The most powerful weapon you can use to accomplish a goal is your mind, yet it can also be the biggest obstacle if not properly conditioned. While some people thrive in all walks of life, others can’t seem to make progress on any front - why do you think this is? It’s because their mindset is standing in their way, while those achieving success have managed to leverage the power of their brain. For this reason, I am an avid believer in setting up the brain for success before starting a physical transformation. Let’s delve deeper into this important topic of conversation and identify why the brain must be trained to support, rather than hinder, your progress!
Many of your behaviors will be prompted by the subconscious mind acting on autopilot, which means that these settings must be fine-tuned for a successful and sustainable transformation. When stressed, your subconscious reaction is often to seek comfort foods. Subconsciously, it’s also likely that you opt for the easiest, or laziest, solution. Without even realizing it, this might be when you decide to skip the gym, or reach for junk food for short-term pleasure. These subconscious thoughts are instincts which require rewiring, so how do you go about this?
First, become more self-aware! Make note of any bad habits you have, which are likely done habitually without thinking about it. Self-awareness is the first step because once you acknowledge that these things are happening, you can gradually train yourself to stop these destructive habits. Try to identify what triggers these habits, rather than the action itself. There is a reason why you resort back to old habits, which may be ingrained in your brain from a young age, and it can take a great deal of work to undo. Be consistent and patient, the end result will be worth it.
Subduing Internal Battles
You may frequently question whether committing to a transformation is worth it or not.
This internal battle is largely because you haven’t firmly outlined the details of your goal such as what you're trying to achieve, how you’ll do it, and by when. Aspirations only become goals when there is a set game plan built into your routine with a concrete deadline attached to it.
Take the time to dig deep and discover why you want to complete a transformation. Simply saying “losing fat” isn’t sufficient. You should be highly aware of the reasons WHY you want to lose the weight. Perhaps it’s because you’re self-conscious of your lower back fat when you take your children swimming, or how your clothes are getting too tight - there are millions of reasons why, so find yours. The important part of knowing what motivates you towards this goal is the ability to leverage this “why” to drive you forward, keeping your brain focused on the necessary steps to success.
Knowledge Helps Gain Perspective
Don’t just apply a plan which brings results, instead focus on learning how the outcome enhances your life beyond just looking better. By training the brain to appreciate and enjoy healthy lifestyle habits, you gain a new perspective as to why it’s truly important. Suddenly the idea of abusing your body with harmful, processed foods scares your brain because it has learned of the potential dangers. Now, it will protect you by sending the message to not consume unhealthy food. This all stems from learning about the importance of nutrition, exercise, and supplementation, and how these all interact with internal physiological mechanisms to help you reach your goal and feel your absolute best.
Overcoming Negative Influences
There will be plenty of occasions where people try to derail your progress. Loved ones saying “one bite won’t hurt” or “just this one time” can be commonplace. In fact, you’re likely very familiar with these situations if you have ever attempted a transformation before.
The brain doesn't only need to steer you on the right path, it also needs to deflect negative external influences, like peer pressure. Often these people aren’t aware of the harmful nature of their actions because their subconscious instinct is so ingrained. However, it’s essential that your brain has a built-in mechanism which politely declines these unhelpful offers from loved ones when needed. For many, this is the hardest part of developing a mindset which serves their transformation. It’s in our nature to want to please others, however, if success matters to you, this is non-negotiable.
Long-Term Progress is Guaranteed
The biggest fundamental reasoning behind conditioning the brain to support your transformation is simple - it guarantees short- and long-term success. In the short-term, you get the outcome you want because you're able to adopt new habits which lead to positive physical adaptation. In the long run, you're more likely to sustain your progress, and even inspire others with your own success.
It is one thing to complete a transformation simply for an “after” photo, but to keep the results year-round takes consistency and strong willpower! Building mental strength within the brain is pivotal to continuously progress and make healthy decisions on a daily basis.
While the physical pain you face from an intense training session might feel hard, it comes and goes. Dealing with psychological impingements is a much harder, longer process which takes a great deal of effort, persistence, and patience. The benefit of developing this mental strength is that your results will be far more impressive, and they will be much more permanent. With your brain on board, you’ll be well-prepared to complete a total lifestyle transformation to improve your health, and possibly motivate those around you to do the same.