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Monday, January 15, 2007

Why Some People Quit And Some People NEVER Give Up

Tom Venuto Why Some People Quit and others never give upBy Tom Venuto, CSCS, NSCA-CPT
www.BurnTheFatbook.com

Throughout my 18 years in the fitness industry as a trainer, nutrition consultant and motivational coach, I have noticed that some people who start a nutrition and exercise program give up very easily after hitting the first obstacle they encounter. If they feel the slightest bit of discouragement or frustration, they will abandon even their biggest goals and dreams.

On the other hand, I noticed that some people simply NEVER give up. They have ferocious persistence and they never let go of their goals. These people are like the bulldog that refuses to release its teeth-hold on a bone. The harder you try to pull the bone out of his mouth, the harder the dog chomps down with a vice-like grip.

What's the difference between these two types of people? Psychologists say there is an answer.

An extremely important guideline for achieving fitness success is the concept that, "There is no failure; only feedback. You don't "fail", you only get results."

This is a foundational principle from the field of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), and the first time I ever heard it was from peak performance expert Anthony Robbins back in the late 1980's. It's a principle that stuck with me ever since, because it's a very, very powerful shift in mindset.

A lot of people will second-guess themselves and they'll bail out and quit, just because what they try at first doesn't work. They consider it a permanent failure, but all they need is a little attitude change, a mindset change, or what we call a "reframe."

Instead of saying, "This is failure" they can say to themselves, "I produced a result" and "This is only temporary." This change in perspective is going to change the way that they feel and how they mentally process and explain the experience. It turns into a learning opportunity and valuable feedback for a course correction instead of a failure, and that drives continued action and forward movement.

It's all about your results and your interpretation of those results

Dr Martin Seligman, a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, did some incredible research on this subject and wrote about it in his book, Learned Optimism. Dr. Seligman noticed that the difference between people who give up and people who persist and never quit is what he referred to as "explanatory style." He said that explanatory style is the way we explain or interpret bad events or failures.

People who habitually give up have an explanatory style of permanence. For example, they hit a plateau in their progress and explain it by saying, "diets never work" or "I have bad genetics so I'll always be fat." These explanations imply permanence.

Other people hit the same plateaus and encounter the same challenges, but explain them differently. They say things such as, "I ate too many cheat meals this week," or "I haven't found the right diet for my body type yet." These explanations of the results imply being temporary.

People who see negative results as permanent failure are the ones who give up easily and often generalize their "failure" into other areas of their lives and even into their own sense of self. It's one thing to say, "I ate poorly this past week because I was traveling," (a belief about temporary behavior and environment), and to say, "I am a fat person because of my genetics" (a belief about identity with a sense of permanence). Remember, body fat is a temporary condition, not a person!

People who see challenges and obstacles as temporary and as valuable learning experiences are the ones who never quit. If you learn from your experiences, not repeating what didn't work in the past, and if you choose to never quit, your success is inevitable.

About the Author:

never give up on your goalsTom Venuto is a lifetime natural bodybuilder, an NSCA-certified personal trainer (CPT), certified strength & conditioning specialist (CSCS), and author of the #1 best-selling e-book, ".” Tom has written more than 200 articles and has been featured in print magazines such as IRONMAN, Australian IRONMAN, Natural Bodybuilding, Muscular Development, Exercise for Men and Men’s Exercise, as well as on hundreds of websites worldwide. For information on Tom's Fat Loss program, visit: www.burnthefatbook.com

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Brain Science And New Year's Resolutions

brain science and new years resolutionsBy Tom Venuto, NSCA-CPT, CSCS
www.burnthefatbook.com

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said,
"I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacations with better care than they plan their lives. Perhaps it's because escape is easier than change."


Success psychologists say that 95% - 97% of the people in the world do NOT have written goals and fail, while 3-5% have written goals and succeed.

If these statistics are correct, then Mr Rohn's observation really IS quite fascinating isn't it?

Unfortunately for most people, the odds for success are actually even lower, because out of the few people who do set goals, most don't take goal setting seriously, they don't do it scientifically and they only do it once a year.

Goal setting is so important, that I always teach goal setting and mind dynamics first, and only THEN, do I teach nutrition and training second.

It doesnt matter how much you know about nutrition or exercise. Until specialized fitness knowledge is linked with goals and directions, the knowledge is useless and you won't accomplish very much or keep the changes long term.

In fact, I devoted the entire first chapter of my book, Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle (www.burnthefatbook.com) to the subject of goals and constructive "mind programming" for successful, permanent behavior change.

I've also studied neuro linguistic programming (NLP) for many years and more recently spent many months researching the latest information about neuroscience to see just how much of the traditional self help and goal setting wisdom is actually backed by brain research.

As you start thinking about your goals for 2007 right Now, I'd like to help you start the year off right by sharing two very valuable, science based tips on acheiving your goals:

SCIENTIFIC GOAL SETTING TIP #1


Repetition is an effective way to "plant" a goal in the non-conscious mind

Why don't most new years resolutions stick? Psychology and neuroscience today are giving us the answers.

