Change Those Habits And Be Slim!

Weight loss is a lifelong commitment which requires appropriate lifestyle changes in order to not only lose weight but maintain weight loss too. And whilst that may sound daunting – changing habits can be tricky to say the least – it is not impossible.

If you have the right technique to help you let go of outdated habits which are keeping you from losing weight (perhaps binging late in the evening, eating biscuits with you tea etc) then you may find you are on the way to weight loss success more quickly than you imagined and who knows – the view may be stunning too!

Below is a simple NLP technique that can help you replace your old habitual patterns with new healhier ones in a matter of minutes. Yes you read that right – you can reprogram your mind in a matter of minutes with this amazing NLP tool. So give it a go and get on your way to a healthier lifestyle and a slimmer you. So give it a go right now and transform your life and your figure. Remember this Swish process can be used for any habit.

The Swish Technique

1. Firstly, identify the unhealthy habitual behavior that you would like to change. For example, if may be that you don’t exercise enough, that you always clear your plate or you eat too fast. Chose a specific habit or behavior that you want to get rid of.

2. Identify the trigger behind your habit or behavior. Your habit or automatic behavior is more often than not, triggered by a specific stimulus i.e. you don’t consciously chose to behave in this particular way, your mind responds automatically to an external trigger. Once you identify the trigger that causes the unwanted behavior, you can then to on to change it.

So for example, the memory of your mum’s voice from childhood telling you to finish all your dinner could be the trigger behind you cleaning your plate every meal time. Watching TV could be your trigger for snacking in the evening. If you struggle getting to the gym, what is the exact moment when you decide not to go? Is it an image of you being out of breath on the exercise bike that makes you say ‘sod it’ or is it the thought of relaxing in front of the TV instead?

Whatever the reason, there will be a specific trigger that generates an automatic response. If you find it difficult to identify the specific trigger for your behaviour, then imagine trying to teach someone how you decide not to go to the gym, or how to decide to eat up all the food on your plate. What is that they will have to see, hear or feel that will make them also want to avoid going to the gym or want to clear plate? What is it exactly that convinces you to do what you do?

Now before we go onto the next step, get up and walk about or count backwards from 10 to 0. This helps to break state (change your focus from what you don’t want in order to focus on what you do want instead).
3. Choose Your New Behaviour

Now you get to choose what you would prefer to do instead of the old behaviour. What new habit or behaviour do you want instead? What image in your mind will inspire you to go to the gym or stop you eating all the food on your plate? The image you choose has to be as compelling as you can possibly make it – it has to motivate you to choose this new behaviour over the old one.

It is very important that you chose an image that will motivate you and make you feel positive. So for example, you could have an image of you immediately after a gym session, buzzing with those feel good endorphins and feeling fantastic. You could see a slimmer you at the table leaving food on the plate and feeling proud of what you have accomplished. So get a clear picture of the response you would like instead right now. Close your eyes and see it.

Ensure when you chose the image for the new behaviour you need to be able to see yourself in the image.Once you have got your picture in your mind – then make it even more compelling, even more motivating. Make the picture bigger and brighter – add some sounds – perhaps compliments from other people – really get into the picture and see every wonderful detail.

Now add some feelings – imagine how fantastic you would feel if this was happening now – really turn up those feel good feelings so that you feel absolutely amazing. Now double those feelings – triple them and really enjoy this image, the sounds and these feelings. Brilliant.

When you are happy with this image and the feelings it produces then break state. Get up and walk around for 10 seconds; have a good stretch or sing ‘Happy Birthday’ – anything that changes your focus.

4: Lets Swish

Now is the time to get rid of the ‘old’ and bring in the ‘new’. You will replace the old trigger picture in step 2 into a new compelling image you created in step 3. To begin with you need to get the old trigger picture in your mind – make it as big and as bright as you can so that you can see every little detail. When you see the image it should be as though you are looking at it through your own eyes i.e. you are associated into the picture (you are not in the picture).

Now you have the old image in your mind, I want you to bring in a small postage stamped sized image of the new compelling image. Place this smaller image in the bottom left hand corner of the old picture. Keep the image small, darker and ensure that you see yourself in the image so that you are disassociated.

