthier (and happier) lifestyle is very few people “actually” want one. Or at least bad enough to do the work to have a healthier lifestyle. Just look at the piles of books in the book stores! If you look at the ratio of ‘How to’ books (in volume of availability) to the actual results you see on the street (and everywhere else around you), it becomes apparent most of us like the stage of ‘being in progress’, and don’t actually do what is asked of us!

We’re not going to beat on you with the tired refrains of stop this or that. We, (and we suspect, you) have had a belly full of that stuff. It won’t work (ever) for two reasons.

1) Coming at something with a negative like No, or Stop, is counter intuitive to the results you want.
2) You may start, but eventually you will walk (or run) away from the ‘goal’ when the going gets tough, without the right mindset.

The first step towards having a healthy lifestyle is having the right mindset. Anyone can ‘will’ themselves into better habits, but eventually those habits will be broken and you will fall back into your old habits if you don’t work on your mind first. There is no way that the conscious mind can override a lifetime of subconscious desires and habits that make up a “lifestyle”. The subconscious mind will sabotage every attempt to force change by will power.

Here are some simple to follow steps to reprogram your mind and therefore your lifestyle.

1) Gain Knowledge: Before you make any change you have to know the how’s, what’s, and why’s about making the change. You can’t really make any significant change if you’re not armed with the knowledge of how to change it. This doesn’t have to be an excessive amount of knowledge, but enough to be able to create a plan of how you’re going to implement the change. Remember… all the knowledge in the world will not help if you cannot convince the unconscious mind that your new goal is the road to a better life.

2) Set A Goal: The subconscious has to have a goal that it accepts, a goal presented in the only language it knows: images. The images can be both “carrot” and “stick”. The “carrots” can be images showing the benefits of the lifestyle change, while the “sticks” can be images showing the evils of continuing life without the change. However, if your lifestyle habit has already battered your self-image, it might be better to stick to “carrots”. ;) Remember to be specific with your goal. To find out more about goal setting visit our Goal Setting section of our blog. Now you have the goal, all you have to do is get the goal into your subconscious and let the autopilot work out how to achieve your change in lifestyle.

3) Get Your Subconscious Mind To Believe In Your Goal: The job is to get your goal into the subconscious mind—to put imagination to work. I call this “setting the autopilot.” These are the steps to reset the autopilot:

To apply imagination, lie down and close your eyes. Relax, counting back from 50 to zero, visualizing the numbers on the black screen in front of your eyes. When you get to 15, pause between the numbers, and during the pause tell yourself you are relaxing your right leg. Do the same at each pause with arms, neck, hands, feet, one body part for each pause between the numbers. As you think the word “relax”, let go the body part, feeling it feel heavy and relaxed.

When you get to zero tell yourself, “Every day I am getting better and better. Every day I am getting closer to [some words to describe your goal].” Do not allow negative thoughts to intrude in the form of doubts. Do not use words, such as “fat loss”. This is critically important: the subconscious is not rational. Picture the goal as already attained and the subconscious will accept the image as a real goal.

In this relaxed state, imagine going shopping for new smaller clothes. Imagine finding what you want on the rack and looking at the size label. Then imagine going into the changing room and taking off the baggy clothes that don’t fit anymore. Imagine putting on the smaller-size new clothes and seeing yourself in the mirror. Visualize what you will look like with a smaller waist and firmer muscles. Imagine the stronger denser bones supporting the muscles. Imagine how gracefully you walk now that you are so fit.

[If this is difficult, try to find photos from when you really were slimmer. Study these before beginning the session. Remember that you are not trying to look like someone else. You are trying to allow yourself to reappear in a new form.]

Now imagine yourself deciding just to wear the new clothes out of the shop. You tell the clerk to bag up your old clothes and carry the bag out of the shop, wearing the new clothes. They fit perfectly. You walk out of the shop and down the street. You meet some friends you haven’t seen for a long time. At first they don’t recognize you…

Repeating this procedure several times a week will fix a target in your subconscious mind, a target that you will home in on without an effort of will. The more you elaborate a new self-image, the more likely the subconscious will accept it. It’s been suggested that 21 days is long enough to begin to see changes in behavior.

This sounds too simple to be true! Yes, but the part of the brain we are trying to access is not rational: the level of its intelligence is about that of a reptile. But when it comes to lifestyle changes, this is the part of the brain that controls the changes we make. Using will power and rational words to tell the reptile brain not to, for example, eat and to exercise more is useless. We must present the reptile brain with an image of something more desirable than food. We must present the end result in the form of images.

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