Here Shannon Pepper, an expert in helping people with their weight loss goals, shares some tips on getting focused throughout the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge and being really clear about what you want to achieve:
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“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you no longer want to stay where you are.”
This quote is very true but unfortunately only making the decision that you no longer want to stay where you are is also the biggest trap that people fall into and is often what prevents us from having huge breakthroughs in our lives.
The reason for this is that it is not enough to only decide that you are not going to stay where you are, what makes the biggest difference in making a change to your life or your circumstances is getting very clear on what it is that you actually want in every area of your life.
If I asked you right now for your top 3 goals in life, put your hands up if you know exactly what they are?
OK, now if I were to ask you for 3 things that you never want to happen or experience in your life, put your hands up if you think you could come up with at least 3 things?
So it’s easy to see that most of us know what we don’t want, but aren’t so certain about what we do want and for 95% of people, this is exactly the same; when asked what they don’t want in life they can usually rattle off a list as long as their arm, but when asked what they do want to achieve they are often not so clear.
The reason that this is important to understand is because we have a very clever part of our brain called the Reticular Activating System (R.A.S.), The RAS constantly searches for what it is you are focusing on and it filters out what it perceives to be unimportant to you.
Now what’s really interesting to understand is that your RAS cannot actually process negative words, so if you are focusing on what you don’t want, for example, I don’t want to be overweight or I don’t want to be unhappy then what your RAS will seek out is ways for you to be overweight or be unhappy…which is the exact opposite effect of what you want.
Now there are a couple of ways that you can help influence your RAS to select your focus to get the outcomes you really want. The first way to do this is to ask yourself questions that will lead your RAS to find answers which will get you closer to your goals. Some great question examples would be:

  • How can I move my body vigorously today for 30 minutes?
  • What food is going to make me feel light, alive and satisfied?
  • Who can I speak to, align myself with or introduce myself to that can help me to achieve my goal?

Visualisation is a powerful tool that has long been used by top performing athletes and successful professionals. Put simply, visualisation is the practice of visualising exactly what it is you want to achieve before you achieve it.
If you want an abundance of energy, you would visualise how you would look, act and feel with abundant energy. If you want to be a size 10, you would visualise how you would look, act and feel as a size 10.
The more vivid you imagine these scenarios, the more powerful the visualisation exercise will work. Try to make your images come alive, almost like you are playing a movie in your mind, and try to engage all of your senses: what can you taste, what can you smell, what can you feel, what can you see and what can you hear?
For the example of being a size 10, what exactly are you doing? Are you going somewhere special, out to dinner, or just hanging out with friends? If you are at dinner, what are you eating and what foods can you smell? What can you see yourself wearing, who are you with and how do you feel? Can you hear laughter, excitement or birds chirping? What new experiences are you having, how much more energy do you have, how does life look now?
Some people find it easier to visualise than others, and some people visualise in colour whilst others find their visualisations are in black and white. The important thing is that your ‘vision’ empowers you and makes you feel excited about what you are about to achieve. Visualising yourself achieving success will dramatically improve your chances of actually achieving it.
You can do your visualisation exercise pretty much anywhere, but it is best to find a quiet place where you feel comfortable and relaxed, and where you won’t be disturbed. To begin, simply start to focus on what it is you want to achieve, and keep going over it again and again in your ‘mind’s eye’.
Two other techniques that you might find useful with your visualisation exercise are to;
(a) Find a photo of how you want to look, how you want to feel or what you want to achieve; or
(b) Create a ‘vision’ board or book; this is simply a collection of photos or pictures of how you would like to look or feel, things you would like to achieve, or simply anything that you associate with success and happiness. Then use your photos or images to help you create these visions of yourself in your own mind.
To get you started towards your vision for the future, I want you to take a few minutes now to write down how you see your future, your vision of yourself and write it down in a diary or on a piece of paper; so think carefully about how you look, how you feel, what you can see and hear around you and what you can taste.
OK, now I want you to close your eyes for a moment and think about what you have just written down. Think about having already achieved all of those things, think of them as already being real.
Picture yourself, right now…where are you? Are you at home, or somewhere special? Who are you with, what are you wearing? How great do you look right now!
I want you to now think about how you are feeling, now that you have achieved your goal, how do you really feel?; excited, proud, relieved, happy. Who can you see around you, are you with family, friends, work colleagues. What else can you see where you are right now? What can you smell where you are? Are you outdoors, near the ocean, in a garden with fresh flowers? What can you taste right now? Is it the sweet taste of success? Are you out at dinner? Have you just cooked an amazing meal for your family?
Right now, you are in your ultimate success, you have achieved your goal and you look fantastic…just take a moment to soak in how great it all feels [wait about 10 seconds]. OK, I want you to open your eyes and right now, write down underneath where you wrote your vision, why your vision inspires you.
Remember, everything that has ever been created or invented in this world started off as a vision in someone’s mind and there is no reason why you can’t achieve whatever it is that you want too.
Give this visualisation exercise a try and see if it helps you to get closer to you 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge goals.
Shannon Pepper
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