Now you are ready to Swish. All you do now is simply say the word ‘swish’ in your mind or out loud and as you do instantly increase the size of the new picture so that it totally covers the old one – so that it wipes it out completely and all you see is the new compelling image. As you increase the size of this new image make it brighter and add those feelings and sounds to it. Ensure that this new image totally obliterates the old one so that there is nothing remaining what so ever.

When the new image is big and bright really get into the details, the sounds and the feelings – luxuriate in how great you feel. Relax and enjoy this image and the feelings it creates for a few moments. Take your time and enjoy these feelings as the stronger the positive feelings the quicker the results. Now, break state.

5. Make The Change Permanent

Now you have completed this process once and it felt good right? Well now it’s time to make sure this change lasts – that it takes root in the inner most part of your mind and becomes as automatic as your old behaviour. So simply repeat step 4 at least 7 – 10 times ensuring that you break state in between each swish (get up and wiggle!).

This step is usually quicker than what you expect- this process usually takes me around 20 minutes to do with a client and that’s including the explanation! so stick to your guns and get going – the results are phenomenal. I have helped clients improve eating habits, get more exercise and improve their self image with this simple tool which means that you too can bring about lasting change.

So bring back the old trigger picture, put the new image in the bottom left hand corner of it and ‘swish’ – obliterate the old image and make the new image bigger, brighter and full of life. Remember to luxuriate in the wonderful feelings, sounds and details of the new image for a few moments to really make a powerful switch. Break state and start again!

6. Future Pace

Once you have run through step 4 several times you may have noticed that the old image starts to fade or that it completely disappears. That’s great! It means that you have been successful. If you still can see the old image that’s okay too as you will notice that it no longer has the power over you that it used to have.

If the old trigger still has strong feelings attached to it – run through step 4 a few more times. If there is no change that it may mean that you have the wrong trigger. Just start again and ask yourself ‘at what point do I decide to do the old behaviour? What do i see, hear or feel that makes me want to do X?’

Now think about your old behaviour and notice what you notice about how you feel about it now and you may be surprised to find that you feel completely different. Well done! You have succeeded in changing your habit!

So give this powerful tool a go when you have 20 minutes to spare – and don’t say you haven’t got the time – because you can always make the time.

Good Luck!

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Loose Something? Cash, Weight…….

Most of us refer to weight loss or losing weight – it’s one of the highest search terms in google – and many people try to lose weight many times during their lives especially before a holiday or event (wedding, graduation etc) but how many of us question the actual language we use?

I will use the term ‘weight loss’ on my website as it’s what potential clients search for but I do not use it in my sessions! And if you think of it – there is a pretty obvious reason as to why it’s best to avoid the phrases ‘weight loss’ or ‘losing weight’ – and alteratively choosing a more motivating phrase instead.

When we talk about ‘loss’ in general – is it usually associated with happiness or sadness? Sadness – that’s right – loss of a loved one, job loss, loss of human rights etc. LOSS has many negative connotations to it and yet we use it more or less all the time when referring to the process of slimming or shedding excess fat! So no wonder you feel so miserable when you keep referring to weight loss on your journey to your ideal weight!!!

Also – what about losing weight? Do you want to lose weight? Yes of course you do but seriously – do you want to ‘find’ it again too? Probably not!!! When we lose something (usually car keys for me!) we ultimately set off to find it don’t we? So our mind has linked lost, loosing, lose etc with something that we need to find – so guess what – if it ‘hears’ your saying that you have lost weight – it may well feel obliged to help you find it again – just as it helped you find those missing keys the other week!

So chose your words wisely – every day – not just on matters of slimming! If you are trying to shed a few pounds or a mountain of fat – then tell yourself and others that you are ‘letting go’ of the excess fat/weight – as letting go suggests we had something once that served a purpose (a boyfriend/book/behaviour etc) but now we no longer need it so we ‘let it go’ to make us feel better.

Or use an even more positive phrase which not only uses more positive language but also provides an image (it will do each time you say it believe me) in your mind of your desired goal – the slimmer you.

