"Stop hitting your sister."
"Why do you drive so fast?"
or the most famous one of all...
"Whatever you do, do not think of a purple elephant!"
What do all the above phrases have in common? They all are stated in the negative. And you probably also noticed that each phrase conjured up an image. The first, of running. The next hitting, then driving, and finally, the image of an elephant.
The reason for this is that our minds think in terms of images, not words. The words are just "sign posts" that lead us to the actual representation in our heads. Remember Shakespeare's famous quote: "would a rose by any other name smell so sweet?" The answer is that of course it would, you can call it a rose, a blah blah, or a yabashbbahagomama and it will still smell sweet. The words are just signs that point to the actual experience.
Why is this important? And what does it have to do with fitness and goal-setting? I'm glad you asked. You see, when you set a goal, what you are really telling yourself is that there is something that you want that you don't have. This is not a good message to send to your mind. It gets caught on the not having part of the equation. So, instead, you want to focus on what your life will be like once you do have it. Think of the image exclusively, and stop thinking about all those things that you don't want to happen. Because your mind doesn't hear that you don't want something. It just gives you what you focus on.
So, if you have goals that are phrased like above, like "I don't want to be fat" or "I want to stop having all this lower back pain," then you need to re-do your goals and state them in the positive.
Now to replace the ones that you might be thinking:
This is vitally important, because when you create your Mind Movie, you want to use positive affirmations in order to conjure up those images. Then those images become entrenched in your subconscious and your results are practically guaranteed.
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The best and fastest way to achieve your goals is to condition the "muscle" between your ears.