Thanks to new technologies in brain imaging, such as PET scans, SPECT scans and functional MRI's, we can now actually see your thoughts as electrochemical impulses and we can see the formation of new neural connections in real time right before our eyes.

We can also see where, geographically, in your brain, a particular type of thought is occuring.

most importantly, we can see how long it takes to form strong neural patterns and what types of stimuli cause the patterns to form more quickly

Here's what we've discovered:

Setting a goal once is a conscious activity. Willpower is also a conscious activity. But research has shown that at least 5/6 of your brain power is in the non conscious mind and that the information and instructions that reach the non conscious mind are responsible for your automatic behavior.

Some pyschologists believe that 95% of our behaviors are unconscious and automatic... more commonly known as habits.

Long term behavior changes don't take place when you set goals one time as with most new years resolutions. There's an old saying in "self help" circles that it takes at least 21-30 days to form a habit. This has now been proven to be fairly accurate on a neurological basis.

New neural patterns begin to form only after they've been repeated enough times. They continue to strengthen with further repetition. If you make new years resolutions on January 1st and you don't continue to repeat and reinforce your desire for those "goals," no new neural connection is formed, no new habits are formed, no new behaviors are formed....

Your resolutions wither away and die and any results obtained through willpower (trying to force the new behaviors through conscious effort), are quickly lost when you slip back to your old ways.

What you repeat over and over again is programmed into the subconscious mind and begins to take root. On a practical level, this means RE-writing your goals everyday and thinking about them in positive terms and in mental pictures, every day, repeatedly until the habit is formed and turned over to "auto-piliot."

In 1956, when Earl Nightingale wrote
"The Strangest Secret is that we become what we think about most of the time,"
we didnt know what we know now about the brain.

Nevetheless, Earl was right.

You don't change your body by trying to change your body. You change your body by creating new habitual patterns of thinking and visualizing.

Trying to force new behaviors with willpower while continuing with your old ways of thinking will always fail because your automatic behavior is mostly under non-conscious control.

Its not the new years resolution you set once... its the goals (mental thoughts and images) you focus on all day long that create the long term (and automatic) behavioral change... when you change your behaviors, you change your body and your life...

SCIENTIFIC GOAL SETTING TIP #2:


Emotion is a goal-turbocharger

Is there any way around this tedious process of "mental programming" through repetition? Not really. The fields of NLP and hypnosis have given us some tools for creating more rapid changes, but ultimately you have to begin to "run your own brain" and change your habitual way of thinking. No one else can do it for you and there's no way around it.

there is however, a scientifically proven way to to speed up the process and that is with the use of strong emotion.

Since modern imaging technology can see activity in the brain and scientists have located the seat of emotions in the brain, we know that the strength and number of neural connections associated with a thought or behavior are increased when you're in a highly emotional state.

The neuron connections are also stronger, longer lasting and it takes longer to lose a neural connection when it was formed with great emotion.

With this knowledge, we see another reason why new years resolutions fail: They are set casually with no emotion and no strong emotional "reason why" that gives you the leverage to you need to make a change permanent.

On January 1st, you may think you're setting "real" goals, but if you're like most people, you're not only doing it a mere once a year and then losing focus, you're also likely to be making flimsy, wishy-washy, emotion-less "resolutions."

Zig Ziglar once said that,
"A goal casually set and lightly taken will be freely abandoned at the first obstacle."


You might want to back up and read that quote again, maybe even write it down or print it out, because this one hits the bull's-eye!

This truly explains why New Year's resolutions almost never work, and why so few people can keep off the pounds after they get rid of them.

Goal setting should not be casual or lightly taken. Goal setting is an important and serious matter. This is not a game - this is your life, and you only have one life to live.

Goal setting is also not a one time event - it is an ongoing process of literally "re-wiring your brain." With the discovery of brain plasticity, we now know that this is science fact, not self-help fiction.

Make the time to set REAL goals, today! Take it seriously, do it scientifically, re-write your goals every day, think about them constantly, and then take massive action

Do it and this will be the most successful year of your life!

For more information about successfully achieveing your new years resolution using Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle, visit: www.BurnTheFatBook.com

[Robs Note: to read a review of Burn the Fat, visit my Burn The Fat Review. Also, I have reviewed Tom's latest book, ]

About the Author:

new years resolutionsTom Venuto is a lifetime natural bodybuilder, an NSCA-certified personal trainer (CPT), certified strength & conditioning specialist (CSCS), and author of the #1 best-selling e-book, ".” Tom has written more than 200 articles and has been featured in print magazines such as IRONMAN, Australian IRONMAN, Natural Bodybuilding, Muscular Development, Exercise for Men and Men’s Exercise, as well as on hundreds of websites worldwide. For information on Tom's Fat Loss program, visit: www.burnthefatbook.com

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New Years Resolutions Goal Setting Positive Thinking Tom Venuto

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