The Power in Your Thoughts
The power in your thoughts and what you are thinking today will determine tomorrow’s reality in your life. For example, if you believe a goal is impossible for you to overcome then it will become impossible for you to achieve it until you first believe that you can and envision yourself overcoming this obstacle or barrier.
Throw Convention Out The Window
We are taught to solve problems by first identifying the problem and then seek the solution. But if the problem isn’t easy to identify or if it takes an unusually long amount of time to discover the root issue then is it really practical to identify it? I believe certain situations would be necessary, like identifying and diagnosing illnesses and conditions or life threatening mysterious symptoms.
When it comes to trying to identify the root cause of our obstacles or our thoughts then I believe the only solution is to throw convention out the window. What we need to do to overcome obstacles and barriers to our goals is to spend some time in thought, envisioning and seeing ourselves successfully achieving those goals. See the end result first and the solution will present itself to you.
For example, I have a lofty goal to lose 87 pounds and go from 212 to 125 pounds in a year. I say it’s lofty because most “almost – 40 year olds” won’t easily lose that amount of weight in such a short period of time without extreme measures like gastric bypass surgery. But I don’t believe it’s impossible and I spend most of my time telling myself that I am skinny person trapped inside of a fat person’s body and the new me is so ready to reveal myself to the world.
Even if I don’t succeed in exactly 12 months or 365 days, if it takes me 13 months or 400 days, it’s still successful results and I believe that doing it in a year really is possible for me. If a goal seems out of reach then start out with a more attainable goal and you will find that results will become easier and faster to achieve when you give your full focus and attention to achieving that goal.
Decide to Succeed or Decide to Fail, it’s your choice
Master Jedi Yoda said it best when he said “No! Try not! DO or DO NOT, there is no try.” This scene in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back is a conversation between Yoda and Luke when Luke believes that Yoda is asking the physically impossible of him to move the Fighter Jet with The Force. Yoda, in all of his 800+ years of wisdom, already knew Luke was more than capable to complete the task but the barrier that stopped him was in his mind. Luke confesses in the end that he does not believe it and Yoda imparts his final words of wisdom to Luke – “And that is why you fail.”
In case you didn’t notice, I am a HUGE Star Wars fan and I CANNOT wait for Christmas Day to get here so our family can watch Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens in the theater and get our visual jollies tickled! I literally cried tears of grief when I finished watching Episode III: Revenge of the Sith because I really believed it was all over and George Lucas had already told us there would be no more films from him. Thank goodness for J.J. Abrams who is resurrecting it all for us again!
Sorry….I digressed for a short moment! Back to deciding to succeed – so I spend time meditating and listening to positive affirmations while I walk or workout. Youtube is a wealth of awesome information, if you’re willing to dig around to find it. You don’t really have to literally “dig” so much because so many holistic and healthy gurus are utilizing it these days. I just typed the words “positive affirmations” and tons of videos popped up. I am not super scientific but I do believe in one mantra that I’ve heard over and over in life and it’s “junk in, junk out” and “positive in, positive out.”
I spend a good 45 minutes walking each day and I cover about 2 miles distance so I listen to these positive affirmations while I walk. I realized while listening to these the first couple of times that my own inner dialogue about myself was more negative than positive and hearing these positive affirmations are necessary for me to change what I was telling myself.
I also listen to ASMR relaxation videos at bedtime to get me calm and to quiet my mind and clear my thoughts before falling asleep. I have noticed that I sleep longer and feel more rested after listening to these right before dozing off. My body has been in a high stress state for far too long and my high blood pressure and health issues are the results of that so I am taking the steps to make sure I eliminate stressors in my life and cope/deal with the stressors that cannot be removed.
This is what I listen to at bedtime and Dimitri is my favorite ASMR artist for relaxation. What works for me may not work for you or be your cup of tea but I encourage you to find what does work for you to help you unwind and completely relax at bedtime. Remember, dis-ease is a body that is NOT at ease so promoting ease in our lives is vital to overall health.
Some people find the sounds of rain, water or the roaring of the ocean is calming and for others it might be faint sounds of crickets chirping or frogs croaking. As I said, find whatever works to relax you and enjoy it. You will find that making this relaxation ritual a part of your daily routine will help you fall asleep faster, sleep more peacefully and you will wake up feeling fully rested and recharged.
Result won’t matter until your thoughts believe it
Confession time – I did the Atkins diet back in 2003 and lost a whopping 70 lbs and the proof is in the photos above. The only problem was that while the results were clearly evident, I still felt like a big fat girl who accidentally lost weight and I had no idea how to keep it off so I lived in fear that I would gain it all back and sure enough I did in just 18 months. I was not fully prepared because I lacked information but I am fully armed this time around!
Is fear good or bad or both?
If I had perhaps taken more time to seek out and get the information then I probably could have avoided the pain of gaining weight again but I was not quite so wise and experienced as I am now. It’s amazing what happens in our lives when we allow fear to take control, isn’t it?
Fear can be both good and bad. For example, having a heart attack or stroke invokes fear to make changes because a lack of change means another stroke or heart attack is eminent and the damage is usually debilitating or deadly. This kind of fear would incite immediate and rapid change in the individual and this is an example of how fear is beneficial.
Fear is actually an emotion or response we feel when change is taking place in our lives. It’s helpful when it provokes us to do more to get good results or make positive changes but it can be a pain in the tootey when it cripples us from going forward. You can recognize the harmful kind of fear when you ask yourself one simple question. Is there a successful outcome possible with this situation?
