In the New Year many strategies for personal change begin, but most don't know that their success starts within. No matter if your plan is improved physical physique, increased personal time reading, decreased electronic time, or honing a creative skill, the power to accomplish all things starts with your will. That's will as in power of the mind, or determination-not that death list. Have you ever heard of someone simply thinking themselves healthy; or better still, thinking themselves thin? No, really! If I told you that your own mind could be so powerful that it could will you into a healthier state of existence, would you even have time for that? Well then my friend, good old science introduces an example of mind power titled, "The Placebo Effect". According to The American Cancer Society, this effect or response results in a reduction of the patient's symptoms in reaction to a replica pill, injection, liquid, or procedure. Basically, the doctor takes you through the motions of treatment. You see it, believe it, and bam-you begin to feel better, all because you wanted to. This awesome mind power is already present within you, but like any other skill, it takes practice to make it real.
There is an old saying; "I think, therefore I am," coined by Rene Descartes, that so eloquently explains the duality of this mind power phenomenon. For instance, "The Placebo Effect" can also become a negative reaction, causing medicinal like side effects of headaches, nervousness, or nausea. These side effects will occur in line with the patient's belief of situational outcomes. In other words, if you believe, the body will act accordingly. So now you're thinking, "Great, but what does this have to do with my resolution?" Well, everything. Plans begin as thoughts and thoughts originate in the mind; so the power of the mind must be able to will your physical body to carry out the new tasks and will your spirit to withstand the temptations of passed habits to sustain real change. Here are some mind power tools to help you will your body to the new action plan rules:
* Realize Nothing Is Wrong With You - When the check engine light comes on, is your first thought that your car is broken or un-drivable and do you stop using it? Probably not. You note there is something mechanical that needs your attention, and you finish those errands. The car is the whole of all its parts, just as your health & wellness is more than your physical fitness, body weight or lean muscle mass alone. Our total health is not limited to just the physical body, but may also include: social, emotional, environmental, and even occupational components. All the pieces of our health vehicle may not be functioning optimally at all times but, like the car, there is nothing wrong with you as a whole person just because one component is in need of attention.
* Take Responsibility - Rolling on with this car analogy: If it's your car, than it's ultimately your fault. Yes it may sound harsh but the truth is, so let's deal with it. Your health is totally your responsibility and no one else's. Not ya wife's, husband's, side piece's, partner's, sister's, parran's or ya momma's. You are the reason for the current condition of the car, and you are also the reason it will change. Acceptance of your state of health is not placing the blame but rather realizing you have the power to control future outcomes. Just as you would drive the car from the driver's seat inside the cab, use your internal motivation and will to steer you toward your goals.
* Information Alone Is Not Enough - Still on the car thing: When the check engine light comes on, it will take more than just a code reader to correct the problem. You have to actually address the problem with action. Although you may have discovered the meaning of the code that caused the light to come on, just knowing what to fix is not enough to turn the light off. No amount of reading, writing, or talking about the plan, without physical action, will make it happen. Once you, alone or with your health professional, have defined your goals you must act. Remember, knowing is only half the battle, G.I. Joe!!!!!!!!!
Take these three tips into mind before you start the expensive New Year Resolution grind. If you haven't started or are unsure on where to begin, take the time to reflect on what you, truly want to improve about you this year. Once you have honed in on something you find important, create simple steps for you to complete that will allow you to achieve this goal over a set amount of time. Remember that sustainable change is a process that takes planning, effort, repetition, patience, and time. YOU are capable of reaching any goal set, but YOU must take it one step, day, workout, or meal at a time. Health is a personal journey. Fill it with what you think wellness is, not with what they say it ain't, focus on what things you can do, not on the things you can't. In Dr. Michael Arloski's words, "Wellness is living your life consciously in ways that improve your health and well-being."
Stay Active, Stay Strong,
James F. Thomas,
MS, BS, ACSM EP-C, SFGII, BLS
BS, CSCS, NASM CES, USATF 1