Tom Venuto's Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle
- 08-12-2008, 12:59 PM
Tom Venuto's Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle
Chapter 1: How to Set Powerful, Compelling Goals That Will Propel You Forward
and Charge You Up With Unstoppable Motivation (Part 1)
“The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but
that it is too low and we reach it.”
"The strangest secret in the world is that you become what you think about.”
- Earl Nightingale.
The simple procedure you must complete before you begin any diet or exercise program.
This might be the most important chapter in this entire book – even though it has nothing to do with calories, protein, carbohydrates, fats, cardio, weights or anything else
related to nutrition or training. You see, there is a simple, but critical procedure you must complete before you lift a weight, jog a mile, start a nutrition program or even set foot in
the gym. If you successfully complete this procedure, the nutrition and training will come easy and a lean body will soon follow. If you ignore this step – like most people do - you
are destined to fail no matter what you do or how hard you try. This crucial first step is goal setting.
A lot has been said and written about goal setting – entire books have been devoted to the subject - but the truth is, most people never decide exactly what they want. Some people give their goals a fleeting thought, but most never get specific and commit
their dreams and desires to writing. “Most people,” says Denis Waitley, author of The Psychology of Winning, “spend more time planning a party, studying the newspaper or making a Christmas list than they do planning their lives.” According to Zig Ziglar, an expert on goal setting and one of the nation's most respected motivational speakers, only 3% of Americans have actually taken the time and effort necessary to put their goals to
This is unfortunate because the number one reason for failure in losing body fat – and in life - is the lack of clearly defined, written goals. Ziglar compares not having goals to shooting at a target with a blindfold on. “How could you possibly hit a target you can’t even see?” says Zig. If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re probably not going to end up anywhere! Action without planning is the number one cause of failure. I’d like to share with you the most powerful goal setting formula in the world, but before I do, you first need to understand the hidden reasons why goal setting is so important.
The difference between knowing what to do and doing what you know.
Nutrition and exercise can be confusing subjects, so when you first get started, the initial challenge is that you don’t know what to do. Now that you have this program in
your hands, knowing what to do will no longer be a problem. However, gaining knowledge is only half the battle. The far greater challenge for most people is applying that knowledge and taking action. There is a big difference between knowing what to do and doing what you know. Goals are the bridges that span this gap.
Goals, when properly planted in the subconscious mind, produce action. Goals create energy and motivation. Goals get you out of bed early in the morning and into the gym. The secret to staying motivated all the time is to set emotionally charged goals – in
writing - and to stay totally focused on those goals day and night, without taking your eyes off them. A goal with a purpose is the fuel that propels you forward.
You might think that you’re in total conscious control of your behaviors, but it’s really your SUB-conscious that controls your behavior. If you know what to do, but you can’t seem to get yourself to do it, you’ve probably been giving negative or conflicting messages to your subconscious mind. The behaviors that are produced by subconscious conditioning are more commonly referred to as habits. Fortunately, you can re-program
your subconscious mind with positive instructions and become a creature of positive habit, just as easily as you can become a victim of negative habits. It all begins with a conscious decision and written goals.
The power of the thought
After competing in dozens of bodybuilding competitions and helping thousands of people with training and nutrition programs, I have become firmly convinced that the most important part of getting in great shape is simply making up your mind to do so.
You get in shape by setting goals and thinking about them all day long. I know that sounds a little strange, but stay with me for a minute and I'll explain.
I'm not saying you can simply "think yourself thin." No amount of positive thinking will work without action. Obviously you have to exercise and eat the right foods. What I’m suggesting is that if you don’t channel your mental energies properly, even the best diet and training program won’t help because you will always “sabotage” yourself. Did you ever wonder why you have lapses and breakdowns in “willpower?” Or why some days you just can’t drag yourself to the gym? Or why you “fall off the wagon”
completely? Or why you can’t say “no” to those chocolate chip cookies? It’s because negative programming in your subconscious mind is controlling your behavior.
