We all have some area of our life that we would like to change, but sometimes it can feel impossible to create change that lasts. Most of us dislike change, and have a negative association with it in our minds. But change is necessary to success, and critical to growth. Without change, we become stagnant and stagnation leads to death.
Maybe you want to lose weight and finally get physically fit. Maybe you want to be completely debt-free, and financially independent. Or perhaps you just want a promotion at work, or a better relationship with a family member. Regardless of the type of change you desire, there are three components to creating permanent, lasting change in any area of your life. In this article we will look at part 1 of the Triad of Change.
The first necessary component of lasting change is what you think (or what you think about). You will always head in the direction of your thoughts. Just like the driver who thinks, “Don’t hit the pole, don’t hit the pole…” and then runs smack-dab into the pole, your thoughts create direction that the rest of your body will automatically follow. Recent studies in neuroscience confirm what motivational speakers have touted for hundreds of years: change your thoughts and change your life.
You have to change, not only what you think about, but how you think about it. For example, lets say you want to lose weight. If all day long you constantly think about what you are going to eat, or drink, or how painful exercise will be, or how you don’t have time to exercise, or anything negative related to weight loss, these thoughts will cause your body to release cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone that will lock down your fat cells, preventing fat from being converted to energy. Your body still needs energy, so when it goes into the “supply closet” for energy, and the fat cells are all locked up, it will convert muscle or other tissues to energy, causing your fitness level to further decline.
Instead, refocus your thoughts. Using our weight loss example, imagine that you are already physically fit. Close your eyes and see yourself at your ideal weight. What do you wear? What will you eat today to maintain your great physique? How much exercise will you need to maintain your perfect figure? Take a few minutes to figure these things out, and then redirect your thoughts to something else. If you were already at your ideal weight and no longer needed to obsess about what you eat, etc, what would you be thinking about then? Would you be thinking about your job and how to get a promotion? Would you be thinking about your family and ways you could take them on a nice vacation? Find something positive to focus on other than your weight. Each time a weight-related thought pops into your head, replace it with something else that is positive. This will allow your body to realign your hormonal balances, lower your blood pressure, and use your fat, rather than your muscles and other tissues for energy.
You become what you focus on, so make sure you are thinking about positive things like what you can do for others, your dreams and goals, or things for which you are thankful.
This technique will work for any area of change you desire, not just for weight loss. Talk to your lifecoach about additional ways you can make the Triad of Change work for you. In the next article, we will look at the second part of the Triad of Change.