Starting each day with a positive affirmation and visualization – of ‘I am slim and healthy’ focuses your mind on what you want (slim and healthy), tells your mind exactly what you want (slim and healthy) and helps you to remain focused on what you want to obtain (yes you’ve guessed it -slim and healthy).

Change your language today and see how much better you feel about your journey to a slimmer and healthier and happier you! IT Does make a difference to how you feel and if you feel better you will feel more motivated and if you feel more motivated (you are getting quick now aren’t you?!) you are more likely to succeed at reaching your ideal weight!

So chose to let go of your excess weight and focus on your ideal weight and shape – see it, hear it and feel it – it can be yours!

Good luck – and if you need some help with letting go of those nasty beliefs preventing you from reaching your ideal weight – give me a shout! I have helped hundreds (including myself) to fulfil their goals of reaching and maintain their ideal weight – so I can help you too!!

Say NO and Mean It!

Reading an article yesterday I felt compelled to write on the subject of saying no. No is a simple two letter word. There is nothing complex in it’s pronunciation or interpretation. No is the opposite of yes. No is a full sentence and does not need clarification or justification. No means simply no.

So why do some of us have difficulty saying no and meaning it? Whether it’s saying no to the PTA or your kids or your boss at work who seems to have singled you out for extra work and unpaid hours. When you say no it should mean no and not ‘well I might be able to’ or ‘you know that I really don’t want to’ or even ‘I hate letting people down and they will probably not like me if I say no’.

People soon get used to the ‘weak’ no and consequently will try and force your hand based on past experience however isn’t it time you stood up for yourself, for what you want and for what you mean? Yes it is!

If you have problems saying no to people then try this simple exercise below and soon you will be saying NO in an assertive way that everyone will understand and no-one will doubt!

1. Think about a couple of past situations where you wanted to say no to someone but failed. You may have started with no but ended up with ‘okay if you want’ (what about what you want?!!)
2. Go through these scenes in your mind and find the point where your ‘no’ became a ‘yes’. Notice how you felt, what you said, what the other person said etc.
3. Now go through these situations again but this time change the end result to a positive outcome. When you get to the point where you gave in before, see yourself now saying no and meaning it. As you visualize yourself doing this notice your body posture, the tone of your voice etc and how much more assertive you look and sound. Go through this a couple of times and notice everything that is different about this new you that says no and means it!
(a few suggestions here would be seeing yourself standing tall, relaxed, possibly smiling (though not manically) whilst saying something like ‘Thanks for the opportunity but I really can’t right now, so I am going to have to say no’. And LEAVE IT AT THAT! No does not need to be justified it simply means no, however you can be polite about it which is more likely to appease the other person. Say no with a smile (creates a feeling of warmth) and simply say ‘No thank you, I am fine/I really haven’t the time right now/it’s really not something I enjoy/I do not accept what you say’ etc. When you have said no simply see yourself walking away or changing the subject.)
4. Next write down all the ways that you can say ‘no’ nicely, firmly and mean it. Read them through and practice saying them with conviction. This does not mean shouting or raising the tone of your voice, if anything lower the tone of your voice just slightly as this sends out a clear message to others that you mean what you say! (I use this technique in class with students and it’s far more effective than shouting which merely lets others know you have lost control).
5. Now practice saying no to people who take advantage of you, in front of a mirror preferably. See yourself looking calm and in control, maintaining eye contact (vital!) and smiling before saying no. And then practice defending that no – ‘As I have just mentioned I do not have the time……but thank you again for asking’. etc! Make sure the outcome is the one you want!

When you run through this exercise you will notice you begin to feel more confident about your ability to say no and mean it! If you have a situation that you know requires a no then practice saying no before hand and remember always picture a POSITIVE outcome i.e. the one you want!

Everyone has the right to say no and some say it more or less everyday whilst others fear the consequences of their no. Sometimes it is appropriate to say no – if it’s to the attention seeking child to the annoying friend or to the guy down the road who keeps you chatting for too long about his health problems!

From today make a commitment to say no and stick to it! Say no and mean it!

