Alas! The New Year is here and it’s almost February. The New Year’s resolutions you pledged now have become a distant memory, despite the fact that you were so committed and READY on New Year’s Eve.

What happened? Are you destined to fail? Has life become so busy that you don’t have time for yourself?

Well, if this sounds like you – read on! You see, the reason we fail is often not because we don’t want to change, it’s because we are still too invested in our old way of thinking.

Body Shape ContrastI may really want to wear a bikini by summer but I if am still washing down that nagging voice in my head that says, “You will always be fat!” with late night ice cream splurges, then I will never achieve my goal. No matter how good I eat all day long, if I am sabotaging myself each night with a treat that isn’t aligned with my dream (wearing a bikini), I won’t be tickled with my results come June. But you don’t have to feel deprived to get that better body. In fact, you just have to think differently about what you want. For instance, I truly was that girl I mentioned above that wanted to lose weight after college. Once I thought differently about the food choices I made and why I needed to exercise, it wasn’t a chore anymore.

Step 1: Think Differently

The first step I took to succeed was to think differently. I had to change the way I talked and felt about my body. Even if you have to fake it, or if it sounds unnatural to say positive things about yourself at first, do it anyway! It’s essential to do so. I wrote positive affirmations down on pieces of paper to remind me of who I wanted to be.

[dt_quote type=”blockquote” font_size=”normal” animation=”none” background=”plain”]I am now at my ideal weight and I feel great. I love my body and I thank it for giving me the ability to move around so swiftly on this planet. I radiate with health and happiness.[/dt_quote]

These were just a few of the things I wrote down and read to myself on a daily basis. And when I read them, I let the words vibrate in my body and allowed them to resonate with every cell in my being. This was hard at first, especially the one where I told myself I was at my ideal weight.

What? Are you kidding? I was FAT!

There was nothing ideal about it. But, what I found was that over time it became easier and easier for me to say those words. And once I kinda, sorta believed them, something miraculous started to happen. I started acting like that ideal weight girl would – I drank nothing but water, I worked out five times a week, and I was eating more vegetables!

Step 2: Surround Yourself with What You Want

Next, I surrounded myself with what I wanted. I cut out pictures of women in fitness magazines and taped them up on my fridge and at my work station. They were reminders of what I was striving for. The pictures gave me motivation to go to the gym on my lunch break and to be conscious of what I was eating. And, by reading about other girls’ body transformations, I was able to see that it was also possible for me. I read their struggles and triumphs and I connected to their feelings of success.

Vision Board

Photo courtesy of WiseWellWoman under Flickr Creative Commons:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/wisewellwoman/

John Assaraf (from the movie, The Secret) created the concept of a vision board. A vision board can be a simple cork board where you attach pictures or words of what you want in your future. By looking at the board daily, you are aligning your body with the correct thoughts, actions, and deeds necessary to achieve the things you are striving for. You can also buy yourself that great bikini in the size that you want to be. Then take it home and hang it in your bedroom somewhere so that you can remind yourself daily of where you are headed in your future.

Step 3: Start a Meditation Practice

My next step was to start a meditation practice. After reading dozens of articles and research on the benefits of a meditation practice, I knew that this was a key component to long term success. If you take a look around, some pretty successful people are meditating: Madonna, Paul Chek, John Assaraf, Oprah, Deepak Chopra, Ringo Starr, Katy Perry, and Liv Tyler to name a few.

MeditationThis step was a tough one for me. I had two operating speeds: FAST and asleep. This was created by the idea that in order to be successful, you need to work all the time and not take time to rest. I had turned myself into a working machine by the time I was out of college. I prided myself on getting less than five hours of sleep every night, eating on the run, and collapsing on my pillow from exhaustion. So consequently, on that rare occasion that I allowed myself to watch a movie or go to a sit-down concert, I found myself unable to stay awake. My body didn’t know how to just sit and relax. I had forgotten that we are ‘human beings’ not ‘human doings’!

When I first started my meditation practice, I was unable to sit still for more than seven minutes! I would fall asleep and wake up disappointed. I just couldn’t do it.

But, I didn’t give up. Within a week, I was able to stay awake for 12 minutes but found that my mind could not sit still. I had serious monkey mind. This continued for a good three weeks before I was able to finally relax and go to no-mind.

It has taken me years (and well worth it!) to be able to get to a place of emptiness – a place without appointments, schedules, and deadlines- a place that feels like a blink of an eye, but in real time may be over 45 minutes! I have found that meditation helped me relax, gave my body time to digest, re-charged my adrenal glands, and gave me a clarity an