What do an avid runner, an ancient Roman poet, an ancient Greek philosopher, and an English intellectual have in common? They all said powerful things that can help us lose weight and get in shape. Let’s examine their quotes and develop some action plans we can follow to help achieve our goals.
Cyril Connolly, the English intellectual, said, “The one way to get thin is to re-establish a purpose in life.”
What is your life’s purpose? Some people might refer to this as your personal Mission Statement.
Have you thought about it? Have you stated it definitively? Is it “to make it to tomorrow”? Or is it something bigger?
My life’s purpose and personal mission statement are: “To help as many people get healthy and wealthy as I can.” By working toward my life’s purpose, I’ll be improving my health and wealth and creating a lasting legacy for my family and community.
When you establish your life’s purpose, you consciously and subconsciously direct yourself toward the desired future. If your desired future includes a healthier, thinner you, you’re more likely to achieve it now that your life’s purpose is established.
Action plan: If you don’t have a life purpose or personal mission statement, take some time to create one.
Don’t just think about it. Could you write it down? Otherwise, it isn’t “real” in your mind. Put it someplace you’ll regularly see, like on your computer monitor. Think about the person you’ll become–mentally, physically and spiritually–as you accomplish things in line with your life purpose.
Aristotle, the ancient Greek philosopher, said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.”
A habit is a pattern of behaviour that you acquire after frequent repetition. If you do anything enough times–good or bad–it becomes a habit.
The good news is that you can break any bad habit. The key is to replace that bad habit with a new, good one.
Do you have any bad eating habits? Do you tend to eat unhealthy snacks between meals? Do you eat lots of fast food? Do you drink too much soda? You can change any of these habits.
Action plan: Identify one of your bad eating habits. Analyze it. Why does it happen? When? How? Once you have done this, commit to replacing that habit with a new, improved one. Pay attention. Every time you catch yourself in a bad eating habit, replace it with something healthy.
For example, instead of grabbing another sugary (or chemically!) soda, brew up a big fresh mug of yummy green tea. Or take a walk around the block—anything to break the pattern.
You will see that this at first conscious and difficult act soon becomes automatic. Then you’ll be on the way to excellent eating habits!
Virgil, the ancient Roman poet, said, “The greatest wealth is health.”
It doesn’t matter how much money you have or how nice your material things are if you aren’t healthy enough to enjoy them. And if you aren’t materially wealthy right now, you are still very fortunate if you have good health.
Many people consider it noble to work themselves to exhaustion and sickness because they think in the end they’ll “buy” themselves time to improve their health. But that rarely happens. People who neglect their health often find themselves so sick they can’t enjoy the wealth they’ve been building.
Never seek material wealth at the expense of your health!
Action plan: Make a habit of being thankful for your good health. Consider how wealthy you really are if you already have good health. If you can improve your health by losing weight and getting in shape, commit to doing so. It’s the best way to make yourself truly wealthy!
And George Sheehan, the avid runner, said, “Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.”
If you’ve tried slimming down but haven’t succeeded, it’s possible you weren’t determined enough to reach your goal. Determination is a quality that can be exercised and mastered. Having a definite goal and keeping it in mind whenever you decide is a good way of strengthening your determination. Just be alert and when you feel your determination and willpower falter, remember your goal, and you’ll improve your resolve!
Action plan: Think about who you want to be. Describe this idea in detail, including as many aspects as you can think of. With this mental picture in place, you will see it is easier to maintain the focus and determination needed for your weight loss plan to be successful. Every time you feel about to cave, recall this picture of who you are meant to be. It will keep you on the right track, and you WILL be successful.
In conclusion, take all these ideas together and use them to help you reach your weight loss goals: write down your personal mission statement; commit to replacing bad eating habits with good ones; be thankful for the good health you have and work to improve it, and envision your ideal self. If you follow these action plans, you’ll be well on your way to a healthier and slimmer you!