“If we want to achieve extraordinary results and fulfillment, we need more than just time management systems. We need a new system of thinking, a way to focus immediately on the results that are most important to us in our lives. Instead of focusing on what it is we need to do, we should first focus on what it is we really want. We must think in terms of results.”
– Tony Robbins
Have you ever tried to shoot a target blindfolded? I bet you can imagine how that would turn out! This reminds me of when I was a child and playing the birthday game, “Pin the Tail on the Donkey.” Now, there are a numerous variations of this game, but every birthday this is the one we would play. My mom would pull out a wonderfully made hand-drawn poster of a donkey, tape it onto our living room wall, hand me the donkey’s tail with some tape on the end, and blindfold me. One of my brothers or sisters would spin me around and around trying to throw off my sense of direction. Feeling dizzy and disoriented I would do my best to place the donkey’s tail where it should go, most of the time laughably incorrect. I would take off the blindfold and wonder what went so wrong.
To me, this story illustrates how we deal with our health. Many are trying to shoot blindfolded, not knowing what the results will be or where we will end up. My favorite part of the quote above is, “we should first focus on what it is we really want.”
I meet clients every day with ailments ranging from back pain and knee pain, to diabetes, thyroid disorders, and inability to lose weight. Even with a diverse range of symptoms, the beginning point for achieving their desired results is the same; first focus on what it is you really want. Having a clear result or desired outcome will take the blindfold off your eyes and align you with your target. Every day focus on your desired results and your actions will support your desires. When your actions are done consistently they will change your behavior. I have seen and experienced first-hand one reason why some see great success and others do not; it involves changing your behavior and daily habits to mimic the outcome or results you want to accomplish.
To help you take that first step in achieving your health goals, I have listed four daily habits as guidance. You need to develop your own, but don’t over think this. Many people get caught up trying to think their way to the result, versus taking action and the result find you.
1. Positive Thinking
King’s College Hospital, located in London England, conducted a study among cancer patients who had undergone mastectomies. Researchers at the hospital tracked the progress of 57 women. Of the ones who had a positive attitude when they were diagnosed with cancer, 7 out of 10 were alive ten years later. But of the ones who felt a sense of hopelessness during diagnosis, 8 out of 10 had died. Ongoing medical research continues to present similar findings and warrants increased attention. The power of our mindset cannot be disregarded. I personally use affirmations (positive thoughts that are intentional) and incantations (affirmations with physical movement and emotion) to set my mindset throughout the day. You may need to repeat this throughout the day as the negativity that surrounds you tries to infiltrate your thoughts.
2. Morning Routine
Having a morning ritual or routine will get you focused for the day and prepared. Do not let the day dictate you, you dictate the day. Otherwise, you’ll be in a constant reactive state. Being proactive means you have to plan. Here’s a great way to start: Set aside 15 minutes each morning to mentally walk yourself through the day, intentionally seeing how it will transpire. Do this while you physically walk or use a rebounder. Increasing blood flow will deliver much needed oxygen to the brain helping you think deeper and broader. If you’re anything like me, you need almost constant reminders about daily events. I review my planner before I go to bed at night, during my morning routine, and throughout the day as needed. This helps me stay on track with my goals and tasks. No day is perfect, but I have found that by sticking to a morning routine my results have multiplied without having to pray for one more hour at the end of the night.
3. Morning Water
We all know we should be drinking more water. 75% of Americans do not drink enough water to stay properly hydrated. A simple way to drink more water is to do so as soon as you get out of bed. Have a 8oz glass of water at your bedside ready to go. Drink this upon waking. This will accomplish several things: help you wake up, jump-start your metabolism, and detox your body. You’ve just spent six to eight hours sleeping with no water. Your body is full of toxins from a busy night of healing so help it out with a nice tall glass of H20. Your body, mind, and waist line will thank you.
4. Posture and Stretching
Posture is much more than just how we look. Having good posture improves self confidence, lessens back and neck pain, prevents osteoarthritis, and will even improve respiratory and digestive function. Throughout the day perform these simple stretches to improve your posture: 1) Reach your hands straight behind your back and pull your shoulder blades together, grasping your hands behind you. While doing this look upwards and feel a deep stretch, inhale deeply as you do this. As you exhale do the opposite: round your shoulders forward and push your arms straight out in front of you, tuck your chin to your chest. Repeat this three times slowly. 2) Stretch your hamstrings and hip flexors often throughout the day, especially if you sit at a desk.
The result you are looking to achieve is the target you are after. You want this target to be a specific, measureable outcome. Not simply an activity that needs to be performed but the actual result you are after.
Take the blindfold off, set your goal, and focus so intently on that goal that your behavior changes in order to align you with your desired outcome. And God willing, you’ll pin that tail on the back end of the donkey and not the front.