Confident Children And Imagination

My son was a very anxious boy this morning. He is playing in the school team this evening in a deciding match for the league title and he is scared!

As a mum it’s all to easy to say ‘don’t be ridiculous, you’re a great player’ and leave it at that, but if your child is really worried about something or lacking confidence then surely there is a better way to help them that just offering reassurance?

Well thankfully there is! Confidence is based on perception i.e. your child’s own idea of whether they feel they can do something well or not and like us all, confidence can be diminished through ‘bad’ experiences. And when I say ‘bad’ the experiences themselves may not necessarily be bad but the meanings we take from them may be.

So your son is anxious about a match or your daughter feels scared about doing her Show and Tell – how can you help them?

Two ways really and both very simple and incredibly powerful.

The first one is to get them to ‘rehearse’ what they are going to do in their mind and talk them through it with as much positivity as possible. Make them feel incredible and make sure that every detail is positive and that the outcome is a success.

Not only will this boost their confidence as you are doing the exercise but it also programs their mind to do what they have been ‘rehearsing’ too! So when they stand up in front of the class or get in front of that goal, their mind goes ‘ah right, I know what I need to know now’ and more often than not, they will get the results the practiced.

However be realistic. Don’ set them up for failure! You son will probably not score 10 goals even if he is up front and not in defence! The idea is to get them to focus on the skills needed to get the results they want and to program their minds for success and remember what the mind can see you will achieve – so if your child focuses on failure (which is probable if they are worried) they are more likely to fail. So get them to always focus on what they want from this moment on (and you too!)

To help them feel more positive towards doing this and the following exercise, mention how all the top sports personalities carry out this exercise and how it improves their game/race etc.

Another great way of boosting your kids confidence (which can be incorporated with the exercise above too) is know as the confidence switch. This is quite simply setting up a physical anchor which when ‘fired’ produces feelings of well being and confidence in your child. 

So how do you literally turn on a confidence switch? Well the first thing you need to do is decide what the switch will be (a good place is a knuckle on one hand, the back of the hand or even their nose) and ensure you keep this ‘switch’ and that the pressure used is the same too i.e. press the same place all the time and with enough pressure to register the touch but not too much that it’s obvious. Also once this is set up the switch needs to be something that you child themselves can access themselves if and when they need it. So discretion might be key.

Once you have decided where the ‘switch’ will be then you need to set it. So get your child to remember a time when they felt really great, perhaps when they scored a goal previously or when they were doing something they loved doing such as dancing, singing or simply a time when they felt really great – perhaps playing with friends or on the rollercoaster! 

Get them to close their eyes if they want to (it’s ok if they don’t want to) and get them (with a little help from you) to talk through the positive experience as if they were actually reliving it again. Ask them what they see, what they hear and ask them to really focus on how great they were feeling and as you know yourself, when you focus on happy memories those old feelings flood back don’t they? 

So when you see that your child has associated into those feel good feelings (it will be very obvious with a child when they are!) simply touch their ‘switch’ for roughly 10 seconds. Then stop.

Get them to go through the memory again maybe this time bring in more details or try another memory. Again get your child to really focus on all that they remember and when you see them accessing those happy feel good feelings again, anchor them by touching their knuckle again.

Do this a couple of times at any one go – don’t overdo it as your child will get fed up! Do it again with them the next day or the next to ensure that their confidence switch becomes more powerful.

However one of the best things about the confidence switch is that your child doesn’t even have to know what you are doing! You can get them to focus on happy memories whilst you anchor these feelings by touching their hand (in the same place and the same hand!)/knuckle/nose in such a way that they are unaware of what you are doing. 

Also every time they are feeling happy, confident or at ease with themselves you can simply top us this switch by touching their knuckle for a few seconds. 

You need to go this exercise around 4 – 8 times and then try out the switch. Get you child to focus and then flip the switch and ask (and watch out for signs) them what they noticed? Keep topping up this confidence switch – whenever you child is doing something they are enjoying, when they tell you about a fab goal they scored at school or how they did this incredible dance move – just switch that switch. The more you do this the better the result.

