From my own experience I can honestly say that changing your lifestyle or your body is more mental than physical.
Your mind will quit a thousand times before your body will.
So if you want to be successful with your transformation or changing your lifestyle, you need to know all the psychological phases that you are going to be going through.
I truly believe that knowledge is power. You can only change something and overcome something if you understand it, acknowledge it and face it.
So let’s discuss the 5 psychological phases that you will be going through.
5 Psychological Phases of a Transformation:
- The decision
The first phase of a transformation is deciding that you want to change. During this phase you are tired of living the life that you currently living and you’re tired of the results that you are currently getting. During this phase you reach a point where you want to make a change and then you make a decision and act on that decision. During this phase you are very motivated and excited about the changes that you are going to make.
- Doubtful thoughts
During the second phase of the transformation doubtful thoughts start creeping in. You start doubting whether you will be able to make the change, you wonder whether you have what it takes to stick to the plan or whether you will just fail just like all the previous times. Doubtful thoughts start turning into negative thoughts and you start thinking about giving up. You start looking at how far you still have to go, instead of focusing on how far you have already come or how badly you want to change.
- Conquering doubt
During the third phase the mind catches up to the body. During this phase you realize that you have conquered your doubts. You realize that you are doing those things that you thought you couldn’t do. During this phase every workout becomes easier and you become even more motivated, because you know that you are conquering your old habits. Your workouts are positively influencing all areas of your life and you feel more energetic.
- New Identity
During the fourth phase you are undergoing a complete identity change. You experience an increase in self-confidence, because you are now seeing results. You start seeing yourself as one of the “healthy” or “fit” people. During this phase other people are inspired by the changes that you managed to make and you start to inspire others to also make the changes that you have made. During this phase eating healthy almost becomes second nature and you lose interest in eating fast food.
- New Goal
During the fifth phase you have now mastered this new lifestyle and you start thinking about setting new goals. Maybe you have lost all the weight and now you want to challenge yourself and do a competition or you want to start training for a marathon. Setting a new goal is essential if you want to make this lifestyle change a permanent one, because it gives you something new to work towards and it motivates you to stick to your new habits.
In my opinion most people get stuck between phase 2 and 3. They allow their doubts to get the better of them.
I truly believe that people give up during the second phase because they allow a negative mindset to take over. They start believing the doubts and they tell themselves that it is too hard to push through. I know from my own experience that it’s not easy quieting those voices of doubt that tell you that you are going to fail, but I want to tell you that it can be done.
How to go from phase 2 to 3 without giving up:
What you focus on is one of the biggest things determining your success.
If you want to be successful with your transformation you have to choose what you focus on very wisely.
If you focus on how far you still have to go, on your previous failed attempts, on your weaknesses, on your bad habits and how difficult it is to shake them or on your doubts, I can almost guarantee that you are going to fail.
“What you focus on expands.” – Scott Abel
If you want to be successful at changing your lifestyle or changing your body you need to focus on the positive things. You need to focus on how badly you want to change, you need to see every change you make as an achievement, you need to celebrate your victories, you need to focus on your strengths, you need to choose to not entertain the doubtful thoughts and you need to tell yourself constantly that you are going to make it.
- Show Up
If you want your transformation to be a success you need to know that some days you won’t be in the mood, some days staying in bed will be very tempting and the only thing on your mind will be giving up.
But on these days I want to encourage you to just get into your gym cloths, put on your gym shoes and just go. You need to know that merely showing up wins half of the battle.
A big part of showing up is preparation. If you want to show up with your meals, you need to prepare your meals in advance. If you want to show up at the gym, you need to pack your bag and plan your workout.
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
You need to know and accept that consistency is KEY!! Showing up day in and day out; preparing day in and day out. You need to make a habit of showing up and preparing needs to become second nature.
- Give it your best
A big part of a transformation is giving it your best. Some days will be better than other days, but as long as you have given it your best shot you can sleep soundly. Your best might not look like someone else’s best, but that is fine.
It’s also very important to not compare your journey with someone else’s journey, because then you will never feel that your best is enough. It is also very important to know that doing your best is not the same as doing everything perfectly. Trying to do everything perfectly will definitely lead to disappointment; because we’re not perfect and there is no way that you will do everything perfectly every day. Rather focus on progress than on perfection.
Stay focused on your own journey and giving your best every day.
- Accept & Adjust
You need to know that making a lifestyle change is not a linear process, it’s a 3 steps forward and 2 steps back kind of process. You need to accept that there are certain things that you can control (like the food you eat and the workouts that you do) and there are things that you can’t control (like how fast you lose fat or the number on the scale).
Rather choose to focus on the things that you CAN control and accept that the other things will follow if you are consistent with your behaviour.
You also need to accept that you can’t follow the same plan all the way through. During a lifestyle change or a transformation, you will hit a plateau and you will need to make adjustments to your plan. Always make sure that you only change one variable at a time, because otherwise it becomes difficult to track what really caused the plateau.
You need to KNOW and BELIEVE that you are strong enough to change your lifestyle. You need to KNOW and BELIEVE that you have what it takes to make a change. Before you start your journey, you first have to see yourself succeed in your head. You have to see yourself pushing through, because if you can’t see it, you won’t be able to do it.
“Where the mind goes the man follows.” – Joyce Meyer
May you believe in yourself and may you make the necessary changes to your life that you want to make.
Please give me some feedback as to why a transformation is so difficult or give us some tips on how you have succeeded.
Would love to hear from you.