This is not a “new age,” “Pollyanna” or “pie-in-the-sky” mentality – there’s a valid scientific reason why goal setting works. It works because it harnesses the awesome power of your subconscious mind, and your subconscious mind guides your behavior.
How your “mental computer” is programmed for success or failure
Your mind has two components: The conscious and the subconscious. The conscious mind is the rational, logical, analytical, thinking part of the mind. The conscious mind is constantly taking in information from the five senses, then it reasons, analyzes and comes to conclusions about whether the input is true or false. The subconscious is the part of the mind responsible for storing data (memory), for automatic
behavior (habits), reflexes and autonomic functions of the body such as digestion, breathing and circulation.
It’s important to understand that unlike the conscious mind, the subconscious mind does not “think.” It is entirely deductive in nature, which means it works like a computer. All the data programmed into your subconscious “computer” is accepted and
assumed to be true. It doesn’t matter whether the data is actually true or false. The subconscious unquestioningly accepts everything that reaches it. It then carries out the programming you have entered into it.
Suggestions given under hypnosis or affirmations repeated during deep relaxation are quick ways to access the subconscious mind. Another way to penetrate the subconscious (although much slower) is through repetition. Everything you hear, see, say,
read or think repeatedly will eventually filter into your subconscious mind. In other words, you are constantly programming your brain through conscious self-suggestion – or
you are allowing your brain to be programmed through external suggestion.
The psychological reason most people sabotage their efforts to lose body fat.
The conscious mind is a lot like the captain at the bridge of a ship. The captain gives a command and sends it down to the engine room. The subconscious mind is like the men down in the engine room. No matter what orders come down from the bridge
(conscious mind), the crew obeys, even if the orders are stupid ones that crash the ship into a rocky shore. The reason this happens is because the crew (the subconscious) can’t
see where the ship is going; they are simply following orders.
Like the ship’s crew, your subconscious mind accepts every command your conscious mind gives it – its sole purpose is to obey and carry out your orders, even if you give stupid ones like “I’ll never see my abs.” Frequent repetition of thoughts (mental orders) is one of the most certain ways to penetrate the subconscious mind. This is why, by repeating “I can’t lose weight” over and over, your subconscious will see to it that you
never lose weight because that’s its job – to follow your every command literally and without question. If you program your subconscious with negative suggestions often enough, your subconscious will lead you right into cheating on your diet, skipping workouts or some other form of self-sabotage.
What you think about repeatedly every day is eventually accepted by your subconscious mind and your subconscious mind guides your actions on “auto-pilot.” This is the basis for the entire positive thinking movement. People who say that positive thinking, affirmations and autosuggestions don’t work for them aren’t using them correctly or consistently; they’re canceling out every positive command with a negative command. If a captain gave an order, “Go east,” but then kept changing his mind; “No, go west…no, go north, etc.,” the ship would never get anywhere! That’s why most people don’t get anywhere in their fitness, bodybuilding or weight loss endeavors, either. Ironically, the
very statement “positive thinking doesn’t work” is a negative affirmation that guarantees it won’t work!
Dr. Maxwell Maltz, author of the incredible book, Psycho Cybernetics, described the human brain and nervous system as a “perfect goal-striving servo-mechanism.” This mechanism helps you achieve your goals much like a self-guided torpedo or missile seeks out its target and steers its way to it. Like the torpedo, the goal-striving mechanism of your brain can only work in your favor if you’ve specified a target.
Without a target, your mental “servo-mechanism” will simply steer you towards your dominant thoughts. The subconscious mind is always at work 24 hours a day whether you direct it consciously or not. Denis Waitley says, “Since we become what we think of most of the time, whatever we are thinking of now, we are unconsciously moving toward the achievement of that thought. For an alcoholic, this could be the next drink – for a drug addict, the next fix – for a surfer, the next wave. Divorce, bankruptcy, and illness are all goals spawned out of negative attitudes and thought patterns.”