They will be delighted with their new weapon of  mass construction! So give this a go – it’s easy to do and will make your child feel so much more confident and in control. Furthermore, the more they use this switch the more likely the behaviour is to become a natural part of who they are. 

I will keep you posted on the result tonight!

Take care and speak soon!!!

So What Do You See?

It never ceases to amaze me how many people can tell you exactly what they do not want in life yet when you ask them what they want instead, they become quiet and in some cases, somewhat put out that you asked!

What you want in life is important isn’t it? If you want to be happy then it’s important to know what makes you happy so that you can be happy isn’t it? It’s important to focus on reaching your ideal weight if you are overweight yet very few people do.

How many people have you heard bemoan their excess weight or not being able to find nice clothes in their size or indeed clothes to fit them or how they just ‘lurve’ food (which technically they don’t as they barely if at all taste it because they eat too fast)?

When was the last time you heard someone say ‘I chose to be slim and healthy’ or ‘I will reach my goal weight easily and effortlessly’? Very rarely I can imagine.

What you focus on in life you get in life. If you focus on being fat then guess what? You will be fat! However if you stop moaning and start focusing on what you want – to reach your ideal weight and shape and look slim and sensational – then guess what? You are more than likely going to reach your ideal weight! And besides doesn’t it feel so much better to focus on how wonderful you are going to feel and look instead of focusing on something that makes you miserable?

Common sense prevails here. Focus on what you want and you are more likely to get what you want. Also focusing on what you want is a strong motivator especially if you imagine you ourself having the thing that you want! It makes you feel so much more positive and the more positive you feel the more likely you are to attract positive things (those things that you want) into your life

By focusing on what you want you are also employing the powerful Law of Attraction and like any natural law, such as the Law of Gravity, The Law of Attraction is in operation 24/7. So use it and get what you want in life and all you have to do if stay focused on what you want!

So next time you find yourself focusing on what you don’t want instantly change your point of focus to what you do want and be specific and state it in the positive. Do not say ‘I want to lose weight’ as you are STILL focusing on the weight! Simply state something like ‘I will reach my ideal weight of XX by XXDate and I will be slim and healthy’ or ‘I easily maintain my ideal weight’.

So focus on what you want in life and focus on the positive things too and pretty soon you will notice a shift. So remember……..

Focus. Focus. Focus. Persevere. Persevere. Persevere.

Change the movie

Grief is a painful experience isn’t it and one which differs from culture to culture?  The east celebrate the life of a loved one where we in the west mourn the death of a lost one. Even the language is completely different!

Grief is a process which we are led to believe goes through several stages from anger to guilt to sadness etc but do we have to be burdened with the pain of grief or can we change the movie we run in our mind?

I lost my brother to cancer years ago and was devastated. Not only was he one of my best friends but I was living out of the country and never had the chance to say goodbye. However on reflection I was never sure whether I was glad or not for this because my last memory of my brother was a ‘good’ one (he was still healthy and alive and smiling), however the movie I ran in my mind over and over again, when I  thought of him after his death, was his hearse coming into view. This was the moment when his death became earth-shatteringly real to me.

Each and every time I thought of my brother this image would come into my mind and attached to this was the intense pain I felt at that moment. So what if I changed the picture I associated with my brother to one where he was very much  alive, would that change how I felt? And if it would, would I really want to feel less pain because surely that would mean I didn’t love him enough?

Unfortunately for those who have lost a loved one the movie we tend to play in our minds is one from the final weeks where they suffered  or their actual death (a ‘bad’ image) and we replay this scene over and over again and of course, attached to that movie are all those painful feelings too, so it’s no wonder we feel awful each and every time we remember this person.

Now I know there are many of you who would feel cheated if they did’nt hang onto the pain of loss however ask yourself if this is what your loved one would have wanted? Probably not and you know what, isn’t it more respectful to remember your loved one when they were alive, healthy and well because that was the ‘real’ them wasn’t it?

So next time you remember your loved one and you find yourself focusing on a ‘bad’ memory just say CANCEL in your mind and instantly bring to mind a cherished memory. Not only will this make you feel better in that moment but over time it will become an automatic process that when you think of your lost loved one the first thing you recall is a ‘good’ memory.

