As this new year is in full swing, most people have begun and already left their resolutions to eat healthier and exercise more by the wayside. There is an aspect to creating healthier habits I wanted to really highlight here because it affects your success more than you may realize. Your mindset and perceptions,what you say to yourself about what you do have a huge impact on whether you stay the course or default to your old habits.
Most of us think our genes run everything, but that’s been proven to be false. For instance, when people were told they have genes that predispose them to respond poorly to exercise, their bodies start to respond accordingly, even when they don’t have those genes. When exercising on a treadmill, those people got tired more quickly than they did before and actually experienced decreased oxygen uptake and lung capacity. Just from being told they were not going to be effective exercisers – and believing that!
Here’s another powerful example of this principle. Researchers recruited 84 hotel maids and divided them into two groups. At the start of the study, none of them knew that they were already meeting or exceeding the U.S. guidelines for exercise simply by doing their work each day. Sixty-seven percent of the maids told the researchers that they “didn’t get any exercise.”
Group #1 was told that just by doing their job, they burned a lot of calories and got more than enough exercise. Group #2 was not told this. Thirty days later researchers found that those maids in Group #1 lost an average of 2 pounds, lowered their body fat percentage, and reduced systolic blood pressure by 10 points. All this was accomplished without doing any additional “exercise” besides their work or changing their diet at all. The other group did not experience any of these positive results.
Are you convinced of the power of your beliefs, mindset, perception, awareness and what you tell yourself? This may be a powerful piece of the puzzle you have been overlooking.
So how you perceive what you’re doing, the words you use to talk about it, how you assign meaning to what you’re doing, and the intention behind it all matter. I go into detail about the importance of this and share powerful ways to address this in Today is Still the Day. Speaking positive confessions over yourself, practicing intentionally perceiving your efforts as being effective will help you be consistent and successful in your efforts.
Are your thoughts, words and perceptions aligned in order to achieve success in your health goals?