As the iceberg shows, mindset creates a foundation for everything else.
Once someone works on shaping their mindset, it’s much easier to shape their environment: the foods they stock in their kitchen or at work, who they lean on for support, and what they allow themselves to look at online.
For example, continually seeing success photos of a certain friend in a bikini? It’s usually pretty demotivating for someone struggling with weight loss.
And once they reshape their environment, it’s a lot easier to change habits: what they eat, how much they exercise, and what time they go to bed.
By tackling change in that order, willpower becomes a lot less important.
In fact, some people can be successful without using much of it at all. That’s why, in the Iceberg of Success, you see willpower at the top—above the level of the ocean.
Then, to help her shift your mindset, we suggest these four exercises.
Exercise #1: The destination postcard
We ask you what will your body look like?
How will they feel?
What will they be able to do?
Then write a postcard from your future self to your current self. The postcard will help inspire you throughout your journeys and remind you of your eventual destinations.
So let’s start with your destination. Where do you want to go?
We want you to envision your life after you reached your goal.
Let's say it is to weigh less than 200 pounds.
While that is clear goal about where you may want to go, the number on the scale is somewhat arbitrary, very much outside of your control, and not likely to motivate some over the long term.
We want you to shift your mindset to a goal that was intrinsically motivating and also more achievable.
“Okay, but what do you want your life to be like? How do you want to feel?”
This is where we need to shift our mindset into a new direction.
Exercise #2: Imagine your aura
Yes, this technique is more than a little woo woo.
But bear with me: I wouldn’t tell you about it if we hadn’t seen it work wonders.
“I want you to picture a glowing ball that represents someone’s inner spirit. What would that glowing ball look like if someone exercised regularly with joyful movement, ate healthy foods because they tasted good, felt energetic, slept well, and rested when their body needed it?
Describe to me what you see in that glowing ball.”
“Let's say it is Sparkly yellow”.
“Okay, now I want you to picture someone who beats herself up with exercise—who doesn’t even take a day off when she’s sick. She starves herself and then binges on a cheat day. She never relaxes or spends time in nature, and she will do whatever it takes to fit into a size 4. What color is that person’s inner spirit?”
“Let's say awful. The color of sludgy green sewage.”
Now, we all come in different sized packages. But regardless of the size or shape of the body that holds this spirit, which of those two spirits do you want to feed?”
Which one are you currently feeding?
So let's move on to a third mindset exercise.
Exercise #3: Imagine self-care
We want you to tackle habit change from a place of self-respect, self-care, and self-love.
“What would it look like if you respected your body? What does respect mean to you?”
You may think to yourself if I respected my body, I wouldn’t try on clothes that are too small every week and then stare at myself in the mirror so I can see my love handles hanging over the top of my jeans. And I’d probably stop weighing my body every day and calling it names based on whatever the scale told me.
Great. Okay, now let's talk about what body respect looks like.
You may say to yourself, "I’d probably eat better food because it would make me feel better. And I’d probably go to the gym more because it feels good to move my body. But I wouldn’t put pressure on myself. I’d just make it a habit to go regularly. And maybe sometimes I wouldn’t even go, and maybe just go for a ride on my bike with your child or partner.’”
And then think about the same question, but about self-care.
If you are caring for your body, you probably wouldn’t raid the vending machine in the afternoon when you get tired.
Then what about self-love.
If you loved your body, would you hate it for the size that it is.
Whatever package you come in, you’re going to feel amazing as a human being if you treat your body with love and respect and care and consideration.
Exercise #4: If this happens, then I’ll….
Many of you are people with messy lives that have messy problems.
And those problems kept getting in your way. You try to change, and do okay for a while, then life would… get messy. You pause everything. Then weeks later, you try again.
Does that sound familiar?
For example, what if you wanted to be a person who ate a healthy lunch every day. But now your working from home, scared to go out shopping, and also a part-time school teacher and dance instructor.
It's really easy to lose track of time, have extra meetings pop up, and don't have time to make the healthy lunch you planned on. Specially when Doordash is just a click away.
Another messy problem: Normally, you had your favorite exercise class, and would attend it 3 to 4 times per week. Now with Covid-19 lockdown 2020, your class no longer exists.
More willpower isn't going to get you past this.
Instead, we look at the roadblocks that you kept stumbling over again and again and we brainstorm an alternative options for getting around them. We do this by finishing this phrase: If ________________, then ______________.
Here are two examples.
If I don’t have time to eat my healthy lunch then….
… during your lunch break, you can run to a grocery store and buy a chicken with salad.
... Blend a quick and easy protein shake, and add two rice cakes.
If my favorite exercise class is no longer available….
… I’ll do one of the 25- or 30-minute circuits I can find online for me to do at home.
By strategizing ahead of time, You are able to solve problems as they came up, allowing you to eat healthy foods and exercise more consistently.