If the grief is still very raw and overwhelming then try out the butterfly hug which is specifically designed for trauma and grief. Not only is it quick but it’s comforting too ( For more information on how to do this check  out yesterdays blog here ). Or give EFT a go – I use this with my clients and even after one session the pain has dramatically reduced and the ‘bad’ image they see has moved further away and becpes less focused too which means that your mind is beginning to process and release the grief (when the’ bad’ image is quite literally in your face as your recall it the pain associated will be worse however if you push the picture away from you on your mental screen the pain lessons).

So if you are ready to leave the pain of grief behind and smile when you remember the person your lost, then change the movie in your mind. When you become aware you’re focusing on a ‘bad’ memory say CANCEL in your mind and immediately bring in an image of the person when they were alive and healthy and preferably smiling too.

It’s okay to let go of the pain because you can always hold onto the love that you had and keep your loved one close at hand at all times in that special place in your heart. So remember your loved one for who they were and celebrate their life and yes you may still have a good cry at times and that’s only human but the raw pain will be a thing of the past.

Seeing Is Believing

Many clients come to me in the hope that they can feel more confident in certain situations whether that be driving, singing, dancing, public speaking or to simply feel better about themselves.

I usually see these clients for a couple of sessions however there is an incredibly easy and effective tool that anyone can use which will build confidence over time and as they say, the more you do it the more you will benefit!

Visualization is (and I can not stipulate strongly enough!!!) one of the most simple yet powerful self help tools available to one and all and is completely free! The majority if not all of top athletes use visualization to enhance performance and it has been proven that visualization is more effective than just training alone. Top business men, professionals, actors, singers and even doctors use this simple tool.

Why? Well first and foremost because visualization  reprogrammes our mind for success. Your mind does respond to the thoughts you have and the images you create in your mind too. So if you see yourself confident you mind will respond accordingly. Also the part of the brain that responds to what we actually see is the same part of the mind that responds to what we visualize too, so your mind will just assume that you are the confident individual you see in your mind and will accordingly produce the behaviour appropriate. And the more you see yourself confident the stronger the new neural pathways become to that new more positive behaviour.

Secondly, when you visualize yourself feeling good and acting in a way that you wish to behave, you will automatically begin to feel better in yourself too so visualization stimulates these wonderful feel good feeling more and more in response to the positive images we create.

Thirdly. The part of your mind that is responsible for your behaviours in the unconscious mind and this part of our mind has many duties, one being to move you towards pleasure and away from pain. So whilst you visualize yourself acting more confidently, you begin to feel better too, so your unconscious mind will begin to associate this feel good feeling with acting confidently  and as it wants you to feel happy it will produce more confident behaviour to ensure you keep feeling great!

Visualization may not be easy to begin with as you may not be used to creating images in your mind but believe you me, you do produce images daily in your mind whether you are aware of it or not! Think of something you love and you may be surprised to notice an image pop to mind straight away! If you do struggle with visualizing then daydream – most people can daydream and quite often do about winning the lottery!

When you see yourself confident in your mind you may notice your physiology adapts accordingly too, however really get a sense of, or an image of just how you would look, how you would behave, especially in those situations that perhaps you would avoid. How do you sound when you speak? How do you walk? How do you feel in yourself? So really get into how you would look, feel, think, behave when confident and most importantly is FEEL how great you feel when you see yourself confident because the better you feel while visualizing the more confident you the quicker the transformation!

Get into a routine too – visualize first thing in the morning to set you up for the day and several times during the day – it only needs to be for a couple of minutes to make a difference each day. If you are preparing for something that you need to feel more confident about then see yourself doing what ever it is, whether it’s presenting or chatting up that guy at work that you’ve had your eye on for ages, but see yourself doing what you want to do in the way that you want to do it and make sure that you focus only on a positive performance because remember – what the mind can see the mind will achieve!!

So get seeing you in a more positive light and see how quickly you begin to feel differently. Confidence is based on perception and by changing how you see yourself in your mind you are changing how you perceive yourself in everyday life too.

Good luck!