I do realize this is not entirely black and white and there are plenty of grey areas with this question. If you were to apply it to bungee jumping or sky diving then my personal answer would be no! I have a terrible fear of heights and falling and I don’t believe it necessary for me to conquer that fear in my lifetime. I do fly on planes but if driving is possible then I would much rather jump in a car than a plane. My quality of life won’t improve or decline if I do or do not sky dive so I consider this fear perfectly rational because I like staying on the ground and staying alive. I believe this kind of fear is useful and good because it keeps me alive.
Decide to succeed in ALL that you do
It’s amazing what happens when we finally and actually decide to succeed and not fail. What are your goals and have you spent time evaluating whether you are deciding to succeed or fail? I have found that some dreams and goals that I thought I put to rest in the past are suddenly resurrected once I achieved some new goals.
For example – I held onto the dream of becoming a Registered Nurse for almost 10 years and I thought I finally laid that dream to rest this past year when I decided to start blogging while doing the stay-at-home mom gig. Ironically that goal has made a full resurrection since I started to get healthy. It seems that feeling better and having almost zero inflammation in my body by cutting out carbs and sugars has made me want to be super active and the energy level I experience is beyond measure. I literally feel as though I am 10 years younger because I have so much freedom in my body.
I am not physically worn out (except after my HIIT workouts) and I am far more flexible thanks to daily stretching and walking. I always thought that I had to let the nurse dream go because I had so much trouble walking with my skin condition and movement was difficult so spending 8 – 12 hours a day on my feet and constantly moving as a nurse was out of the question. It’s amazing how many more doors of opportunity open up to you once you make some changes!
So now I see myself as a nurse, and I see myself as already passing the licensing board and I am making plans in my future about my new career path. I am talking with my husband and my conversation sounds like this, “When I am a nurse, we can buy a bigger home, take vacations, spend more time having date night and travel more.” I am also saying the same things about my health and weight loss, “I am healthy, I am a skinny woman and my body is shrinking to show the real me and I am strong and I can achieve any fitness/physical challenge I tackle.”
Make a list and knock it out! Challenge issued!!
I posted last week that I planned to knock out some goals in the upcoming weeks and ironically, I have knocked all but one of them in just a week’s time! Read about it here in my post Happy Fall. The only goal I have yet to complete is making a YouTube video sharing how I equate weight loss with couponing. I had to color my hair before making another video because I refuse to give in and go all grey! I was resisting coloring it and the battle to cover the grey is over because it’s gone for at least 6 more weeks!
So once I get some free time this week, I will make this video and I can cross off all of my goals for this list and make a brand new one to conquer!
Follow along on my fitness journey?
For anyone interested in getting into exercise and starting from ground zero, like I did, then maybe my plan would fit the bill for you. Here’s an outline of how I started out and where I plan to go from here.
I began very slowly and took baby steps to increase – This would be considered “Lightly active” when determining fitness levels
- I walked 1 – 2 miles a day, Mon – Fri
- It’s half a mile to the school and half a mile back and I would do this every morning. It was a super slow pace when I started out because I was not used to walking or exerting myself and I had to stop often for breaks.
- If it was a super hot day (over 100° or more) then I would not walk the 2nd mile to pick up the kids in the afternoon.
- I pulled my almost-2-year-old in his covered wagon and hauled water and umbrellas to make it easier on myself and to make my toddler happy because he LOVES riding in his wagon! It also helps build my arm muscles because I have to literally pull 30 lbs as I walk.
- I started adding walks on the weekends once I could easily walk the 2 miles every morning.
- There is a dog park close to our house so we would take the dogs and kids to the park while I walked the 2 mile track.
- Find what you love to do and don’t give up until you find the activity you enjoy
- Once I could handle walking 6 days a week, I rest on Sundays to give myself one full day of recovery, I decided to add one day a week of HIIT
- HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training
- I use the Circuit Training Assistant App because it does all of the hard work for me. I can see the exercises and the app has a built in timer so I can just press Start and follow along. Basically it’s “dummy-proof” because I am the dummy and the proof is that I can successfully use the app! Haha!
My goal is to work up to this level of fitness comfortably in the next 4 – 6 weeks – This would be considered “Moderately Active” when determining fitness levels
- Walk daily for 45 minutes to cover 2 miles (this is cardio to improve cardiovascular output and not intended for fat burning or strengthening)
- HIIT training 2 – 3 times a week for 30 – 45 minutes (this is the fat burning stuff)
- 15 minutes of stretching to warm up muscle groups
- 12 – 20 minutes of circuit training exercises (I can barely do 8 minutes right now!)
- 10 minutes of cool down stretches to get my blood pressure back to normal
- Weight lifting 2 times a week focusing on specific muscle groups (this is to build muscle and prevent osteoporosis and injury to my bones in my menopause years)
- One session to workout upper body, core and arms
- One session to workout lower body, back and balance in my legs, ankles and feet
So you can see that I am taking it step by step, one day at a time and one progression at a time. I know that I could push myself to do more but I want these habits to become cemented into my psyche and I am enjoying the ride while on my journey! I love personal growth so anytime I can challenge myself with a long-term ongoing goal, the happier I am! I hope you find my exercise plan helpful and if you have any questions then reach out to me in any one of the forums below or feel free to send me an email. I’ve included my email address below!
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu
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