The power of focus
Because of the way your subconscious works, it’s extremely important for you to focus all your thoughts on what you want to achieve, not on what you want to avoid. This is not mere semantics; it’s a very important distinction. If I ask you to close your eyes and not to think about monkeys, you'll (mentally) see monkeys everywhere. You can't NOT think about something! You either think about something or you don't. And you always move toward what you think about the most, regardless of whether it’s positive or negative.
Like the soil, your subconscious mind is totally impartial – it doesn’t discriminate. In it will grow whatever seeds you plant there or allow to be planted there. Many people have perfectly good intentions, but they unwittingly allow their subconscious to work against themselves by focusing on what they don't want. And, as metaphysical writer Louise Hay reminds us, “The more you dwell on what you don’t want, the more of it you create.” Others simply pay no attention to their thoughts whatsoever, and like a garden that’s neglected, soon enough, weeds start growing. Eventually, the weeds take over your
garden. Here are a few examples of negative statements and self-defeating questions:
Negative statements and self-defeating questions
I can’t lose weight no matter what I do.
Why can't I lose this last ten pounds?
Why is it so hard for me to lose weight?
I have a slow metabolism.
Why can everyone else lose weight except me? It’s not fair.
It’s not my fault because I don’t have good genetics.
I don't want to be fat anymore.
I wish I could get rid of this gut.
It’ll never work because I like food too much.
I don’t have the willpower to get lean.
I would work out but I don’t have time.
I just can’t get myself up that early to work out.
I hate being fat.
I’ll never see my abs.
I hate cardio.
All day long you carry on a mental conversation with yourself. Psychologists estimate that we think up to 60,000 thoughts a day and that 98% of these thoughts are the same ones we had yesterday – most of them negative. In a year, that’s almost 22 million thoughts! If Madison Avenue advertising giants can influence your subconscious mind to make a buying decision by repeating an ad a mere two dozen times (they can), then just
imagine the impact that millions of your own thought commands have on influencing your subconscious mind – it’s staggering! That’s why it’s so important for you to take conscious control over your mental dialogue and program your brain with positive goals.
Fortunately, the one thing in life you always have 100% total control over is your thoughts. If you want to be successful in losing body fat or any other endeavor in life, you must master your communication with yourself. You must take charge of your selftalk, “police" your thinking, and literally re-program your brain for success. If you’ve cluttered your mind with a lifetime of “Stinkin Thinkin,” as Mr. Ziglar calls it, this may be challenging at first. It will take time to erase the old programming, but it can be done.
The first step is simply to become conscious of what you are thinking. Become aware of your thoughts. Bob Proctor, a master success coach and creator of the Goal Achiever program, suggests saying “NEXT” or “SWITCH” the instant you catch yourself in the middle of a negative thought or self-defeating question. Then, immediately replace it with a positive thought, affirmation, or an empowering question. Simply overwrite the
old thought with a new one. Replace “I’ll try” with “I’ll do it.” Instead of “I should” say “I must.” Completely banish “I can’t” from your vocabulary. Soon you’ll find that your mind switches its “polarity” and the negative thoughts pop up less. Here are some
examples of how you could change the negative self-talk to positive self-talk:
Positive statements and empowering questions
How can I lose fat and enjoy the process?
What can I do today that will help me get closer to my weight loss goal?
What can I eat right now at this meal that will help me lose body fat?
How great am I going to feel after I finish my workout today?
My metabolism is getting faster every day.
I am getting leaner every day.
I like the way I look.
I am 100% responsible for my results.
Whatever it takes, I’ll do it.
I like eating healthy foods.
I love working out.
Training early in the morning is exhilarating.
I have time for anything I am committed to.
I like myself.
I can do it.
I’ll do it.
Copyright 2003, Fitness Renaissance, LLC
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