Our friends at USANA Australia New Zealand are always coming up with great information to help both Associates and average people improve their lives. This week, Ravinder Lilly, a USANA ANZ writer and dietitian, writes about anticipation and the power of suggestion. Her post is perfect timing with all those New Year’s resolutions we’ve all made, including taking part in the USANA RESET Challenge. We’ve taken the liberty of sharing her post below. And if you haven’t already, make sure to visit USANA, word! for other great content!

GoalsPicThinking positively about something really might make it happen, psychologists say. So, if you’re thinking about committing to the RESET™ Challenge or some other goal, read on!

Anticipating something that you want appears to gear up circuits in the brain, which if you encourage by keeping your goals at the top of your consciousness, can help you achieve your intentions.

Psychologists Maryanne Garry and Robert Michael from New Zealand’s Victoria University worked with Harvard University’s Irving Kirsch to determine the effects of positive thinking. Pooling their research and knowledge, they found that anticipating something positive can be as powerful as the power of suggestion established by a skilled hypnotist.

“Once we anticipate a specific outcome will occur our subsequent thoughts and behaviors will actually help to bring that outcome to fruition,” Garry says. Speaking about their ongoing research, she added: “We realized that the effects of suggestion are wider and often more surprising than many people might otherwise think.”

It can’t do the work for you, but the effects of suggestion are extremely powerful — they really can change behaviors and even outcomes. “If we can harness the power of suggestion, we can improve people’s lives,” Garry says.

So, are you ready to anticipate something good?

Think About It

Are you making a change because you want to achieve it for yourself? Or are you making the change because others think you should do it? If you want better health for yourself, a more positive outlook and success that lasts, your changes have to come from you — not from someone else. After all, you’re the one that has to make the changes and you have to be accountable to you. So, if you’re thinking about changes because someone wants you to make them, you’re less likely to succeed. A positive outlook and the kind of determination to change that comes from you and is set by you, for you, will help you succeed.

What Do You Want to Improve

It doesn’t have to be about your weight — you might want to detox your body for a few days. Or take up regular exercise. Or eat more low Glycemic Index, high-fiber foods. Or eat one extra portion of fruit or veggies daily. Or, cut out alcohol and/or cigarettes. Or, you may have more than one goal in mind. Whatever you’re aiming for, write down your goals on sticky notes and place them around your home, near your computer and in your car. Look at them regularly and think about how you’ll feel when you achieve them.

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Make the Commitment(s)

If it was easy, there would be no need for this whole process. Understand that a commitment takes dedication and work. Be prepared to put in the effort — you really are worth it!

Break Up Your Goals Into Smaller Goals

If your goals are achievable, you’re more likely to stick with them and make them into lifestyle changes that last.

There Are No Quick Fixes

If you want results, change your mindset and constantly remind yourself why you want to change — remember those sticky notes?

Mark Your Progress

If your focus is weight loss, a food diary is an excellent way to chart your progress, your feelings and your success. Try taking a weekly photograph of yourself and weigh yourself just once a week. Fluctuations in weight are normal and natural so weighing yourself more often can leave you feeling low. Slow and steady is the way to go!

Reward Yourself

Life should be about celebration so when you get to your mini goals, allow yourself to feel the satisfaction. Have a relaxing massage or a scented bath, take a short trip or get a smart new haircut. Congratulate yourself on being a step closer to a healthier new you!

Expect Hurdles

There are going to be some ups and downs — after all, you’re only human! The most important thing is to see the bigger picture. So if you fall (and you are bound to!) pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get going! You’ll only fail if you stop trying!

Motivation Will Wain

There will be days when your motivation is low — expect it! Keep the reasons that you started on this journey top of mind. And, if you need a day or two out of the program, do that, too. Remember why you started your journey, reappraise, revalue and let’s get going!

Get Some Help

No one expects you to accomplish your goals on your own. Talk with your family, friends or team and encourage them to share their goals, too. Your successes will become theirs and theirs will become yours.

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