Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Thinking Positive to Achieve Your Goals

By Dr. Joanna Dolgoff

The most important thing is not to allow negative comments to get in our way. If someone tells us we can’t do it or makes us feel bad, we often feel defeated. We need to empower ourselves. Nobody else can do it. Think about the life you want to lead once you reach your goal. One good way to achieve this is to write down your reasons behind your desire to lose weight. Stick the list on the wall so that you can see it every day. When a negative thought pops up, replace it with a positive one. For example, remind yourself that once you lose the weight you will be more comfortable with yourself. When you think “I can do this “, you really raise your odds of success!

This type of positive self-talking applies towards exercise as well. If you are negative after your workouts, all you will think about is how horrible the entire experience was. This will make it much tougher to return to the treadmill next time. Instead, focus on how good you feel for having completed your workout. Think about how your body feels after burning some energy and gaining strength. If there are exercises that you absolutely hate to do, don’t do them. Find a different exercise that may produce similar results. This way you won’t dread working out.  We are often harder on ourselves than anyone else. The way we think can make a huge difference in our motivation and our results. Positive thinking leads to better weight loss and more enjoyable exercise. If you really want to achieve your weight loss goals, you need to think positive.

It is important to acknowledge small achievements. For example, if you lose 0.4 lb in one week, be proud! Those small losses add up to being a big deal towards your goal. Remember that slow and steady wins the race. It’s so important to weed out those negative thoughts from your mind and replace them with positive ones. When you tell yourself something can’t be done, you end up doing worse. When we practice positive self-talking, we increase our motivation, making us feel more empowered and capable.

Once we start making an effort towards an achievement of a goal, we tend to get empowered and you’ll be much more likely to continue your program. Find a few workouts that you like, or can at least tolerate, and mix them up. Listening to music can help motivate you to finish your workout if you are struggling. Usually up-beat music that pumps you up works best!

Focus more on the good things you’ve done and less on your slip-ups. It’s so important not to have your expectations too high but make them realistic. Learn to accept and be happy with the weight you have already lost and don’t obsess over what didn’t happen. This will keep you motivated and less likely to get discouraged. It’s important to be flexible and not have an all-or-nothing mindset. If you miss one workout, you don’t need to quit your entire plan. Instead of beating yourself up when you deviate, plan to get back on track by your next meal or the next day.

It’s so important to pat yourself on the back for sticking to your goals. Be happy with your achievements no matter how big or small they may be. Over time, positive thinking will occur naturally and can have a healthy impact on more than just your weight!

About Dr. Dolgoff

Dr. Dolgoff’s Weigh: Child and Adolescent Weight Management practice boasts a 96% weight loss success rate.  There are offices in Manhattan, N.Y. and Roslyn Heights, N.Y.  There is also a national online component (http://www.drweigh.com/) to the program which children all over the country have been using to lose weight.

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